America's favorite holiday arrives tomorrow, but it's not really a holiday. It's better.
Tomorrow, the National Football League puts on its annual championship game, the mighty Super Bowl. Across the United States, the beer will flow, and Americans will consume enormous quantities of chili, brats, frankfurters, burgers, chips, ribs, chicken wings and many more exquisite edibles normally blasted by the American Heart Association.
The first Super Bowl was played Jan. 15, 1967, and featured the National Football League champions against the old American Football League champs. The leagues merged around 1970, and so the Super Bowl became the meeting of the champions of the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.
If the stupendous world championship of American football was just now being imagined and organized, it probably would be called the Amazing Bowl. Everything – and I mean almost every dang thing – is hailed as "amazing" these days. Thank goodness the big game was created in 1967. It should be and must be the Super Bowl. No other title would fit or be fit. Yes, the title "Super Bowl" befits the greatest contest on Earth.
You might think I'm sounding a little too hyped about a game – a game in which large men continually clobber each other while trying to throw, catch or run with an egg-shaped, leather-covered ball. You might be right, but it's a wonderful day and fine excuse for me to chow down on all kinds of good grub. I'm talking about food that tastes so good to me yet is so bad for my health and welfare.
Many football fans and chowhounds go all out for Super Bowl, preparing lavish layouts of incredible edibles. I'm happy with any Super Bowl spread. After all, I'm just a retired jarhead, who will eat anything. Keep in mind that I love combat rations and mess-hall chow. If you feed me some burgers and brats and put a bottle of beer in my hand, I'm in championship heaven. Hey, pass me those chips!
Super Bowl vittles at our house tomorrow will be sweet and simple: a pot of chili, some juicy cheeseburgers, and tortilla chips with salsa con queso. The latter duo – the chips and creamy cheesiness – team up to make a dangerous concoction in my presence. I start and cannot stop, and don't even think about ragging on me for double dipping. I'm going to be probably crude and messy and make pig-like sounds. I'm apologizing in advance, OK?
For the super-lazy Super Bowl host, your Bowl buffet can be an easy thing to create. Just call Pizza Hut or call Subway or both. First, Subway offers sandwich platters and also giant subs – 3- and 6-footers. And I know you know how to order pizza. If you have a local pizzeria that delivers, call them. If not, call Pizza Hut or Papa John's or Domino's. Of course, you can bake those frozen pizzas, which are supposed to be better than delivery, but all of us pizza lovers know darn well that pizzeria pizza is the best thing ever. Yo, pass me a slice of the pepperoni and mushroom!
Some Super Bowl parties include party games and bets. The football game and the grub are certainly enough for me, but I think I'll take bets on one thing – how many times we'll hear players and game announcers use the word "execute." Each time I hear that, I envision some medieval executioner running around the football field, lopping off players' heads. Can't all those fellows give that word a rest? We have plenty of words and phrases in the English language for saying the same thing and can usually say it better.
"What are you guys going to have to do today to beat the Broncos?"
"We're going to have to execute!"
Really? That's all there is to it?
"Dan, what are the Broncos going to have to do today to beat the Seahawks?"
"Boomer, they're going to have to execute."
Well, that's all I needed to know. Say, hey, pass me that queso!