February 08, 2005

Super Bowl & Mardi Gras

Another competitive Super Bowl, making three close games in the past four years (and four in the past six if you include the Rams win, though my Nashville brethren don't like to be reminded of it). To me, this year's game, while close, wasn't really remarkable. There were some spectacular catches, TO lived up to the hype, and the defenses stepped up huge, but all in all, it was a pretty underwhelming night. Meagan stopped watching at 10 so she could catch a Desperate Housewives rerun (in her defense, she hadn't seen it, plus that act TOTALLY justifies having a TV in the bedroom). Even the commercials this year were underwhelming.

But who's surprised? If we wanted a shoot-out, we should've hoped for a Colts - Rams Super Bowl. FCC backlash caused FOX to choose a legend who would draw more attention with his music than with his nipples and could still pull off a decent halftime show. And with the endless, meandering, pedantic media attention, I think we were sick of the Super Bowl before it even started. This is my one gripe with the Super Bowl -- two weeks between the Championships and the big game. Not that it's bad for the players, persay, but I think fans have a rhythm set up during the football season.

Sunday: Watch games. Best day of the week.
Monday: Talk about games with buddies.
Tuesday: Do some work. Make your boss happy.
Wednesday: Wrap up the work week. C'mon -- your boss does the same thing.
Thursday: Analyze injuries, weather, and check fantasy team(s).
Friday: Get excited about college games. Buy groceries for Sunday.
Saturday: Watch college games. Replace groceries for Sunday you ate while watching college games.

Rinse and repeat. However, with two weeks to prepare (and no college football), the schedule is thrown out of whack. Indeed, some fans were found on their couches on the Sunday between games watching only reports of what TO was wearing and the Pats' construction of a Freddie Mitchell Voo-Doo Doll. More shockingly, though -- rumor has that some people were actually working on Thursday, though these reports have yet to be confirmed.

Before this turns into an all-out humor column (too late!), let me just say that the season was a disappointment for a lot of teams, but honestly, what season isn't? Only one team is truly happy at the end of each season, anyway. Thirty-one cities hoist the battle-cry, "Wait til next year!" and the team that waited the best gets the parade. Congrats to New England, to their fans and players, for a great season. To the other teams, congrats on a great season, and we'll keep waiting.

On a serious note, today is Mardi Gras. Very rarely is that a serious note to anyone but those who take it seriously, and no one takes it more seriously than New Orleans citizens. It's a time to celebrate and let off a little steam, but this years dubloons have lost a hint of their luster. One year ago, ironically to the day, a great New Orleans citizen, James O'Neill, my grandfather, passed away. He was a man that you never saw without a smile on his face, someone who always had a joke you laughed at, even you've heard it from him before. He was a man that undoubtedly lived a full life, but always wanted more. His dream was to go skydiving on his 80th birthday, just as he had when he served in World War II and earned a Purple Heart amongst many other medals.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with him a couple summers ago, and it was a week I won't forget. It was before the cancer came back, and he was in great spirits, going golfing with us and taking us to parties around Aspen the like of which we'd never been to. His father was a baseball player, and I won't forget the look in his eyes when he saw me hit two long home runs at a softball game (which was heavily aided by the thin air). Having to say good-bye a to loved one is never easy, but I think that that week was far better than I could've ever hoped for.

Mardi Gras is to be celebrated, for sure. If you're fortunate enough to be in New Orleans, or Mobile, or anywhere with a celebration or parade, do not miss it. Go there with loved ones, and stand with each other as you scream to revelers and bead-throwers.

"Throw me something, mistah!"

Tell 'em to save one for Jim, too.


Post a Comment

<< Home