SUPER BOWL LVI: How it Made Me LOVE Football

Joe Burrow Forever

Football never interested me. In college the only reason I went to games was to see who was dating whom and who was drinking what.

Of the very few NFL games I’ve peeked at random parts of, all I saw were people running all over the place in every direction. I never understood football. At all. I only watched to see which team had the prettiest-colored uniforms and which guys had the prettiest legs, especially thighs.

The only reason I decided to watch Super Bowl LVI was because I’d lost track of time and missed Puppy Bowl.

The sports which always captivated me were English equestrian sports, rodeo, auto racing, parkour, and, of course, my beloved Olympics. I love all Olympic sports except for three. Stupid ribbon dancing looks to me like the chick chose the event because she was too scared of Fourth of July sparklers so she substituted safe ribbons. Plus, she wasn’t good enough for the gymnastics team, and wasn’t even picked for the baton twirler team. Synchronized swimming, to me, belongs in an Esther Williams movie. And curling I deem to be as Olympics-worthy as mopping the kitchen floor.


I never cared a fig about football. But several things won me over this Super Bowl. I watched it in its entirety, captivated every second. The camera work was outstanding. The expertly timed and perfect duration closeups and middle distance shots showed exactly what was going on. What a joy that was from the excessive long distance shots of the few games on TV I’d ever forced myself to watch.

Al Michaels’ and Cris Collinsworth’s commentating was informative and interesting – even for me! They didn’t engage in non-game-focussed, self-centered banter.


But it was the Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback, Joe Burrow #9, who clinched it for me. He’s intelligent. Outspoken. (I guess that makes me a member of the Birds of a Feather Admiration Society.  Those of you who’ve read my political Op-Eds know I am not expression-constipated.) And his athletic prowess, including his 75-yard touchdown pass, just wowed me.

Something about Joe Burrow also gripped me emotionally. I picked up on the fact that in the pre-recorded segment before the start of the game he, except for one other player, announced his high school as his alma mater instead of his college.

During a commercial break I researched why. At Athens High School in Ohio, Joe threw 63 TDs, including 6 within a 35-minute period of a single game! At Ohio State, coach Urban Meyer selected someone else as starting quarterback and mostly relegated Joe to bench- warming. Joe graduated in 3 years with one year of football eligibility remaining. Two weeks later he transferred to Louisiana State. Touché, Urban Meyer!


Reading about Urban Meyer’s snub really hurt me. Of course, I’m the type who cries when an Olympic athlete or team wins and when an Olympic athlete or team loses. My forever favorites in iceskating are the geniuses Torvill and Dean. Gold medalists of the 1984 Olympics, they got twelve perfect 6.0 scores and six 5.9s which to this day are unsurpassed in Olympic history. They hold 15 gold medals out of the 17 pair ice dancing Olympic, World, and European championships they ever entered.

At the 1994 Olympics, the wretched judges deprived Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean of the Olympic gold and insulted them with the bronze. I cried the whole weekend plus various other times when I recalled it. Why did that travesty of justice happen? The judges docked Torvill and Dean points in their faultless routine for having incorporated – in ADDITION to all the requisite elements – several super-difficult, non-requisite elements. Hello-o-o!

Back to the Super Bowl. It’s arguable that the referees were fair in calling 3 penalties against the Bengals in the last two minutes of the game, penalties which substantially helped the Los Angeles Rams get closer to the end zone. On top of that, on the first of those 3 calls, several L.A. Rams false-started yet they were never penalized. One minute and 25 seconds before the end, Matthew Stafford passed to Cooper Kupp who made the final touchdown. Yes. I cried.

Congratulations to the Rams. Joe Burrow and your valiant teammates, I hope you win Super Bowl rings next year and many years thereafter. I wish it with all my heart.

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