Sunday, 6 February 2011

Super Bowl Sunday

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. All of America will come to a halt. Perfectly appropriate time to take a dig at America's favourite sport.

For those unacquainted with the sporting proclivities of that great nation, you just need to know that the sport in question is American Football. Don't need to know anything more to suffer through this post.

Why this sport is called "Football" beats me. The ball does not touch the foot at all, except once in a while when a team punts (kicks the ball as high and as far as it can) as it has run out of ideas of what else to do. And they call this "Football"" and the real football "Soccer" - proof that in the land of Glen Beck and Michael Moore, logic is not a prerequisite for anything.

Be that as it may, let us turn to the protagonists. You have to be a massive hulk to play this game. Muscles bulging and refusing to remain constrained in their allotted places. And what do they do to such monuments to testosterone ? They dress such hulks in the most effeminate of trousers - tight fitting sequins that threaten to burst from the ample posteriors they are meant to contain. Its a comical sight - huge hulks with enough padding on the top half of the body to resemble a battle tank and a bottom ... ; well; lets leave it at that.

To police such fine specimens of humanity, are a few old men termed as referees. They are dressed as jailbirds - striped shirts that would not be out of place in Tihar Jail. They control the man mountains by hurling handkerchiefs to the floor - at which sight the aforesaid man mountains quiver with fright or indignation !

The game itself will be completely unintelligible to any outsider. They strike elaborate poses , with their posteriors all ensconced in the tight sequins alluded to above, and sticking out. One guy hold the ball while another stands behind him and seems to caress his ample backside. They burst into action for precisely 5 seconds. Then it all comes to a halt for the next 4 minutes. Only to start again. In that 5 seconds of action, every hulk attempts to decimate the opposite number, somewhat in the fashion of rutting bulls. They try and bury the poor soul holding the ball in at least five layers of manhood (see picture above). In the interim the coaches of both the teams walk up and down on the side trailing a veritable electronics lab , wires snaked by half a dozen orderlies.

The sight of the 5 seconds of action sends commentators to a paroxysm of emotion. They yell and scream at the historical significance of what they have just seen. Given the American propensity to numbers - they measure to the exact inch how much the ball, and each Godzilla, has moved. They argue passionately whether it was 9 yards or 10, and when its the latter, they declare it in 1300 decibels to be "down" - if you listen carefully you may hear the prefix of first !

While they do all this, all of America is glued to the telly. At the same time consuming 5 burgers, 15 sausages, 1 kilo of chips, 3 kilos of pretzels, a few gallons of beer and soda and some 1 tonne more of "food" - these statistics being per person. Its officially the second largest gastronomic day in the Northern Hemisphere, second only to Thanksgiving when in addition to all of the above, turkey is added to the menu. Now you know why you see some grossly obese on the streets of any American city.

On the telly, a few stars and many wannabe stars are strutting their stuff. Paid for by silly companies who spend 1 million dollars for a 10 second as a monument to advertising inanity. The stars try their best to exploit the opportunity by indulging in "wardrobe malfunction".

For the record, today's Superbowl is between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers. I am rooting for the Packers .........



  1. Pretty hilarious post fit for a sunday.But the food stats given by you is per person in a day?

  2. It also has brought out few good creative ads rite!
    I would also be glad, if you can write one post on how actually the game is played!
    If the stats were true, How dare Bush made allegations on us!!!
    For you, Chinaனா ஒரு கண்ல வெண்ணெய் அமெரிக்கான்னா சுண்ணாம்பு ;)
    Also visualizing You as Red Forman of That 70's show, who is a big Packer's Fan ;)

  3. ROTFL!! Hilarious post! Made my Sunday.
    I have always found those hulks funny and have never understood what they do!
    Good luck to Packers since you r backing them. I have no clue about them.

