The Top Three recurring questions in my life this week: 1. Who's gonna win on Sunday? Arizona. 2. You look tired; been sleeping enough? Hardly. I blame Oscar movie season, the Super Bowl crush and my tempestuous relationship with caffeine. And 3. Are you going to the game? Hell no. I'd rather watch on a six-inch black-and-white handheld TV than be in Tampa.
The last one's been getting at people, so let me explain. First, it's not as if my bosses are begging me to attend. So many seats, so many bodies, dwindling resources in a cruddy economy... But if it ever came down to it, I'd be the first to step up and say, "Here, save yourself several thousand dollars in airfare, cabs and dinners." I'll write from home.
And this is where people usually have to be refrained from slapping me. "A once in a lifetime opportunity? You should be on your hands and knees begging..." Here's the thing: The Super Bowl you see on television and the Super Bowl that plays out in front of tens of thousands of corporate sponsors and, perhaps, a few pockets of actual fans -- they're two completely different things.
While you're watching dancing monkeys and self-degrading Britney Spears spots (okay, same thing) through the five-minute commercial breaks, everyone in that stadium sits on their hands and waits. And waits. Then, if you're lucky, three or four more plays and -- you wait again. Momentum? Continuity? Forget about it. The Super Bowl is played in three- to four-play chunks; best of 30 wins.
It's a sad, sad moment when you walk out of what was supposed to be the most thrilling sporting event in your life and you find yourself anxiously texting friends: How were the commercials? What did I miss?
Cardinals fans... Steelers fans... When you find yourself proclaiming, "I'd pay a thousand dollars to be there!" I beg you to reconsider. Take that wad of cash, walk yourself down to Circuit City, where everything's on clearance (remember: no returns), and buy yourself a nice big flat screen. Spend the change on guac and chips. And know that you have the best seat in the house.
Check SI.com's Super Blog regularly for more dispatches from Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.