MIAMI — I just got here and I’m finished. I already know what will happen at the Super Bowl. I always know.
How, I hear you ask?
Simple. For sports writers — and I am sharing a trade secret here, so don’t tell anyone — every Super Bowl is the same. Every one. Identical. Day by day. Year after year. You can plug in the names and go through the exercise and nobody would know the difference.
You doubt me? Just watch. . . . TUESDAY
The day begins with a bus. You and 10,000 of your closest media pals — including seven from Belgium who think this is a bicycle race — will be taken
to stadium, site of Super Bowl, where on Sunday, the heavily favored will meet the underdog .
As you get off the bus, a cameraman will conk you in the head and say,
“Oops, sorry.” You answer, “Go it in your, you .”
After waiting an hour, the team appears on the field for interviews. The players go to signs that bear their names. Some lesser-known players will try to trick you by deliberately standing under the wrong signs. Eventually, you approach a small, thin, Colombian placekicker and say, “Excuse me . . . Bubba?”
You ask the controversial, who wears an earring and sunglasses indoors, if he enjoys being “outrageous.” answers, “I’m not outrageous. The media blow it out of proportion.” He then removes his to reveal a tattooed on his .
You are bused back to your hotel, where you flick on the TV to see someone from ESPN “SportsCenter” say, “The key to the defense is stopping the .”
You fall asleep to rock ‘n’ roll music blasting from the
(CocaCola/Budweiser/Gillette/Michelob/State Farm) Super Bowl Sock Hop, which, you swear, is taking place right outside your window. WEDNESDAY
You and 10,000 of your closest media friends — including six guys from Austria, who hope to ask players to yodel — are bused to team hotel. You are shuffled into a ballroom full of tables, where the players from sit by their name tags. That is, all except the ones who, once again, switch places, so that you approach a tall, 390-pound black man and say: “Excuse me . . . Mr. Wong?”
The star quarterback is surrounded by the biggest crowd. Someone asks about the -point spread. He says, “I have great respect for . I think is a great team.”
Later, he calls his bookie.
When the bus takes you back, you discover your lobby has been taken over by
vendors, hawking items that read: “HOW ‘BOUT THEM ???”
You reach your room in time to hear “SportsCenter” say, “The key to offense is .”
You fall asleep to country music blasting from the (Coors/ Pepsi/B.F. Goodrich/Nike/Prudential) Super Bowl Hoe Down, which, you swear, is taking place under your bed. THURSDAY
(Repeat Wednesday, but at hotel.) FRIDAY
A bus takes you and 10,000 of your media pals — including three from Sri Lanka who want to know why players shave their heads — to hotel, where, head coach of the favored, and, head coach of the underdog, hold a press conference.
At that gathering, says, “We just hope to stop their . Lemme tell ya, those are a heck of a football team.”
Next comes, who says the same thing.
As you get back on the bus, a TV cameraman conks you on the head, and says,
“Oops, sorry.” You answer, “Go it in a, you .”
The cameraman, of course, is from a “serious” news team, which has suddenly discovered controversy: a group of is protesting Super Bowl because it feels
is a violation of its . At least 100 reporters who never heard of are now experts.
You fall asleep to Dixieland Music from the (Miller Lite/ STP/Dr Pepper/Merrill Lynch/Dockers) Super Bowl Cajun Jamboree, which, you swear, is taking place inside your pillow. Saturday
You don’t get up. SUNDAY
It takes you six hours to get through your lobby, because ESPN
“SportsCenter” is broadcasting live., the ex-running back, is picking, while, the ex-quarterback, is picking . Fans wave No. 1 fingers and holler,
You take the bus to Stadium with 10,000 of your closest media friends, including seven from Sweden who think this is the Disney tour, and you reach the press box just as kicks off to, who fumbles, giving a quick 3-0 lead.
Then the team comes back with six unanswered touchdowns, and blows out by a score of . Afterward, champagne explodes in the locker room as screams,
“World champions, baby!” And across the way, in the locker room, the star is saying, “We have nothing to be of.”
You go home, and collapse.
That’s it. Same as it ever was. So I know what you’re thinking. Why bother? Why even attend a Super Bowl if you know, year after year, what’s going to happen? Why not just stay home?
What, and miss all the ?