Can I tell you how weird it feels to watch the Super Bowl while I’m wearing a halter top? All of the other Super Bowls I’ve watched, I’ve been wrapped up in jeans and sweaters, dusted off snowflakes from a fleece scarf, and hung my gloves up to dry or stuffed them into my down parka from the back of a chair in a dark bar.
But not yesterday. And for nearly every minute, every Length-of-an-Eternity Football Minute, I couldn’t quite get over the fact that I was sitting in a TGIFriday’s in sandals and a halter top, sipping a margarita, and speaking Portuguese, in the largest mall in South America, on the biggest sports night of the year. People, it’s summer here. And it was Super Bowl Sunday last night. There were no wings, there were no clusters around a small television at a friend’s house, no kicking back and putting feet up on a coffee table. And the worst part, oh, the terror of the evening, the utter horror of the entire event: no commercials.
No commercials! That’s the whole reason I watch the Super Bowl. I know absolutely no good stories, no inside commercial jokes, nothing even remotely funny about what happened last night, other than Prince’s do-rag. But Budweiser commercials? No idea. Mac commercials? Haven’t a clue. So sad. So, so sad. It’s almost like it never happened. Is the Super Bowl real if there are no commercials? If there’s no American beer?
But there were football fans at the bar, which I think is the only bar around here that serves Mexican food, or Mexican-inspired food. (It’s called “Southwest” cuisine. But really, it should be “Northwest,” shouldn’t it? Since Mexico is to the north and the west from here?) The fans, a loud gaggle of boys and men who sat at a long table facing the huge screen TV mounted on the wall, yelled “De-fense! (clap, clap) De-fense! (clap-clap) De-fense!” as if they were at the game itself. They reminded me of what we, as middle schoolers, used to yell at our dinky basketball games to show support for our team.
And so, during “Purple Rain,” I stood up to leave, after downing a margarita and a plate of individually decorated nachos. I took myself, my sandals, my halter top, and my complete disbelief that any of this was happening, out of the bar and into my home where I forgot about everything because I knew I wouldn’t need to talk about “The Game” the next day. And the thing is, I still don’t know who won.