Completely by accident, I seem to have found myself in the middle of a Super Bowl. I don't have a problem with this competition; I just have a problem with it being so close to my house. Being a snooty European, I have almost no interest in American football, but nevertheless as an Indianapolis resident, it’s difficult to avoid the carnival atmosphere that has begun to pervade "Nap Town." If nothing else, the presence of a national event such as the Super Bowl seems as good a way as any to trick a Republican Mayor to spend public funds repairing the infrastructure of the city he’s supposed to be governing. Still, for all its benefits, the Super Bowl is an inconvenience.
The game is still a week away and the "Super Bowl Village" has opened its doors, turning the downtown into an NFL-themed shindig . So far, the streets have mainly been filled with other Mid-westerners, at least judging by their logo-bedecked sportswear. Those East Coast elites will no doubt only arrive once the game is at hand and are right now plotting their assault on the Heartland. I was short-sighted enough to live within about ten blocks of the Indianapolis Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium where the game will be held, so I am preparing to ensconce myself in the oubliette of my apartment until the whole furor is over. Unfortunately, my office is even closer to the stadium than my apartment and my walk to work is becoming increasingly difficult. So far, I’ve already had to negotiate a street filled with Indy Cars bearing the livery of the NFL teams plus the many, many articulated trucks Jimmy Fallon seems to require to host his television show outside New York.
Before moving to the U.S., I once tried to watch the Super Bowl when it was broadcast on the BBC. As it turned out, fate was against me; the game was broadcast live which meant the coverage began around 2:00 a.m. and went on through the night. Not to be deterred, my brother set the VHS recorder and the next day we sat down to observe this most sacred event. After perhaps an hour and a half, I abandoned the endeavour after the third time Will Smith appeared to tell me how excited he was that the Philadelphian team had earned a place in the competition. I am sure the eventual contest was an exciting spectacle, but since my brother refused to fast-forward to the actual game, I just didn’t have the patience to wait around and find out.
The numerous hooligans and roustabouts from New England and New York have begun their journey westward, following in the footsteps of their ancestors setting out for adventure and the Brave New World today known as the Real America. The city will be rapidly filled to bursting, making the entire downtown completely unnavigable. At least we can hope that this particular migration can be achieved without the ethnic cleansing precipitated the last time large numbers of East Coast Americans travelled into the West.
I'm sure the Super Bowl is a lot of fun if you're a fan of the sport and you don't have to live next door to one. I realize I'm in the minority, as I've no doubt you'll all remind me in the comments. But, can't the Super Bowl just be a bit quieter?
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons