For the second time in my life, I watched the Super Bowl in a foreign country. The first time was in 2006, when we splurged for a hotel room with a television in Thailand… I woke up around 6 A.M., opened the beer I had by my bedside, and proceeded to watch the worst football game I’d ever seen (Steelers/Seahawks). The only interesting thing was being able to watch it on a Thai channel… not only was it fun to listen to the Thai commentary chatter on, but there were no commercials. Literally. So during the huge breaks when I would have been seeing Pepsi or Ford ads, I instead got to watch the players interact with coaches, trainers, etc. For someone used to seeing as little of the game as the television networks can get away with, it was quite interesting.
I thought that my impending departure would will the Bears into the Super Bowl… that my missing the experience of the game in Chicago would be enough to push them over the top. Alas, it was not to be (thanks, Todd Collins). At least, I would be spared the throngs of Packers fans that undoubtedly infected Chicago’s bars.
Think again… the expat bar where I watched the game had at least twice as many Packers fans as Steelers fans. I mean, I understand that nobody with a choice would stay in Wisconsin if they didn’t have to, but is there nowhere in the world where one can escape the most annoying fan base in football?
From my friend The Dilemma, I learned that I was lucky not to be in America. There are some significant benefits to watching the Super Bowl in a foreign country. First of all, there’s no pre-game hype… the only time I ever heard about the Super Bowl was when I was asking around about the best place to watch it. Secondly, the pre-game show was in Spanish, and was only about a half-hour long. Until Xtina came out to sing the National Anthem, I couldn’t understand a word… bliss.
Unfortunately, I quickly realized that Joe Theismann was the color man for ESPN International, so the bliss ended.
As the second quarter drew to an end, a cheesehead trixie in a Driver jersey excitedly turned to us and said, “The Packers and the Black Eyed Peas in the same game… this is the best!” I took that as my sign to head outside for a long smoke. As I watched her jump up and down to some horrible song or another through the window, I knew I had made the right decision. Plus, while Ecuador’s internet isn’t bad, it doesn’t have the capability of streaming (at least not without massive pauses) so I’ll never have to see Slash break my heart. And I had the pleasure of watching the Super Bowl like it was an actual football game… no hype, no overblown ads, no Ronald Reagan tribute (for some reason, America didn’t want the rest of the world to know about that travesty).
Now to the game… I’ve been racking my brain, but I can’t think of a luckier Super Bowl champion than the Packers. Maybe the first Patriots team, because of the Tuck Rule Game. After blowing the overrated Falcons out of their building, each of the Packers last three games came down to a last-minute interception. First, Michael Vick takes a retarded risk and gets picked in the end-zone. Then, Mike Martz pisses away a third-down on a gimmicky play, and Caleb Hanie is forced to throw the ball up for grabs. Finally, Ben the Rapist throws his billionth bad ball of the game… I know it wasn’t technically an interception, but it might as well have been.
I’m glad I can get the American media on the internet, though, to remind me that every Super Bowl winner is the greatest team of the year, with the heart of a champion and the soul of a poet. However, this Packers team also had a complete inability to put teams away and won this one by the skin of their teeth… they should send Roethlisberger a nice bouquet from FruitFlowers. Congrats to them, I guess… I hope their plane crashes.