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Jiu Jitsu Jesus Not Today Satan Shirt, hoodie, tank top
If your team wins a Super Bowl, no matter what the score, you think the game was glorious and stirring, and you tend to rhapsodize weeks, months and years after it’s over about well-executed trap blocks and timing patterns and such.
If your team loses a Super Bowl (or four), no matter what the score or how it came about, you think the game was sheer torture. You tend to wail and moan weeks, months and years later about unjust calls, bad breaks, and perfect, momentum-turning plays that could have, should have happened.
That’s the way it ought to be. Jiu Jitsu Jesus Not Today Satan Shirt, hoodie, tank top
But in those years when your boys come up short of the promised land, or if, say, you’re one of those unfortunate souls still waiting on the Seahawks or the Cards, things are less complicated.
You have 10 or 12 friends over for the game, you lay out six or seven dips, maybe some chili, drink a few beers, prop up in front of the set in one of those inflatable plastic easy chairs, and at this point, your needs are simple: A little drama, a little zip, a bit of something undecided. That’s all you want. A few lead changes, a key play turned in late in the half or the game, something pretty, or pretty bizarre, to watch. That’s all you ask.
Does the big game deliver? Um, no, not usually (but, you know, the chili’s pretty good most years, and the beer is reliable). Here’s a game-by-game breakdown, complete with a letter grade for each one and a cumulative GPA for the whole 36-year Super Bowl experiment:
Super Bowl I: Packers 35, Chiefs 10It wasn’t much of a game really, but it grades decent for four reasons: One, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt was the guy who coined the term “Super Bowl,” and his boys ended up playing in the big game with the goofy name. Two, each team used its own league ball on offense — you can’t teach, and you have to admire, that kind of petty, fourth-grade gamesmanship. Three, Bart Starr was 10-of-13 on third down, which is, I believe, a little thing we like to call “big time.” And four, and this is really the only thing worth thinking about: The star of the game, 34-year-old wide receiver Max McGee, was happily hammered and talking up a blonde less than 12 hours before kickoff, and seriously hung-over when the game began, and he still managed to run routes, get open, grab seven balls (after catching four all season) out of the air and score twice. Forget Lombardi, the trophy ought to be named for Max, because he showed us all what it is to play hard.