The Super Experience

I bring you this – my first blog post in months – live from Indianapolis.

Yes, it is Super Bowl Sunday. No, I am not at the Super Bowl, although yesterday I did have what  is apparently considered the “NFL Experience.”

Most people here don't know how to read this number.


Because NFL players always play in a convention center.

If the NFL Experience is to be believed (and OF COURSE it is!), here is what happens in the NFL: you wait in line and a ball machine rapid-fires a perfect spiral directly into your arms. You then run past several slightly-less-than-lifesize cardboard cutouts of football players and dive on to an air mattress. You then need to vacate the air mattress as quickly as possible because there is a serious risk that the person who was in line behind you is about to dive on top of you.

Someone having an "NFL Experience."

And they make it look so hard on TV.

You can also pose for photos with…more cardboard cutouts. Apparently the NFL is full of them.

"Hey, Peyton Manning. Come here often?"

Should you choose to represent a particular player or team at the NFL Experience, it does NOT have to be one of the two teams actually playing in the current game.  And stopping at simply donning a jersey is pretty half-assed. You’re supposed to put some effort into these outfits. Bengals superfan? Own stock in the Green Bay Packers? No problem. Not only do people NOT think your outfit is weird; they high-five you when you walk by. Or line up to get a photo with you.

I didn't say I was above getting a pic with these guys.

Now, you may or may not be aware that the Detroit Lions are not playing in the Super Bowl. I know this comes as a great shock to some people. Personally, I didn’t expect them to get there this year – but I sought out their helmet on the wall of helmets to pay my respects.

The Bears fan next to me rolled his eyes at me the entire time. He could have simply MOVED HIS ASS.

(Side note: I learned that Indianapolis Colts fans do not find it interesting or ironic when you point out that you as a Lions fan can actually feel superior to them for once. In fact, I almost got divorced and disowned for this comment.)

The Super Bowl itself attracts celebrities and high rollers. Super Bowl Village attracts this guy:

I'm sure the Giants are very proud.

Super Bowl Village also attracts a large configuration of religious fanatics with apocalyptic predictions. Every corner boasts a dude with a microphone trying to convince people that they should be going to church on Sunday instead of watching the game. Some try to be clever about it (“Wouldn’t you rather score touchdowns with Jesus?”) while some are quite stark in their predictions (“You DO know you’re about to burn in hell, don’t you?”) and some, rather ironically, wear hats or sweatshirts or gloves bearing NFL logos. (Fail!)

According to the local news outlets, celebrities currently in town include Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, Pauly D, Pit Bull, Coolio (seriously?), Ice Cube (once again, seriously?), Carrie Underwood, Adam Sandler, and…wait for it…at Hoosier Park Casino in Anderson…KC and The Sunshine Band. I’m sure people jumped all over that one. (In their defense, it was the cheapest ticket anywhere near town.)

The only celebrity I actually saw was Stuart Scott from ESPN, and I didn’t so much “see” him as I was “pushed into” him. He was on a cell phone at the time, and nodded at me. Very polite. Still, maybe not the flashiest of celebrities, though preferable to Coolio, I suppose.

He can, indeed.

Anyway, being only mildly interested in the Super Bowl itself, I spent most of the drive to Indy thinking up puns that would be fun to write on signs. I thought “A Good Manning is NOT Hard to Find” was fairly clever, though some thought perhaps the Flannery O’Connor reference was a bit high-minded. I was getting frustrated that I couldn’t come up with anything better until someone in the car with me (whom we shall refer to as “Captain Buzzkill”) pointed out that thinking up sign puns was sort of a waste of time as I would not be attending the event itself. (I tuned out Captain Buzzkill by turning up the radio and singing “Goodbye Brady” to the tune of “Goodbye Stranger.”)

So here we are. I’ve experienced the NFL, literally ran into a celebrity, and taken pictures with people in weird clothes. I’m approximately half an hour away from Lucas Oil Stadium, watching the game on television and not holding a clever sign. And I’m obviously not too invested in the game since I’m blogging while it’s on. And this is hardly the best blog post I’ve ever written (as I’m sure Captain Buzzkill will point out later).

Anyway, stay tuned for better posts than this one and some major changes to this blog. Until then, have a “super” night. (I couldn’t resist.)


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