  4. I second Zeno - \\I would also be glad, if you can write one post on how actually the game is played\\

    Actually, I have been thinking of googling (for a long time) on how this game is played and what are the rules. Watched several times but could not understand how a team wins or loses. Cannot agree with you more. Each word was so fascinating to read. Request for more :) ...

    I would also back for GBP for the simple reason of staying almost 6 months in front of Lambeau Field... :)

    P.S. @ Ambulisamma - I bet the stats are per person. Isn't it Ramesh?

  5. ha ha ha... i second Gils though on the oru kannu phenomena :-)

    But the food consumption phenomena is very true. i resolved myself that when lays launched their world cup version of chips, i am not gonna get tempted and start buying all of them. and then, i have already tasted 4 of the variants... while all of them are so far absolutely useless, i am not sure it is any precedence which is gonna make me stop trying the balance left.... its just too tempting

    hilarious post... nice way to end a stressful weekend it has been for me... thanks Ramesh

  6. @sandhya madam:

    antha kamentuku sonthakaarar thiruvaalar zeeenoo..avar peria star tv fan nenakren. Athaan perlaye "zee no" nu vachirukaru.


    neenga paakatha game ethachum iruka? goli gilli lenthu super bowl sumaar bowl varaikum athanaiyum paakareeenga...america kooturavu vangi ya china kaaran take over panra varaikum news finger tipla vachirukeenga..epdinga ithelam?!!!! neenga oru jagalakalaa vallavar :)

  7. the only part of it I am plan on watching is the break - when British pop/rock act Duran Duran perform. Rumors indicate that they are slated to perform during the superbowl break.

  8. kiwibloke7/2/11

    you must write about the other game which resembles cricket on steroids! Incidentally they have something called the world series which clearly defines the American world view - USA and as a matter of consolation a couple of teams from their northern neighbour. For me bring on the real mccoy, a game called rugby! Waiting for 9th sep when they kick off 2011 WCR in Eden Park, Auckland

  9. LMAO...i never understood either, why they call it football...n their uniforms r really funny too...n ur right all those potato chips n cheese dips go with this game...reading ur post was more entertaining than watching the game...

  10. The moment I saw the title of this post, my reaction was 'Et tu Brutus!'. :D

    But after reading the post, I am giving you a high-five!

    The folks I am working with have been stocking food and snacks for past one week, as if the world is coming to an end. We had a betting sheet circulated in office yesterday, with a disclaimer that 'betting is against company's ethics'!! The guy who was explaining the phenomena to me said, "Its the greatest game in the world!" And I restrained myself from telling him that the major part of the world exists beyond the Pacific and Atlantic oceans! But I remembered the cricket frenzy in our country and let it go!

  11. Somehow given the detailed description of the men in tights and the halftime show, wardrobe malfunctions et al, I have to think that you are a closet football fan :) Btw, I think pizza is really big on Superbowl days - apparently it is one of their highest sales days - just to add to the long list of artery clogging food that you mention. What about all the ads though? That is good time pass even if you don't particular care about either team as it is for me this year.

  12. @Ambulisamma - Well, those statistics were real enough to get you to believe it ?! Not far from the truth though !!

    @Zeno - Yes, some creative ads too. I now have to wiki who Red Forman is !! No sunnambu for America. Its just that they are a sport - so can take digs at them. Chinese sensibilities would be affected if I did the same there !

    @Striver - After your time in the US, you should be a fan by now ....

    @Sandhya - Wait till the World Cup start before you attack the Lays !!!

  13. @Vishal - After so many months there you should surely have got the game ??? I knew you would be a Packers fan, as would a few others from our team of a few years back.

    @Gils - What do to Gilsu. Have taken to sports like you take to movies. Perhaps a post on kittipul (to give it its Tamil name) someday .... Much tickled and honoured by the pattam.

    @Pranav - Eeks. Don't tell that loud lest your classmates clobber you.

