I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to Super Bowl XLVIII (48 for non-Romans). And not just for the food and $4 million commercials.
I enjoy watching a well-played tussle on the gridiron, having grown up with football fan din playing like a theme song in the background of every weekend at home from September to Super Bowl Sunday. Dad was a fan, and I was Dad's fan, so we watched and commentated games together.
I know who the supposed favorite is according to reputable talking sport heads, but the Hawks are due, and that's my prediction. With the top offense playing the top defense, it should be an epic game either way.
There's been a lot of yammer about playing this year's game outdoors in New York (New Jersey?) during one of the coldest and snowiest winters the Northeast has seen in decades. They'd even considered moving the game to a different day or time because of weather and safety concerns. Nevertheless, on ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning Show," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "We're pretty comfortable we'll be playing at 6:30 on Sunday night."
Heck, watching players slip and slop in the snow and mud used to be a regular benefit of watching football when I was a kid. With highs now expected to climb into the mid 30s, peddlers may be hawking snow cones and battery-operated fans.
Now, I hate to throw a monkey wrench into an overtly festive occasion such as this, but a potential glitch lurks that I think most pundits have overlooked. This is the only Super Bowl in history to land on Groundhog Day, and everyone's acting like it's no big deal. Before you shake your head and make for the kitchen to begin prepping weenie wraps, hear me out. Who really knows what freakish weather phenomena the linking of these two momentous occasions could unleash, in one of the coldest winters? In New York? Or is it New Jersey?
What if Staten Island Chuck, aka Charles G. Hogg, Staten Island Zoo's groundhog prognosticator of early spring or longer winter, resents having his thunder stolen? I don't think groundhogs seem particularly amiable in the first place. I'm sure former NYC Mayor Bloomberg would agree with me after Chuck chomped into his finger a few years ago when he awakened the rodent unawares. Charles G. Hogg may locate his shadow, point to it, and make a beeline to his box for spite, thereby dooming us to six more weeks of extra cold winter weather beginning with Super Bowl Sunday. A blizzard may ensue causing Peyton Manning to see his shadow in the snow and head for the locker room, ushering forth six more weeks of football. I sense a mix of groans and cheers.
It is possible that those in charge could placate Chuck by allowing him to sub for one of the team mascots? The Denver Groundhogs, for instance. Or, to be fair, the Seattle Hogs. Or perhaps cuddling by the cheer squad might do the trick. I'm just saying we should prepare for the worst so we don't get caught unawares like that poor sideline reporter gal when she handed the mic to Sherman. Please, no emails. I know it was too much Gatorade.
Then there's another possibility I'm almost too afraid to mention, and that's the possibility that the game will play over and over and over and over, until Sherman learns how to behave with a mic in his hands. Stop, I'm kidding. Read this: http://bit.ly/1bC9zZi
Everyone play nicely, and Chuck, Phil and all you rodent meteorological types, get out there and lose your shadows so we can thaw everyone out and "play ball!"
Peggy Dover is a freelance writer who works from a 1900 farmhouse in Eagle Point. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.