Let me first start by saying I am not a fan of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. That isn’t to say that I don’t think he is a talented, well-rounded athlete who occasionally makes me chuckle when he is on one of those cell phone commercials. I just get a little annoyed when the press carries on about what an amazing player he is and that he can do no wrong. He is the Derek Jeter of football, only not as outwardly metrosexual (funny, Microsoft Word does not recognize that word, indicated with the squiggly red line beneath it.) I can also say that I am not a Bears fan, due to the trouncing that they gave my home team, the New England Patriots, in the mid ‘80s. But since my girlfriend lives in Chicago and the Colts knocked the Pats out of the playoffs this year, I was leaning towards the lesser of two evils, the Bears. This pretty much laid the groundwork for a game that I would not be paying attention to.
Usually when I watch the Super Bowl, I like to watch it with people that are into the game, will keep the conversations to a non-distracting level, and like to pay attention to the commercials. This year, it was my turn to be the guy who talked over every other play and distracted interested spectators. Our location: Tony Smith’s house. The Clermont/Groveland/Wakeboard Camp crew rolled over to the other side of Orlando right around the end of the first quarter, the first sign that the five of us were not there for the game specifically, but more for the gathering. As we walked in, right there on Tony’s floor and couch were pieces of wakeboarding history, in the form of Chase Heavener, Matt Staker, Lauren Loe, and, joining us later, Jeff McKee.
As we arrived, Aaron Reed, Trevor Hansen and I headed right over to the Man Food that had been prepared for game. Man Food is just what it sounds like — hotdogs, queso dip with sausage, sloppy Joe’s, chili, chips, dip, and of course some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that Aaron had brought over. Not usually a Super Bowl party staple, especially at one with only a 10% female presence, but they were a big hit, and everyone was quite complimentary of Aaron’s baking skills.
Now that I think about it, the homemade cookies were a euphemism of sorts for this year’s whole experience, in other words, not that manly. It seemed like every other Super Bowl commercial had some sort of ambiguous male sexual reference. I have spent the last few days trying to forget about the one where a crazed assembly of men strip down and dance against a car that the consumer world is now supposed to want. I don’t know how effective it was considering that I can’t remember what brand it was. I was told there was commercial that recreated the spaghetti scene from The Lady and the Tramp, but again with two men. This was combined with Prince as the halftime show. Prince. Super Bowl halftime show … Purple Rain. Did I miss something? I would have given anything to be a fly on the wall at a Super Bowl party in Kentucky or even Northern Florida during that performance. I can picture that party coming to a screeching silence, beers half raised to mouths, mid-crunch of a tortilla chip, someone’s glass hitting the ground. Man, that would be a sight to see.
I would like to give Jeff McKee the award for “Caring the Least About the Game”. It was a tough field of nominees, but he beat out Aaron “What Period Are They In?” Reed, Bo “Anyone Wanna’ Go Have a Cigarette?” Burton, and Robert “I’m Just Here To Be the Sober Driver and Not Say Anything” Sichel. Jeff and his girlfriend were there for a little under 25 minutes, or two hotdogs and a beer, whichever came first.
Mad props and big-ups to Tony for hosting a lovely party. I won some money, got to see some of the funnier people I know, and take part in the new yearly tradition of packing Tony’s house full of people. So let me speak for him and say that everyone who reads this magazine is invited to the Alliance Super Bowl party next year, please don’t bring any food (we didn’t, minus the cookies), and don’t take your shoes off when you walk in.