    @kiwi - Thought you would wax lyrical about the Packers given our mutual affinity to that town. The Rugby hulks are a long way away. Waittttttt

  14. @Rads - Watch it anyway. Complete with the chips and dips and all...

    @Deepa - High five returned.Who did you bet on ??? Hopefulyl on the Packers. Hurray; they won !

    @ J - More than a closet fan. A real fan. Not a fanatic, but I enjoy this sport too. Added Pizza to the menu. Why is it that Chicagoans are feigning disinterest (you, Pranav) ?? Just because the Bears lost ......

  15. Don't tell me you were up so early for the game!!! I wanted to congratulate u too! :)

  16. @Ramesh, That 70's show was an american sitcom about a middle class american family in Wisconsin! Ashton Kutcher shot to fame through this sitcom. He is better known as Mr. Demi Moore. Please dont tell me you need to google who Demi Moore is!;) Oh Red Forman is the father ofthe Eric Forman a leading character in the show!

  17. @Ramesh: Even though I don't follow sports closely, for me it is still the Jets, Yankees and Knicks from my days in NYC.

  18. You escaped with this post, being far away from either of the ponds around Am, as you would have been pounded to paste at the line of scrimmage for your sacrilege. LOL at zeno's comment on the butter in the eyes and Red Forman (Ha Ha Ha Ha, only that he is moderately built as opposed to your self proclaimed thin build) and second it wholeheartedly, :-) To everyone, their own. We plod with our lazy cricket, they rage with American Football. :-)

  19. Lovely post. I've never understood the game and the associated hysteria it generates in the US of A. Of course, an American could say the same about our national obssession (not referring to Sheila or Munni ;-).

  20. I used to cheer the Lions occasionally, lost in the frenzy of the local patriotism and the fun of it. Never caught on to the game seriously.
    Good to know Packers did win!

  21. @RamMmm - Can you even imagine thin skinny me being confronted by the offended sensibilities of one hulk ?? That's why I am at least 10000 miles away when I post such stuff.

    @Aashish - Actually its quite a nice sport and can be interesting to watch - rules aren't too complicated. But couldn't resist a dig .... Nice to see you hear; trust you are doing great.

  22. The Super Bowl has become one of our biggest national holidays. Its pretty amazing that an event can get so big that the commercials actually become an event in itself as well. Speaking of which, the commercials were pretty terrible this year.

    Funny observations and looking at those juxtapositions from an outside perspective, one can't help but nod in agreement at how ridiculous it all probably seems to the outside world. As far as the name, it goes back over a hundred years ago when both Association Football (soccer) and Rugby Football were popular here in the states, mainly at educational institutions.

    We morphed Rugby Football into our own brand of football and dropped the Rugby from the name as it was now something completely different. We catch a lot of flack from internationals for calling the other game soccer, but that actually comes from England itself. Before soccer became England's national past time, they too were playing both a lot of Football and Rugby Football and came up with the term Association Football to help distinguish it from Rugby. It was called Soccer (asSOCiation) for short but after it became the defacto sport, there was no need to distinguish it and it became just Football. So the next time you hear someone giving Americans flack for calling it Soccer, just remember, the English did it first.

    I'd love to take a crack at cricket right now in a turnabout is fair play dish of revenge, but honestly, I haven't a clue where to begin. I remember hearing about how passionate fans in India were for the game and thought if people could be that passionate about something then it might be interesting to learn about the game and watch it a bit. Best as I could make out was that there are a few players on the field but about a few dozen different positions they could play. I think at that point my American short attention span kicked in and I grabbed the nearest giant hamburger I could find and went back to watching genetic freaks in spandex smashing into each other.

  23. Ohhh a classify and justified American remonstrance !!Was just taking a light hearted dig - I am actually a fan of the NFL. Had no idea that the abominable term of soccer was actually an English invention.
    Yes, cricket is an easy target to rile. Its a crazy game that few can understand. Its now world cup time and this time its being held in India - everybody has gone completely bonkers !


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