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Surviving the Super Bowl...


I have some really good Super Bowl memories because I was lucky enough to grow up as a Dallas Cowboys fan and in my lifetime, they’ve managed to find their way to the big game a few times.

Of course, the Cowboys have been sucking the marrow from the bone of the Loser Giraffe for the last few years, but that’s okay. I’ve managed to fill that void in my life with lesser pursuits, like having a career and spending time with friends.

Super Bowls are usually spent with the parents, so I packed up a laptop, drove down to San Antonio and sat on the couch in front of my parents’ absurdly large TV set. Rebecca joined me and we made it to the house just as my parents were arriving from a movie.

I don’t believe him for a second, but my dad says that What Women Want is fantastic.

Anyway, the game started and for the first time in several years, we had no idea who to root for. I wasn’t even sure at first who the Giants were supposed to be playing against. Does this mean I get thrown out of the Guys’ Club?

We thought about rooting for the Ravens because they have purple in their uniform only because my mother’s hometown high school football team has purple uniforms. We looked at both teams indifferently. "Should have been the Cowboys," my dad said, despondently.

We sat through the multiple opening songs ("Everybody’s gonna cry now," my Mom said when Ray Charles started with "America, The Beautiful"). I couldn’t stop laughing when the showed the Backstreet Boys with their hands on their hearts singing the National Anthem. They were the smallest men on the field, including the sign language translator and the kid holding the first-down markers. The game itself proved boring, boring, boring, exciting for about 30 seconds, then boring for another hour and a half. Rebecca and I giggled whenever they said the name, "Tiki Barber."

The CBS "Eyevision" thing, which was trying to be The Matrix in rotating the plays around, ended up looking like somebody's choppy RealPlayer movie. It looked grainy and nasty and more like "Glaucomavision."

Ray Lewis: "Give me my
MVP Award, or I'll kill you."

AP photo

The half-time show was surprisingly good, which is to say it wasn’t as gaudy and long and endless as previous years. And any half-time show with Chris Rock and Ben Stiller can't be all bad. The music, though… sigh. It was like this huge mish-mash of what MTV does worst. It was like TRL had sex with the Video Music Awards and this was their bastard offspring. With Britney Spears started singing "Walk This Way" with her boobs all hanging out, I just wanted to change the channel. And it was nice of them to give Mary J. Blige and Nelly all of 4.5 seconds to show off their talents. But like I said, it was at least mercifully short.

Was anybody else disappointed by the commercials? There were one or two clever ones, but considering I was watching the entire game mostly for the commercials, they were a bit of a letdown. The running of the squirrels was funny, and the monkey on the horse was good. But I can't remember much of anything else. Lesson: Super Bowl animal commercials are funny.

We watched Survivor right after, and it struck me that there's a contest 42 days long spread out over 13 episodes, and it manages to be more entertaining than the four hours I spent watching the Super Bowl.

I can't even remember who won. It was the Ravens, right?



My recap of the Survivor DVD is up. If you love me even a little bit, you'll go check it out. I spent about two weeks working on it, and it ended up being a 10,000-word behemoth. You don’t have to read all of it, just go check out a little bit, at least. Seriously. Lot of heart went into that.



Greg asked me to mention that he is actually using the Terribly Happy logo (the happy face) to solicit some online dating for himself on Yahoo.

I'm not sure quite what to think of that, except, "You go!" But I'm thinking it may not be exactly the guy-magnet Greg hopes, and he seems to acknowledge that: "If I really wanted a sex ad to work, I'd put in a picture of someone like, say, David Boreanaz or Chris Noth. Without a shirt," he says.

Good luck, Greg.



On the way back from San Antonio, we hit a bad rainstorm. I'm used to driving in bad weather, but this was at almost midnight and the rain was terrible. People were pulling off the highway and we could see the wind carrying sheets of rain sideways before it hit the windshield.

I kept thinking the rain would abate, but instead it just got worse and worse for a good half-hour. I slowed down to about 40 mph, and every few minutes, I'd hit a patch of water that would make that horrible cutting sound on the undercarriage. I'd grip the steering wheel, my back tensed, and ease up on the gas.

The last time I drove through rain that bad was about five or six years ago when I was dating someone long distance. I was driving over for a visit, and the rain caught me. I was afraid, maybe in the first real life-threatening danger I'd ever had in my life. I wanted to pull over and wait it out, but I thought I just wanted to get there and out of the rain. I was also afraid that if I tried to pull over, a car might not see me and would plow into me from behind. Or I'd skid out of control as I tried to get to the breakdown lane.

It was like that last night. I just kept moving forward, hands clutching the wheel, trying to see what was ahead. Every time a car would go by or a rig would flank my side, I'd tense up even more, waiting as it passed.

We were watching the Super Bowl, lounging around seeing some TV, and an hour later I'm wondering if I'll make it home.

Survival challenges come in all shapes and sizes.


Incidentally, if you're a big-shot Hollywood producer and the preceding story sounded like a compelling story of survival against adversity, feel free to contact me. I think this could be the next The Perfect Storm.

Get me Clooney. We'll make billions.



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