As an absent minded philosopher my interest in football bloomed late. My father was an American small town high school and college football legend but I just never caught the sports fever in my formative years and my father pushed me into libraries more than courts and fields believing that muscle between your ears was the most important to long term success. As an adult I became fascinated with professional football from the sociological aspects of it. Not really interested in the game, but the effect on the crowds participating in the ritual. At this point in my life, I am interested in the whole kit and kaboodle on and off the field. The super bowl represents an American ritual just as intriguing as say a Mithras bull ceremony or a celebration in the temple of Artemis. I would say while faith has been wavering of late, professional football is still the ‘sanctified’ religion of America. It is the cord that keeps rich and poor, left and right, uneducated and highly specialized individuals speaking the same language. While dividing us into ‘cities’ it nevertheless brings together diverse elements from the entire country cumulating in an epic ceremonial spectacle the date of which falls perhaps as contentious as calculating Easter was once upon a time.
As a means of projection via word association, this super bowl did not disappoint. Atlanta Falcons… now there’s a loaded phrase. The falcon an ancient symbol, and Atlanta, the goddess or Atlantis, take your pick… vs… the Patriots! The game itself almost a reenactment of the American Revolution, that first half was definitely Washington’s, I mean Brady’s Valley Forge moment (oh look 1777). The 2nd half miraculous turnover and amazing catch a crossing the Potomac moment changing the momentum irrevocably. Projection can be fun. And that is kind of the point of the whole ceremony in the first place. We watch on Sundays, rituals no different than the Argonauts on the quest of the Golden Fleece, stories of heroes we project to bind ourselves into the culture, an investment we the people share mutually in reenactment of ceremony. It makes us distinctively American, and yet no different than the rest of the world. It isn’t the game itself that is important, but the stories we make from the games, the we were there moments we regale future generations with for years to come. And oh what a ceremony last night was beamed to our living rooms. An epic to be remembered indeed. Well once the collective hangover dissipates that is.