On The Fence
Thursday, January 30, 2014 • 1:51pm
Living in New Jersey, I don’t know who to root for on Super Bowl Sunday: the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks, or the weather.
Super Bowl XLVIII (pronounced forty-eight), one of the world’s most celebrated and media hyped events, is being played outdoors this Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey about 20 miles as the blimp flies from my house. If it hums high enough for a good aerial shot, I will stand outside my front yard and wave.
Look for me there because I won’t be going to the game. I have been to MetLife stadium in the winter, and I can tell you there is a reason Bruce Springsteen only books stadium tours in summer.
So as a fair-weather football fan who plans to sit on the couch in front of a crackling fire and a wide screen TV on Sunday, I am rooting for snow. Lots of it.
Other than that, I am still weighing the matchups.
The Appearance vs. Interference Fence
The Super Bowl will be viewed in more than 180 countries by an estimated 200 million viewers, most of whom have no idea where East Rutherford is.
Or care, for that matter.
Fortunately the NFL marketing machine has thoughtfully given the world a sparkling geographical reference to East Rutherford by stating that the big game will be played in the New York Metropolitan area.
In the context of professional football, this is really just a sexier way of saying New Jersey.
“Make no mistake about it, the teams will stay in New Jersey, they will practice in New Jersey, and they will play in New Jersey,” clarified Governor Chris Christie recently, who has some practical experience in such logistics.
The so-called TailGate scandal will prevent 80,000 fans from accessing the parking lot at MetLife stadium, forcing stadium-goers to exercise their pregame rituals on NJ Transit where grilling sausages and drinking beer is prohibited.
If anyone is interested, I am renting out parking spaces in my driveway.
The Offense vs. Defense Fence
This year Super Bowl XLVIII pits the best offense in the league vs. the best defense in the league. This is a little like mixing matter and antimatter, so theoretically, the portion of the game when Denver has the ball and Seattle is trying to stop them could be incredibly dangerous. Expect security to be tight.
I’m not sure what the game will be like when Seattle has the ball, but there are sure to be lots of entertaining commercials.
The Deference vs. Preference Fence
What would the Super Bowl be without human drama? And this year there are plenty of stories in the frenzied pre-game media build up. Some of them are actually interesting.
Probably the biggest story saturating the sports talk airwaves for the past week is that of Seattle cornerback, Richard Sherman. Sherman’s brash outbreak on national TV just after the NFC playoff game ruffled feathers when he proclaimed himself to be the best cornerback in the league, despite the fact that he probably is the best cornerback in the league.
But the real narrative on Sunday is that Seattle’s deaf fullback, Derrick Coleman, can’t hear; the star running back, Marshawn Lynch, won’t talk; Richard Sherman, doesn’t shut up, and the Seattle 12th man fans can’t keep quiet. It should make for interesting conversation on the Seattle bench.
And then there is Denver’s 37 year-old veteran quarterback, Peyton Manning. Of key importance to Sunday’s matchup will be Manning’s Omaha screams at the line of scrimmage, designed to communicate plays and give color commentators something to speculate endlessly about. This audible, of course, is a highly secret code, but I have it on good authority that despite the importance of this game, Omaha will not be replaced with East Rutherford.
Manning, who has a history of neck surgery Frankenstein would be proud of, is having the best year of his career and is poised to be the first quarterback in history to win a Super Bowl on two different teams. Manning, as a sentimental favorite who will likely retire to Disneyland if he wins this game, goes up against the new breed of gunslinger, young Russell Wilson. Wilson, an excellent quarterback, is best known for not being Peyton Manning.
And speaking of new school, how about the cold weather halftime matchup between rising pop star Bruno Mars and mainstay rockers The Red Hot Chile Peppers? Bruno is known for his smooth moves, stylish appearance, and throw back pompadour.
The Chile Peppers are known for performing in their underwear.
Finally, both teams have been duly recognized as representing the only two states in the country that have legalized marijuana. Frankly, I think this discussion drags down the honor and respect the Super Bowl deserves. However it does raise the possibility of much more interesting Bud commercials at halftime.
Don’t bogart those cheese doodles, man, and enjoy the game.
Who’s playing again?