Now do not get me wrong. Like any good American, I like the Superbowl. In fact, coming from an immigrant family, we somehow understood that not only did we have to LIKE the Superbowl, we had to LOOOOVE it. As in, our first year in America we were all decked out in matching red 49er t-shirts and my mom made “bean dip” which was a food substance we had never eaten before. We were very intrigued by this “bean dip” which was a three-layer dip with refried beans, guacamole, and cheese. Processed deliciousness! (I have to add that when we moved to America we all gained about twenty pounds each because, oh, silly us, we thought it was normal to eat fast food all the time, because hey! The Americans, whom we wanted to emulate, did so!)
Bean dip. Just add Fritos. (Or Fritos Scoops!)
Fortunately that was the year 1985, when Joe Montana thrillingly led the 49ers to victory. (I think I can replay that play in my head, we had a VCR and my dad watched it all the time. We always cheered every time. I dunno. It made us feel somehow, very American.)
Joe Montana. Our hero. I wish I could find the photo where my sister and I met Joe Montana at a party in San Francisco. We look like his long-lost Vietnamese children in the photo, we just look SO psyched.
From my family, which was very sports-oriented since both my dad and my brother were both athletes, I married a man who has no interest in sports at all. At first when I met my husband, I thought it was very un-American to not like sports. Like ANY sports? Not even tennis? (which is really so British!) No. Not even baseball which has a patina of nostalgia already and was a sport even nebbishy writers for the New Yorker whom I used to date liked? NO!
NO SPORTS AT ALL! AND ESPECIALLY NOT FOOTBALL!
Which was really, fine with me. Mike explained that in America, there are two camps, especially if one is male. There are the jocks. And there are the geeks. You have to choose which camp you are in. And once you are in that camp, you can never, never never , NEVER like anything that the other camp likes. It’s like the core of his identity.
The jocks like Dave Matthews, pushing people into lockers, and of course, the Superbowl.
Dave Matthews. Bleggh. I knew there was a reason I did not like him or his “music”.
The geeks like the Stars (both Wars and Trek – I love that 30 Rock joke don’t you?), heavy metal, and despise the Superbowl.
Smoke on the Water. Mike says this is “our song”. Which came from someone asking us the inane question, “Do you guys have a theme song?” As in a theme song to our lurve? Mike and I both shuddered at the cheese factor and he answered, “Sure we do. Smoke on the Water!”
Ever since then, it’s been Smoke on the Water.
I even kind of like it now.
Mike’s family has been in America since like the 1800s or something. They are from the middle of the country. They are like Chevrolet-commercial American. They’ve never even bought a Japanese car until the 90s! (And when they did it was a behemoth Sequoia, which was their “small” car since their other three cars were Suburbans.) How could they be American and not like football??? How??? Was this even allowed????
Suburbans. Huge cars. And perhaps not so bad now that all those Toyotas are being recalled, for I dunno, KILLING their drivers?
The Chevy Suburban. It’s got a lot of junk in the trunk.
I have since understood that my husband comes from the Kurt Anderson, Michael Chabon, Zach Braff’s character on Scrubs type of American male. Art rather than Sports. Museums instead of lacrosse. (For those who get the BB reference. Heh.) Conventions good. Arenas bad.
Kurt Andersen. Our hero. When I was a young writer he looked at my clips and pronounced them “very entertaining.” Yeah! Unfortunately he never did hire me to cover fashion for his website. They went under before I got the assignment. Oh well. I would love Studio 360 if I listened to Public Radio. But I do not. (I like to sing along to FloRIda instead of listen to people blather on.) But Mike listens to it and he tells me what happened. I get the Cliffs Notes version of the show.
In honor of my all-American husband, every year we still participate in the Great American Holiday. We have a party. (We do have a giant screen plasma. Some things are shared by All Americans regardless of where they stand on the Jock-Geek divide.) We invite friends over. And then we watch the Commercials. We LOVE the commercials! Superbowl commercials rule! We are quiet and pay attention during the commercials. Then when the game comes on, we mute it and we eat and talk about the AWESOME commercials.
And that, my friends is how to have an anti-Superbowl party.
Come for the beandip. Stay for the Domino’s ad.