Sports commentary: The Lost Weekend

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This Super Bowl was a dud

By Mike Forster


Why can't we point out the obvious?

That was a bad Super Bowl.

Unless you're a die-hard Seahawks fan, have a burning hatred of the Broncos or had a wad of cash riding on a Seattle win, there was little to like about Sunday's Super Bowl.

It got so bad that the wife and I actually started switching between the game and a flick on Turner Classic Movies.

The movie was "The Lost Weekend."  It's a beaut, starring Ray Miland as a drunk who is out on a life-altering toot.

During his weekend, the protagonist falls down a flight of stairs, gets beaten up, steals, lies, is committed to an asylum, escapes said asylum, contemplates suicide and realizes his life has been a mess.

Fans of the Broncos likely would have found the movie to be a refreshing alternative to what they endured on Sunday.

Another thing I can't understand is the reticence to criticize the play of Bronco quarterback Peyton Manning.

The television announcers (Joe Buck and Troy Aikman) kept talking about what a class act Manning is, how he's been the league MVP five times and how much of an impact he's made on the sport.

I certainly wouldn't dispute any of that.  What was not being pointed out, however, was that the man was simply having a bad day at the office.

That's not to say he's a bad player or a bad person.  He's an excellent player: a first-vote Hall of Famer. I'm sure he's a top-rate bloke, too.  At least he seems to be in his ads for Papa John's, Buick and MasterCard.

Perhaps the announcers were concerned they might bring down the wrath of the Manning dynasty.

When a family (such as the Mannings) is ensconced in a luxury suite at the Super Bowl (which they were), while the commissioner of the NFL sits outside among the rabble, you know said family wields much power.

But enough about the Manning crew.  

My brother-in-law, Andy, pointed out that this year's  experience harkened back to Super Bowls of the 1980s.  Not only were there plenty of commercials shown Sunday night which were nostalgic for the 80s, the play on the field was similar.

Back then, there were plenty of blowouts.  In fact, over the entire course of that decade, there were only two close Super Bowl games.  Both of those, by the way were wins by the San Francisco 49ers.

What Andy didn't point out, much to my relief, was that the string of lousy Super Bowls extended into the early 1990s.

That's when my Buffalo Bills lost four in a row.  Two of those losses came to my brother-in-law's Dallas Cowboys.

Now, you're probably thinking, "What were you doing, marrying into a family that had Dallas Cowboy fans?"

Good question.  First, I married into the family first.  The wife's family came from Baltimore, and none were fans of the Cowboys.  Andy came along later.  True, I didn't do a good job of vetting his candidacy, wanting to weed out Cowboy (and St. Louis Cardinal) fans and the like.

Of course, I wouldn't have gotten a vote anyway, as the wife's sister seemed pretty set on marrying the guy.

To his credit, not once has Andy ever pointed out those two Super Bowl wins by his team over mine.  So, he turned out to be a pretty good guy, even though his loyalties are misdirected (when it comes to football, anyway).

Let's hope that his observation about a return to blow-out Super Bowls doesn't come to pass.  There was little about the 1980s worth bringing back (with the exceptions of ALF, Mister T, McGyver, A Flock of Seagulls and Billy Idol).

  I'd like nothing more than to see competitive games on future Super Sundays.  A spread including wings, roasted olives, pub cheese and salsa (among others) merits good football.

When it comes to lost weekends, I can handle depressing movies. 

It's depressing football that I cannot take.