The Big Game

I'm always amused to see who ponied up the dough to be an Official Super Bowl sponsor - and thus, is allowed to use the term - and who has to make do with implying "Super Bowl" rather than actually saying it. Like the Planters banner ad on this page: "Watch our commercial during the football game on Feb. 3rd!" (The Super Bowl ad bingo is pretty funny, by the way.) There's always tons of ads from department stores and big-box electronics stores during the off-week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl proclaiming it's time to get a new HDTV "for the Big Game!"

Apparently the NFL - never one to ignore a potential revenue stream - recently tried and failed to trademark the phrase "Big Game," because sports bars were making money off of cover charges for Super Bowl parties - but used "Big Game" because they didn't have permission to use "Super Bowl." Had they succeeded, I would have been quite fascinated to see what even more generic phrase Circuit City would have used in their ads. "Great deals on new HDTVs in time for the Important Professional Sports Contest! Hurry in today!"

Back when I was delivering pizzas, I used to listen to football on the radio a lot on Sunday afternoons, and I recall one company that was running a promotional contest of some sort that they described in their radio ads as, "a chance to win tickets to the biggest football game of the Hawaii!" Which, of course, means that they were giving away tickets to the Pro Bowl without being an official sponsor. It also means that some copywriter out there has a severe misunderstanding of what can reasonably be called "the biggest football game of the year," in Hawaii or otherwise.

As for today's actual "Big Game," this is the least interested I've been in the Big Game in fifteen years. I'm trying to muster the proper moral outrage about the latest allegations of cheating by the New England Patriots, but I just can't do it. Actively hating the Patriots right now would force me to root for the New York Giants, and I just can't do it. This is reminiscent of the 2003 New York Yankees/Florida Marlins World Series in which I just wished that both teams could lose.

The last time I had this little interest in the Big Game was in the Early '90s when the always-loathsome Dallas Cowboys were beating up on the sad-sack, lucky-to-be-there Buffalo Bills. I spent those years going to the movies during the Big Game. One year, I went to see Highlander III, which is one of the three or four worst movies I've ever paid money to see, and it was still a better option than watching the Cowboys win it all.

My only interest in the game in those years was the same as what it is this year: the vague hope that the game would be so lopsided as to erase the 49ers' humiliating 55-10 drubbing of the Denver Broncos from the record books as the most lopsided Big Game in history. And if it's going to happen, this could well be the year, as the latest cheating allegations will have the Patties right back in "Fuck the World" mode and they'll probably be trying to score on every possession mo matter how one-sided the game becomes, and the sad-sack Giants can thank the delightful ineptitude of Wade Phillips and a dumb mistake by Brett Favre for even being in the Big Game.

I'm going to predict Patriots 62, Giants 6.

And I'll read about it in the paper tomorrow to find out if I'm right, as I think we're going to see There Will be Blood this afternoon.