Cheap Thrills on Planet Earth

part one: conspiracy theories & longshot bets & make.believe

How does one describe the Super Bowl to Plutonians?

First question: why would I want to?

I need practice.

I’ve been hired to cover the ’08 presidential race for a periodical on Pluto. Which one you ask? I, ah…I get back to you on that. I’m not done making it up yet.

It’ll be a good one though! Very prestigious.

~e

To gain an intellectual grip on what their problem is one must understand Americans’ relationship to their National Football League.

“What’s the big deal about American Football?” Any Plutonian will ask. That’s because they think football is a 2-team contest where players kick a ball into nets with their foot.

Every toe & heeled inhabitant in the cosmos plays football, right?

Yes. For certain. But in America they call Football soccer. American football is a different creature entirely.

Dig:

[For video: Click then scroll to 11.27.2006 Hail Mary Play option].

Despite that it largely involves an oblong shaped, just barely ball-like object handled, when it counts most, by the hands of two violently opposing hoards, Americans are raised to believe that the word Football most accurately describes their nation’s version of the game. They accept this failure of linguistics as fact and are prone, even, to wonder bewildered why the rest of the world calls soccer football.

Stupid foreigners.

Each year in early winter America’s National Football League holds its’ playoff/elimination contests to determine which two teams will compete in the final match known as the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl’s winner is the World Champion of American football.

As I write this just four hopefuls remain. One of these is the New England Patriots.

In the north-east corner of the nation, New England is the region of America that was first colonized by Europeans. This wave of settlers came from England across 3000 miles of sea. The British royal family claimed lordship over these colonial settlers. Charged them high taxes to live in what, soon after, became America. So the colonials declared their independence from England and fought them off with rifles, cannons & bayonets.

Proponents of America in this war were called Patriots. The war began in the region we now know is New England. So they named the local pro US football team after the Patriots. The New England Patriots.

After two planes knocked the World Trade Center down in 2001 it was very important to be a known Patriotic American. One example: in the wake of the attacks, tens of millions in the US attached miniature, red white & blue American flags to the FM radio antennas on their automobiles. The fuel efficiency lost to reduced aerodynamics was more than offset by a sense of participation in this unprecedented display of national pride; this way for ordinary Americans to show they, like Patriots in the Revolutionary War days, wanted America to win big.

Who wouldn’t? Unless you’re With The Terrorists…

Those flags are long ripped, tattered & gone poof. Like sad snips of confetti swept up in dirt piles from the dance-floor of last night’s party. Another good time that was too good to last. But back in the day…boy! Everywhere you turned there was a flag snap-whapping in the noxious, exhaust fume-filled breeze. And it was good to be an American.

Hell the PATRIOTS even won the first Super Bowl after September 11!

Security was tight at whatever stadium hosted 2002’s big game. Officials feared America’s most-watched sporting event could prove fertile ground for another attack. But the game came off without a hitch — right down to the celebratory confetti.

Much ado about lost American Lives was made during the pregame television programmes. Paul McCartney praised the US military for their fine work bombing Afghanistan — a conflict, coincidentally, whose commencement was announced on TV by the so-called President, some months earlier, during the half-time break of an NFL game.

At half-time in the 2002 Super Bowl names were scrolled across a giant screen of all the innocent American heroes who courageously gave their lives for Freedom at the World Trade Center & Pentagon on Sep 11 2001.

Stored at each end of the playing field in gigantic container drums, the confetti was red & blue — Patriot team colors. There were drum-loads filled with their opponent’s blue & orange moniker colors as well. But these were arranged for only to not tip off the confetti vendors to one blindingly plain Fact: the likelihood that the blue & orange team would win was roughly equal to the odds that something George W. Bush said was true.

The game went down to the wire. The score was even with seconds left to play. Then, a heartbeat before time ran out, the Patriots scored & broke the tie & won.

BOOM. Phwoof!

Confetti.

Hurled skyward.

The stadium’s lights reflected from the confetti snips to conjure the optical illusion of a third color, white, flashed amid gargantuan, resplendently spiraled red & blue plumes.

Like a Freedom Tornado. Ripped out from the top of a big ol’ can of Osama bin whoop ass.

The confetti settled. America caught its’ breath. And the profundity sunk in.

The Patriot’s long-odd victory provided proof positive that God is America’s staunchest proponent. A Patriot of Biblical proportions. God had the Patriots win that day so there’ll be no doubt that He wants America to win & Win Big. Bigger than big.

God wants America to win everything.

I watched the ‘02 Super Bowl with friends at Superstar Brown’s crib. We were swept in by the moment and got a little carried away.

“U-S-A!” The room erupted in chant.

“U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!

U–S-ayyy!!

Yeah — and we think America sucks. Shit I don’t even like Football — I think it the dumbest game in the whole wide world of sports. The only thing I like less than football itself are the New England Patriots.

They stand for all the wrong things in my book.

Still I cheered like a goon when they won. Because the ‘02 Super Bowl was a farce; the outcome rigged surely as the 2000 Presidential election’s. And we knew it. We called it for the Pats, at a beer party the night before, on the basis of conspirtorial hypothesis.

So we cheered for ourselves & had us a cheap thrill & some whoops.

What truly amazes, in retrospect, is that it worked. It was, and remains, America’s single greatest — indeed only Global War on Terror triumph.

Hail to the Pretenda Chief!

~e

This year I’m hootin it up for the New Orleans Saints. I hope they win it all and stomp lots of opponent’s faces along the way.

I don’t like football. Really. But I’m perpetually broke & a sucker for a good time. And when you pick a team you want to see win & they do it’s cheap thrills that don’t cost a dime.

Only thing is: the want must be genuine. There’s gotta be risk taken; to get a hoot when they win it’ll need to not matter precisely but bum you out a bit nonetheless if you lose. Cheap thrills don’t come free afterall.

Here’s why I’m for the Saints:

1. The time me & Superstar Brown dropped $150 on breakfast in the French Quarter. We couldn’t finish off the bottle of wine that accounted for a disproportional share of the tab. So the waiter brown-bagged it. We stepped out in the mid-morning New Orleans soup-heat. Promptly passed out on the sidewalk, bottle of wine gripped firmly in hand.

Awoke. Sipped. Whooped & strolled on. Thinkin to see if those girls from Memphis were still around…

2. I favor the underdog. I like it when someone who’s not supposed to win does — I like what that says about me. And — based both on their team’s Super Bowl win odds (5-1: the longest shot on the board) & by virtue of their city being submerged recently — the underdog qualification is well met by the town of New Orleans.

I say bet ’em smartly to win on the basis of their own raw want to. That’s my plan — soon as I get my first paycheck from Pluto.

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3 Responses to “Cheap Thrills on Planet Earth”


  1. 1 fatsavage January 17, 2007 at 7:12 am

    Once again – I must be losing it – you’re making sense again. :-0

  2. 2 Herbesse January 19, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Will this make my Presidential race stocks on trendio rise? http://www.trendio.com/word.php?language=en&wordid=1977


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