by Ken Carman
Listen to Ken on The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima, weekday mornings from 6 am-10 am
Over the years, a person starts to develop certain thoughts and ideas that can be affected over time.
I think differently about a lot of things at my age now, versus when I was 20. As things change, one must re-evaluate perceptions and opinion, so not to be left behind by the modern age. A different level of perspective through generations is critical for a society to thrive.
There are some things, though, that leave a person frustrated. As our lives and society changes, there are certain mainstays that create bitterness.
One of those mainstays is the Super Bowl.
I hate the Super Bowl.
I tried to like it. I tried to be hyped up about the pageantry of it. The pomp and circumstance marches of the festivities it presents.
The Super Bowl sucks.
This is no hot take. This is the jaded view of someone who has never, in any way, truly been able to enjoy it. I’ve never been able to root for my favorite team in it. I’ve never really been that close to doing so. I have to pull against a team for whatever bitter reason I’ve conjured up in the essence of being jealous over that team’s success.
I don’t live in a city that will ever host one. I’ve never been to a Super Bowl to take part in any festivities. I have always had something important to do the next morning so partying has always been out of the question. I grow tired of the forced story lines and the – seemingly – week long press conferences. And, that week of radio, absolutely sucks.
Let’s start with my jaded view. Let’s start when I was a kid.
I didn’t hate John Elway because of the drive. I hated John Elway because I loved Dan Marino and thought that he was better, and it boiled my guts to see him up there holding the Lombardi trophy. Going back even further, I hated Barry Switzer for taking Jimmy Johnson’s job (these are all the beliefs of a very young Ken, even though a lot of this has been proven different since).
I couldn’t stand Jerry Jones trying to take credit for Jimmy’s team, and I couldn’t stand the Cowboys winning ANOTHER Super Bowl. But I couldn’t root for anyone in that Super Bowl because, of course, the Cowboys played the Steelers. My white trash side of the family, with their pajama pants, and Pall Malls and Mark Malone jerseys hooting and hollering and belching.
Fast forward, it’s the same. My team is nowhere near it, the Steelers are still always close, and I’ve gotten tired of reading and hearing about Deflategate.
Speaking of Deflategate, the forced story lines. It’ll be awkward when Roger Goodell hands Tom Brady the trophy, but the 44 million dollars that Goodell makes this year, really takes the edge off. You could strip away my clothes like Ace Ventura and Lois Einhorn (Finkle) at the 50-yard line, and I still wouldn’t feel awkward if you were paying me 44 million dollars for a year of work.
It’s not overblown. New England fans love Tom, and their owner, (even though he tried to make a corrupt bargain to clear his QB and end the tumult) so they have reason to be angry. But I, as an outsider, have reason to be bored.
When I tune into Super Bowl coverage against my will, I also love how I’m forced to see people laughing and having a great time.
Kicking contests and arcades look awesome. Then I get to look out my window and see eight inches of snow to start a month where the high barely makes it into the single digits. Man, this week is AWESOME! Two teams I really don’t care about – one of those teams constantly shoving down my throat that they’re basically made of the cast-offs of a 1-15 football team – playing in a city that I’ve never been to and will probably never get to visit … and all of these “fans” (kids of filthy rich corporate sponsors) are playing catch with Steve Young, and getting to throw to Michael Irvin while I (you) shovel snow, stare at common core math in front of my kid like I’m trying to decipher code from the Zodiac Killer, and listen to the neighbor bitch about the plow trucks on his curb, and hear Jen in accounting ask me “How about this weather eh?!”
GREAT, MAN. GIVE ME MORE SUPER BOWL!
Again, back to being a fan. It’s got to be just awesome this time of year. Your favorite basketball team is still good (the one good thing about being out of January), but we get to discuss trading for the backup quarterback of a team that’s playing in the Super Bowl, then drafting another kid high because the quarterback we drafted just three years ago got loaded and is now on a vision quest. And, to top it off, the last 20 years has made us so crazy that the prospect of drafting 14 offensive linemen this season, and 14 QBs next season, doesn’t seem like such a terrible idea anymore.
Oh, New England fans have to watch Roger Goodell and get mad again?
Yeah, Browns fans have to listen to Alex Mack not just talk about loving it in Atlanta, but that he was also kicking and screaming to head to Jacksonville two years ago, too! Oh, and I can’t even blame him because he was still two GM’s and head coaches away from being able to take off.
Yes, my friends. I hate the Super Bowl.
But that’s not even the worst. The worst isn’t even the game, that’s actually tolerable. It’s not even the things I just complained about. Or the bitterness. Or the weather. Or even checking the window during the first half of the game thinking that the Publishers Clearinghouse van was going to pull up the house at halftime. It’s not any of those things. Nope.
The worst part of the Super Bowl is Radio Row.
Before, I just wrote like a fan. Now (if you’re still even here), you can read it from a radio dummy’s perspective.
Radio Row at the Super Bowl is the worst week of radio in the year. My friends in sports radio don’t want me to admit that to you, but you know it’s true.
Imagine, won’t you? A sea of really fat bald guys with goatees, wearing jean shorts, Air Monarchs, and free polo shirts from golf courses and other events that they “covered” that are at least two sizes too small. There’s your radio row.
We act like it’s the biggest deal in the world, and you want to know why? Because it’s a paid vacation. Free crap, and a media pass to “cover” the biggest sporting event in the world. It’s a radio guy’s dream, and it comes at the cost of … you.
Sure there are some shows at the Super Bowl that might be pretty good. I wouldn’t know. I refuse to listen this week.
Most of it is a non-stop parade of interviews with “Hey, Remember This Guy Who Played a Few Seasons For Someone Else’s Favorite Team” and he’s presented by “Something That Really Sounds Like A Pyramid Scheme.” That’s Marconi stuff right there.
Every crappy show is the same: Where we ate last night – a place that you’ll never eat at. Interview. What other show that you have never heard of that we played grab ass with. Interview. What we’re going to do tonight. Interview. What are we about to eat? Interview. Food. Interview. An anecdote about Warren Sapp that might be good. Interview. Another interview. All going through the motions. Sorry, I just can’t stand it. I know that we certainly don’t hit it out of the park every day, but at least there’s an effort.
Granted, you probably don’t care about that last part, because you have more important things to think about, but I just thought you should know. Radio Row shows at the Super Bowl are the worst of them all. I’ll get some nasty texts about that, but deep down those who send them to me know it, too.
I hope all this changes. Someday the Browns might be there, and hopefully I’ll get to go, and I’ll get to experience it.
We’ll talk to some of the legends that once made the organization great during the week. The game will play out and maybe I’ll finally get what it’s all about.
Until then though, I’m completely, 100% jaded.
From the squares all the way up through the pre-game, I hate the Super Bowl.