Super Bowl Dreams
Who do you love?
The Super Bowl is back and once again it hails the end of another NFL season. One last hoorah before the nation’s fans settle into figuring out how their favorite team is going to win it all next year. Mock draft after mock draft will tantalize the pigskin senses and have the faithful dreaming and thinking that the Super Bowl, the big one for the history books, is just around the corner.
Yeah, yeah. But more importantly, are you rooting for Atlanta?
You’re right, that question is shocking. I’m shocked that I have to ask it. But, after my column last week, I figured what the hell. Yet, as fun as it is to fire up the fan base, this Atlanta question has merit.
All you have to do is skim around the local social media channels and you will see what I’m talking about. Evidently, the overwhelming dominance of the New England Patriots — the team coming off of its sixth consecutive AFC Championship appearance and playing in its seventh Super Bowl since 2002 — has caused some New Orleans Saints fans to publicly state that, yes, they will be cheering for the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday.
It’s official, my friends — up is down and left is right.
I call this the “Star Wars: A New Hope” defense: a group of tattered and bedraggled band of rebels (the 31 other fan bases of the NFL) rally together once a year to fight back against the Emperor Belichick and his evil enforcer Darth Brady. I guess I understand this mentality if, say, the Green Bay Packers or Arizona Cardinals were playing the Sith Lords from Foxboro…but Atlanta?
It’s nuts but would be all fine and good if those were the only odd characters that were professing pro-Atlanta nonsense, because we all have our weird friends. You have yours, I have me. But, oh no, my Black and Gold faithful, there’s yet another Crescent City contingent rooting for the Black and Red (is that even a thing?).
You may have heard of this one. I think it was created in the college ranks and bred from conference affiliations but, again, I’ve seen this creep up this week as well. It’s the, “I’m rooting for them because we’re in the same division” argument. That bizarre logic whose rules is written in invisible ink and tends to evaporate as soon the championship has ended or New England takes a big lead.
I call this line of argument the “Waffle House” defense. As its illogic had to be created in the wee hours of the morning by two guys who had a serious case of the munchies.
ENTER WAFFLE HOUSE – 3 A.M.
Two bewildered college students sit in front of seven plates of double-stacked, double-covered hash browns.
BUDDY: So you say we should root for Atlanta?
DUDE: Exactly. Because they’re in our division.
BUDDY: Even though Atlanta is our archrival.
DUDE: Right. It’s tricky.
BUDDY: Even though they beat us twice this year? Badly.
DUDE: Correct. But, now our season is over so…
BUDDY: We root for the team that hates us the most.
DUDE: Only because it gets us more respect if they win.
BUDDY: Even though they’re definitely going to rub it in our faces for years to come.
DUDE: I know it doesn’t make sense.
These fans exist as well, New Orleans. And a lot of them don’t even know that Krystal’s is a gateway to Waffle House. Some folks just don’t get it.
With all of this said, in one way, I see why somebody would root for an archrival. The Super Bowl is too damn long. From the anthem to the champions standing on the podium it’s easily a four-hour affair that seems like seven. Making matters worse is having to endure a Super Bowl party while watching two teams you couldn’t care less about. Oh, you like the commercials? THAT’S WHAT THE INTERNET IS FOR. Newsflash — there has never been a great party in the history of man built around watching TV for four hours. So maybe that’s why people have lost their minds along the way and say silly things.
Do yourself a favor, friends. Stay home, crack a brew if you like and don’t root for Atlanta. If you get bored during the 13th hour of the Super Bowl, “Victoria” comes on WYES at 8 p.m. It’s not as good as “The Crown” or “Versailles” but as least it won’t tempt you to yell something ridiculous like, “Go Falcons!”
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every PBS show should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Super Bowl Bar in Houston: The Hay Merchant
Playlist Recommendation: Blondie – “Dreaming”
Around the Way
The New Orleans Privateers men’s basketball team (12-8) is still rumbling on the Lakefront. UNO is sitting in second place in the Southland at the halfway mark in conference play at 7-2, with the teams only two conference losses coming at the hands of the top two teams (Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin) in the preseason poll. New Orleans is not only in prime position to make the eight-team playoff in Katy, Texas but if they were to finish the season ranked second they would get a double bye into the Southland semifinals. If the Privateers finish in third or fourth they would get a bye in the first round.
Looking ahead, three of the last conference games will be against teams that UNO has handedly beaten (Abilene Christian, McNeese State, Central Arkansas). UNO will also play a pair of games versus Nicholls State (11-11), and Southeastern Louisiana (12-10). These series are sandwiched around a rematch with Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 23 at Lakefront Arena, which could very well be for the conference title.
*Final photo: still from "Victoria." PBS.