February 6, 2012

Good queso, bad commercials and the one finger salute...

As a Dallas Cowboy’s fan since the age of six, it’s hard to watch a Super Bowl without them in it. My brother gave me a football uniform when I was six in 1964. The Dallas Cowboys were an “upstart” team back then, but they had cool uniforms. My brother made sure I had the entire outfit…the helmet, the pads, the jersey, the pants, the socks and the rubber cleats. The helmet had that big ole star on each side and from the first time I put it on and snapped that chin strap in place, I was hooked for life. Football is my very favorite sport and the Cowboys are my team.

Here in Texas we used to be very accustomed to the Cowboys getting into the playoffs and rolling their way into the Super Bowl. Notice I said “used to be”. So watching the Super Bowl has become a tradition for my family, even when the ‘Boys are not participating in the most watched sporting event all over the world. A lot of things have contributed to the Cowboys absence from the big dance but I won’t get started on why I believe they have been Super Bowl skinny for so many years. I’ll just say, Jerry Jones.

Any self-respecting Cowboys fan would never root for any team from New York, Washington, Philadelphia or San Francisco, but somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to back the Patriots. Tom Brady is a cannon-armed, ball-chunkin’ phenom, but something about him just doesn’t seem honest or down-to-earth to me. So yesterday, I could be heard shouting after each play the Giants ran successfully. Eli Manning comes from a long line of football greatness. Everyone knows his brother Peyton, but some of you may not know his dad, Archie. Archie was a fixture in New Orleans for a long time. He didn’t get into the playoffs and never went to the Super Bowl, but I challenge you to find another player with as much grit and determination.

The Super Bowl in my house is more akin to a holiday celebration. My mind starts getting ready for the food two or three weeks before the big day gets there. And since we live in Texas, our taste buds tend to lean a bit more “southwestern” than traditional cooking. We had a queso dip made with taco meat and a spicy tomatoe mixture. We steamed up two dozen pork tamales that I had put together back before Christmas. My wife made this killer black bean soup and my daughter found a fantastic recipe for beef empanada’s online that she made.

If you’re wondering what an empanada is, it’s a delectable little deep fried pie that can be made with either savory or sweet ingredients. Ours were the savory variety made with beef, spices and lots of cheese. They were fantastic.

So, the food is made, the sweet tea is cold and the pre-game is on. Now everyone knows the real highlight of the annual pig-skin classic are the commercials that air before, during and after the game. Each year I look forward to seeing the commercials just as much as I do the game. Well, this year that was especially true, since the Cowboys were sitting at home watching the game on TV, just like every other team, ‘cept the Patriots and Giants.

I really enjoyed the first half of the game because it looked like New York was going to completely dominate the Patriots and every sports personality; bookie and analyst had their money on Brady and the Patriots. After all they did finish up with thirteen wins during the season. The lowly Giants only won nine. So, after all the numbers are crunched, stats are compiled and opinions were made, everyone had the Patriots coming out on top by a big margin.

I kind of yawned at the level of ho-hum commercials that were offered, so I thought “in the second half they’ll really bring out the commercials that will have me rolling in the floor, laughing like a possessed hyena”. Only one commercial made me literally laugh out loud out of all of the selections. It was the one where the bratty little kid in the tree house was taunting little brother and granny on the porch with a bag of Doritos. Granny finally gets enough of it and puts her Hove-A-Round in reverse while she slowly pulls little man back in his swing. A scene shows the springs on the swing getting pulled further and further back, when suddenly granny lets go. From the prospective from behind the brat, you see little man flying through the air at the unsuspecting brother. The swing seat stops just in front of the tree house and a split second before little man sling shots right back into granny’s arms, he snatches the bag of Doritos out of bratty brothers hands. The next scene shows granny and little man eating the Doritos and little man raises one above his head in triumph of his not-so-believable, but hilarious stunt.

When Madonna came out for the half-time show, I noticed something a bit out of place. I kept trying to get a good look at her face because the woman that was onstage looked like Madonna from 30 years ago. And I noticed there was never a shot of her closer than fifteen or twenty feet. I kept waiting for them to zoom in on the famous gap-toothed mug, so I could look for fresh scalpel trails. Seriously, her face looked tighter than the skin on a snare drum!

I lost all interest in seeing if Madonna had just finished a facial makeover when the singer/dancer/idiot M.I.A. gave us a big ole’ British “howdy” with the middle finger wave. Not a lot of people caught that, because it was only a split second. Oh, but she did it alright. The web has blown up with all of the clips of her flipping off the world being posted. After I chunked my queso covered empanada at M.I.A and my blood pressure began to wane, I comforted myself with three vanilla ice cream bars and settled in for the second half.

The highlight of the half for me was the unbelievable circus-act freaky catch that Mario Manningham made on the sideline that eventually led to the winning touchdown. After they scored the touchdown, I was sure that the Dapper Q, Tom Brady would march the Patriot machine down the field to score the winning touchdown. After all, he had the ball, fifty eight seconds to play and two time outs remaining. With nine seconds remaining, GQ Tom made a mighty heave into the endzone with the all-the-chips-in Hail Mary pass. But it wasn’t to be. If the pass had been deflected a bit higher and one foot closer to the goal line, the celebration for the Super Bowl would be taking place in “Baston” by Hahvud Yahd” because Rob Gronkowski came inches from catching the deflected pass.

The Giants came away the winners, the Patriots got beat, again, and my stomach was completely satisfied at the caveman sized amount of food I shoveled in my pie hole during the day. All is well in America again. Today at work, comments like “Go Giants!” or “Giants suck!” will be heard across this wonderful land. Patriot banners will be removed from windows and Eli Manning will be packing his bags and getting ready to go to Disney World.

All in all it was a pretty fair day, except for the commercials and the halftime show. But, like a trooper, I’ll be back again next year, Good Lord Willing, to feast my eyes and bloat my bowels on yet another Super Sunday.

God bless all of my sports fan readers and “Go Cowboys”!!!!!!

The Impulsive Texan

"I may not get much done, but I sure am slow"...