For the hype-averse, football's Super Bowl is a Bataan Death March of media saturation that is a fortnight in length. Two teams vie for the NFL championship (sometimes quaintly referred to as the "world championship", as if Uruguay and Bulgaria had been eliminated in the semi-final round). It only takes about three hours to do it (interrupted by the halftime show, in which an A-list entertainer lipsyncs through a Bataan Death March of forced entertainment), but first comes a week in which the players and coaches must answer 1000 inane press-conference questions...

  • Q: "How has Deion's bad toe effected the morale and the psyches of the younger guys in the secondary?"
  • A: "Our faith in Jesus has kept the nickel package on an even keel."

    ...this is called the "off week". The following week, the teams arrive at the host city. Fewer press conferences, fewer inane questions, since the teams are very busy preparing for the game.

  • Q: "People have asked you about the range of motion in your throwing arm..."
  • A: "May I interest you in the exquisite Nike logos on my custom-designed baseball-cap-and-sweater combo?"

    Then comes the media reports about the inane questions...

  • "...he was asked repeatedly about the range of motion in his throwing arm, but was only willing to discuss the X-rays of Deion's bad toe - not the ones we showed you on the 6:30 edition of SportsCenter, but the ones we'll unveil exclusively on our 11 PM edition. Sponsored by Nike."

    ...and also the reports about the TV commercials ("It has been reported that Cindy Crawford will be breast-feeding her baby in 3-D for Pepsi; a Crawford spokesperson would not deny the rumor, but there was a No Comment on the rumor that Crawford's breast would secrete Pepsi during the ad..."), for the ads have been produced especially for the broadcast, since all Merkin eyeballs will be glued to their sets, watching the game.

    Finally (finally!), it's "Super Sunday" - the day of the game. A national holiday. The one day each year that the churches are closed; many are turned into Super Bowl Party venues, complete with wide-screen TVs and specially-priced kegs of Budweiser ("the King of Beers, and the Beer of the King of Kings on Super Sunday...").

    The broadcast begins, with a pregame show that lasts about six hours, sponsored by The Gap, who will give a sneak preview of the video about the making of their Super Bowl ads - one segment features Everlast and Deion doing a football rap (with human beatbox sounds provided by the Backstreet Boys); another features those lovable South Park kids in one of those anti-commercial commercials. The fate of Kenny is kept secret, to be unveiled when the actual ad runs, right after the second-half kickoff. About midway through the pregame show there's an hour or so of highlights from past years' Super Bowl ads, including the 1984 classic from Apple Computer.

    Then they play the game; one team eventually wins, and then the MVP - bloodied, bruised, tired, dehydrated; maybe he also has a slight concussion - is forced to temporarily forego medical attention, so that he can smile and announce, "I'm going to Disney World!". He is then forced to do alternate takes of this announcement, this time ending in "Disneyland!", "Disneyland Europe!", "Tokyo Disneyland!", and "The ESPN Club!" (the ones in Baltimore! and Orlando!, plus all those currently in the planning stages). He may or may not pass out at this point, but paramedics are standing by. (ESPN will later present live coverage of the trip to Disney World, and tape-delayed highlights of the other trips. Sponsored by Nike).

    The president calls the winners' dressing room, to congratulate them on a Job Well Done. He will ad lib something about "that crossing pattern on third and eight" and something about how Deion overcoming his bad toe is a metaphor for America, but this will actually have been scripted for him by a staff writer.

    During the remainder of the evening, tens of thousands of people across the nation will erupt in a violent frenzy; many of them will be muttering something like, "I should have taken the damn five" - this is in reference to something called a "point spread" that is beyond the scope of this particular document.

    Hope this helps.

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