Yeah, there are more important matters before us this week, such as stopping the raping and pillaging of the Bill of Rights by the current occupant of the White House, but for football fans, the week of weeks is upon us: Super Bowl Week.
Yet, I know some of you approach this week with fear, because you’re not a football fan and may have been sucked into attending a viewing party. Or hosting one. Or even buying a square in the office pool, even though your knowledge of football begins with “I like that team with the white pants.”
Fear not, help is on the way: This corner of cyberspace presents its annual guide to all things Super Bowl.
The most important thing to know, of course, is who is playing and when it’s on.
This year’s game, Super Bowl LI, pits the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons on Feb. V. Kickoff is III pm on the Fox network, which can be seen on channel XXXV in the Salinas-Monterey-Santa Cruz area.
For veteran Super Bowl viewers, the Patriots are no stranger to this game, as they are making their ninth appearance in the game and seventh under coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
This comes despite a rather shaky history, involving Deflategate, Spygate and Plowgate. No word on how many people associated with the team live in a gated community, but, with the amount of meaningless news that comes out during Super Bowl week, stay tuned.
The Falcons, who seem to go through home stadiums faster than President Trump goes through wives, are making just their second appearance in the game, having lost to the Denver Broncos in 1998.
Otherwise, like most Atlanta pro sports teams (including the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets), its been more frustrating than Scarlett O’Hara’s search for happiness (and a cup of coffee on me for the first person not related to me who can give me the original name of the theater that hosted the world premiere of “Gone With The Wind.”)
The best way to find out about the teams is, of course, to read your local newspaper, the one you subscribed to in order to be better informed on world affairs starting Jan. 20. I understand a TV station or two may be there. Check local listings.
Game day generally causes the most stress for the unfootballed, but fear not. Even someone with the most basic understanding of the sport, like four downs to make a first down, a touchdown is six points and yellow hankies on the field means bad things should survive. Wow your friends by saying that while NRG Stadium is the second stadium in Houston to host a Super Bowl, one was never held right across the street from the stadium at the Astrodome.
Don’t rely on the announcers to explain things, though, since, given the fluid state of NFL rules, they don’t understand them either.
As for thoughs on the commercials and halftime shows, look elsewhere. The game’s the thing, dammit.
When it’s all over, relax. Take a deep breath. A mere nine days to go until pitchers and catchers report.