How to Offend Everyone in the Western Hemisphere at the Same Time

I don't care about Super Bowl 50. In fact, the most interesting part of the whole event is that they ditched the Roman numeral “L” for the Arabic numeral “50.” I could go off on a couple of tangential rants about reaching down to the lowest intellectual denominator in marketing, or the renaming of the numeric system to “European numerals,” but I digress.

Back to my objective of offending everyone in one fell swoop.

The game was played in Pasadena, California, that day, and maybe it was just too hot. Or, maybe they all had an off day at an inopportune time. But I sort of fell out of love with the Super Bowl at XI.

Yep, it's been a while. As I recall, it was a cold day in January of 1977 in the far reaches of northern Minnesota where we lived in a tiny cabin. That is a safe memory, because it is always cold up there in January.

By that time, I was a winter veteran. It was the middle of our second winter in that extreme climate, and my newly adopted state had a football team that bore its name. That, of course, would be the Minnesota Vikings. That season, the Vikings played football like, well, like Vikings. They seemed unstoppable. I, along with the rest of my family, sat and watched Super Bowl XI with great anticipation. And, like many people with misplaced expectation, I was devastated by the loss.

What had bothered me the most was the pathetic performance that my mighty Vikings had put out. That was the first time in my life I suspected sporting events may be rigged. Those Vikings, who had played like Vikings all season, played the Super Bowl like cheerleaders.

Before you think I'm picking on the cheerleaders, let me set this straight. When the ball flies into the vicinity of the cheerleaders, it is their responsibility to get out of the way! A two hundred twenty pound linebacker could come blasting through, and cheerleaders do not wear safety gear.

Sadly, I got the impression that my mighty Vikings had become allergic to the ball.

In retrospect, I had obviously never considered that the Oakland Raiders might have had a superior game. I was pretty one-dimensional in my loyalty back then. In my own defense, I was in my teens. But it matters not now. The immunization was complete. I was doused in the ice water of disillusionment and just basically lost interest. I do not recall watching a complete football game since then.

All that said, there is an amusing side to the event hype this year. Facebook, which is always loaded with pictures of cats and horses, is currently all about cats vs. horses. It's like a competitive NFL zodiac chart.

Who knows, maybe next year they will allow international teams to compete. Then we could potentially end up with Super Bowl LI: Pandas vs. Koalas. If that should happen, I might actually come out of sports hibernation to watch that one.