Saturday, February 6, 2016

Still Life With Robin: Can It Be Super Sunday Without Football?

Photo by Matthew Roth, via Wikimedia Creative Commons
By Peggy Robin

I am one of small, and possibly despised minority of people who never watch football, and for people like me, Sunday’s Superbowl is both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to avoid sounding like a visitor from another planet when other people are excitedly discussing this all-but-obligatory annual rite. The opportunity is to find something to do on Sunday evening when everybody else in America is glued to the TV.

The challenge, I have discovered, can be remedied fairly quickly by memorizing a few boring but essential things to know, found on a website appropriately titled, “Super Bowl 50: Everything you need to know about the NFL's biggest game” ( Relying on this site, I have memorized the names of the two teams, and where they’re from, and who their quarterbacks are. (I have not, however, bothered to learn what a quarterback does; that's a bit beyond my grasp.) One of the things I have found of interest is that while this is the fiftieth one of these things, it’s the first one to ditch the use of Roman numerals. ( Now that’s a bit of football trivia I can get worked up about! I learned my Roman numerals back in fourth grade, and I’m still pretty good at reading them. Here’s the one football-related skill I possess, and that's the one thing they take away!

On to my next point – the opportunity to do something else on Sunday at 6:30 pm that might be difficult otherwise. My best suggestion is to take the opportunity to go out to one of those hot new restaurants where you might ordinarily need to make a reservation a week in advance, or wait in a long line. I’ve heard Convivial ( is trendy right now – and you can still get a reservation on Sunday. Bad Saint ( is another one that’s getting a ton of buzz – and they don’t take reservations, so you can expect to wait in line. I bet that wait will be a lot shorter on Superbowl Sunday than on all the other Sundays in the near future.

Another thing to consider is making Sunday night into a movie night. Here’s your chance to see something new, something that usually is packing ’em in, but you won’t need to pay extra to get your tickets online, or worry that the show will be sold out or that you’ll end up with a bad seat; you can just go and know the Sunday evening show won’t be crowded. Might be the best time to see “Hail Caesar.” (

My final suggestion: Go ahead and watch the game, even if you don’t like football. Think that doesn’t make sense? It does, if you watch everything about the Super Bowl EXCEPT the actual game. Here’s how to work it: Start taping it at 6:30, and somewhere around 8:30 or 9 pm, start running the tape. Skip over all the play and watch each commercial. Super Bowl commercials are always more creative than normal commercials, and they’re often hilarious. Skip from commercial to commercial, until you come to the half-time show. It’s Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Cold Play – not bad! Go on to the next commercial. By the time you’ve gone through all the commercials in the second half, you should just be coming up on the last few minutes of the game.  Watch the very end and see who wins, in real time.

With any of the above strategies you should enjoy your evening, and when you arrive at work on Monday will still be able to take part in conversation with your co-workers in an acceptably collegial way.


Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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