Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Bowl Observations, and a Bold Prediction Regarding its Outcome

As many of you might be aware, there is a big professional sporting event being held in Tampa Florida this weekend, on "Super Bowl Sunday." Of course the event is known as "The Super Bowl," in which two teams of padded, sweaty men with brain problems meet on the field of battle, to throw their balls around and hit one another. It is the most popular time of the year for professional sporting enthusiasts, of which I number myself as, if not the greatest enthusiast of all, then certainly in the top 50 or 60 thousand. In fact, I am so excited about the Arizona team's appearance in this event that I often have trouble forming proper sentences.

That is why I was particularly inspired by this story of a sign created by something called The Tampa Downtown Partnership, which featured the grammatically incorrect message "Welcome to Downtown Tampa: There's so many reasons to love it." The error wasn't caught until the sign was already hung at a place of honor at Franklin and Platt streets near Channelside Drive (oh, how well I know the area!), and so

Super Bowl visitors heading downtown next week will be greeted by this grammatically correct message: "Welcome to Downtown Tampa … so many reasons to love it."
Christine Burdick, president of the partnership, said this week that the group ultimately decided to retrofit it with grammatically correct wording.

(Obviously I don't need to point out to my readers that the "corrected" sign is still grammatically incorrect- just look at that glaring use of the subjunctive! But, alas, no one can be as smart as me and my readers, so let's just keep this to ourselves, okay?)

Problem solved, and now we can move beyond the painful distraction of "grammargate" and get down to the nitty gritty of deciding which team of large, sweaty men will complete the most "scoring drives" to deliver the "W" ("win").

First of all, I think it's safe to say that we're all going to be winners, thanks to the National Football League's (the group sponsoring the sporting event) decision to have a "green" Super Bowl.

In order to offset the game’s carbon impact, the NFL (with help from the U.S. Forest Service and the Florida Division of Forestry) is planting 2,700 trees at a dozen sites in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
Leftover prepared food will also be donated to local charities and churches. Building materials, decoration, office equipment and supplies used to prepare for the game will also be donated to nonprofits to use or sell for cash.

Planting some trees and giving poor people trash to eat is a very good thing, indeed.

Now, on to some slightly more serious matters: The game between the Arizona footballers, and their Pennsylvania counterparts. First of all, the Pennsylvania team, "The Steelers," has a long Super Bowl tradition, having won several already. The Arizona team, "Cardinals," have never appeared in "the big game" before. So on the surface, it would appear that the Pennsylvanians have the advantage. However, past performance is no indicator of future performance, so I think it's fair to say that tradition will have little impact on this game. Advantage: Neither team.

It is my understanding that football games can end in a tie score, and I think it's entirely possible that this game will end in that way. (According to the list I've linked to above, it appears that both the Pennsylvania and Arizona teams have each been involved in two tie games in their histories. But, as I've already said, past performance is not indicator.) However, the football league has a rule that makes it very difficult for "playoff" or "Super Bowl" games to end in a tie, so that seems almost impossible.

Therefore, I think that it will come down to the importance of "the secondary," and I expect the high-flying Arizona team to pull off the big upset, 100-0. The embarrassment of the Steelers will be so great that Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt will be fired for "running up the score" and leaving Kurt Warner in the game through the middle of the fourth quarter. Then the Steelers will get to make appearances on Good Morning America and be treated as heroes for losing so badly. And again, in that case, we "all" win.

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