Rushville Republican

January 28, 2014

The roots of Super Bowl rooting

By Don Stuart
Rushville Republican

---- — My family has some strong opinions about the Super Bowl, which they’re expressing loudly day after day:

• No. 3 son (age 19): Having figured out a way to hate both teams due to some injustice they once foisted on his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, he says “I hope there are some really good new commercials.”

• No. 4 son (16): Having figured out a way to hate both teams due to some injustice they once foisted on his beloved New England Patriots, he says he’ll be doing something else during the game, “but don’t forget to call me when the commercials come back on!”

• No. 5 son (12): Having figured out a way to hate both teams due to some injustice they once foisted on his beloved Atlanta Falcons, he says “I saw a great preview of this one commercial – I sure hope it doesn’t pull a hamstring before Super Sunday and have to sit out!”

• My wife, having never figured out how she didn’t pass the Buffalo Bills rooting gene to at least one of her sons, says: “You better not make as big a mess in the family room as you did last year!”

She addressed that comment to me, for some reason. Or at least I think she did. I wasn’t paying attention because I was trying to figure out who to root for, the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks. Consider:

• I could root for Seattle if only because the people who first established the town were led by a Hoosier, like me. He was Arthur Denny, born in 1822 in Washington County, Indiana. (People there still can’t figure why anyone would leave a place with thriving hotspots like Farabee and Smedley).

Seattle trivia: Denny’s party arrived at the site of the future Seattle on November 13, 1851. A memoir by Denny’s daughter says it was gloomy and rainy, and “the prospect for comfort was so poor that the women sat down on a log on the beach and wept bitter tears of discouragement.” Arthur’s brother David, who’d arrived a couple weeks earlier to start a cabin, buoyed everyone’s spirits by saying - this is supposedly true, now - “I wish you hadn’t come.”

That’s a sad enough story to make me root for Seattle, but. . .

• I could root for Denver, if only because the city got its name in a blatant act of sucking up; the story goes that in November, 1858, William Larimer, a land speculator from Kansas Territory, staked a claim on what is now Denver, and named the town to stroke the ego of Kansas Territorial Governor James W. Denver, who Larimer hoped would make the town the county seat. Unbeknownst to Larimer, Governor Denver had already resigned from office.

Good thing Larimer just stuck with “Denver” and didn’t change the name to stroke the ego of the next Kansas Territorial Governor, or Peyton Manning would be playing for the much-less-tough-sounding Medary Broncos.

• I could root for Denver, because one of the most powerful predictors of football success in all the universe indicates Denver will win: According to the Internet Movie Database – aka IMDB – Denver will win 46-25. That’s the number of movie titles including “Denver” in the title versus how many include “Seattle.”

• I could root for Seattle because one of the movies containing its name is “Criminal Opportunities in Seattle”; then again, maybe not, considering the peculiar description this flick: “A football player and a homicidal maniac wreak havoc on their local police in this comedy.” Yeah, sounds real comedic.

• Better perhaps to root for Denver, because of this genuinely fun-sounding movie: “Fast Girls, Slow Bikes: The Story of Denver’s Mods ‘n Knockers”; it’s the story of “a tight-knit all-girls gang brought together by a mutual love of classic Vespa and Lambretta scooters.”

So wait. . .this film promises some intriguing elements; “Fast Girls”. . .“tight-knit”. . .“knockers.” And knowing my whole family doesn’t care about the Broncos or Seahawks, I casually suggested to my wife that we watch this instead of some boring football game.

And bam!, just like that, I lost control of the remote for ALL of Super Sunday! Which is why I’ll spend that day on a log on the beach, weeping bitter tears of discouragement.