Super Bowl 101
by Patricia Draznin

Inspired by television’s most exciting professional sporting event besides Fear Factor, we now consider the fast and physical game of football whose annual championship showdown waggles our passion for teamwork, competition, and the 2006 Cadillac Escalade.                                         

Which brings us to the history of football. Football, which barely involves any feet, evolved from the game of soccer, which involves both feet. It all began in 19th century England when a soccer player whose name escapes me decided to grab the ball and run, thereby inventing “Rugby” and “Cheating.” Eventually, Rugby (and Cheating) migrated to America where, in the spirit of 1776, we changed the rules and squished their perfectly round British ball into the shape of an eyeball. And called it football since National Eyeball League doesn’t have the same ring.

Which brings us to the televised game we see today. Football consists of four 15-minute quarters, which by all the laws of mathematics should add up to 60 minutes. But at the Super Bowl, 60 minutes barely takes us through The Star Spangled Banner. By the time the game has been played and the champions are sucking champagne through their masks, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy has been bumped clear into Monday.

Whatever the length, the adrenalin runs high as 80 million viewers watch the historic multi-billion dollar event, launched by the toss of a fake coin. Next comes the kickoff, followed by passing, blocking, tackling, huddling (my favorite), kicking, biting, whining, and bleeding, the object being to score a touchdown by getting the ball all the way down to the endzone before the Bud Lite ad.

Which brings us to our favorite part of the column, where Oh Zone commissioners are standing by for your penetrating questions on sports:

Q: What are the qualifications for playing pro football?
A: A professional football player must have strength and endurance and be able to run in slow motion. He should also understand all the rules of tax shelters.

Q: Do players get hurt?
A: Yes. Players are required to have at least one broken limb.

Q: Please explain “downs”.
A: The offense gets 4 downs to gain 10 yards. If they gain 10 yards in less than 4 downs, they get a 1st down and another 4 downs to gain another 10 yards. We don’t understand this either.

Q: Who decides where the Super Bowl is played?
A: The Super Bowl location is selected years in advance—and 2009 is still up for grabs. If your city, suburb, village or depot qualifies to host this event, apply pronto to the NFL Super Bowl Advisory Committee who will select the best location after reviewing all of the applications. And tossing a fake coin.

Copyright 2006 Patricia Draznin


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