I can hardly bring myself to write this, but there's no way around it: it is Super Bowl Weekend. Now Reader dear, you know me. You know I love football. But my football is played with a round ball, on a neatly divided pitch by 22 men who politely tap the ball back and forth, to the accompaniment of couth supporters who clap sedately in joyous approval of their beloved side. (Yes, I know I've finessed the facts a smidge. I know that football can be by turns brutal or boring and it's not always civilized in the stands, but it remains the Beautiful Game and the passion of my heart.)
But this weekend is about American football. I don't understand this game that is so entrenched in American culture and informs the thinking and attitudes of so many American people. I believe football was invented as a way to develop national pride and identity: 'Forget the old country and salute your new flag' kind of thing. Americans get riled up about high school football, never mind college ball, so you can just imagine the level of fervor the Super Bowl inspires. I don't understand the game at all. At all. It seems to be about getting into a huddle, lining up, throwing a ball and then sitting on your opponent. Men on the sidelines talk into very large headsets, cheerleaders freeze their tushies off waving pompoms, marching bands blow into their horns and the latest hot musical act sings badly at halftime. And small fortunes are spent on advertising. However, it's such a spectacle that even I - a scoffer of the NFL - will watch all the hoopla, and get excited at some point during the game. I think I'll root for the Saints 'cause I don't know where the Colts are from. I keep thinking of wine-tipped cigars when I hear their name, but I'm pretty sure they don't have anything to do with tobacco products. (Plus, cheering for the Saints should score me some time off purgatory for supporting the Red Devils of Manchester)
A friend of Daddy Nut is an American and big football (NFL) fan. He and his family of wife and four boys has arrived for the weekend so we can all watch the Big Event together. Have you done the math? That's 14 people - 11 of them being boys (ok, two of the boys are dads, but still...)!! It's going to be very exciting. The house is stocked with food and drink; the basement overflows with bedding; hard surfaces have been disinfected; laws have been laid down... laissez les bon temps rouler!