An Attempt at Pure Fandom

My third post on this blog, just over six years ago, was about the Superbowl and the Moveon ad that CBS refused to air. I was pulling for the Carolina Panthers that year because Jake Delhomme was a former Saint and a Louisiana native and I figured that gave me a (very small) dog in the hunt, but I can't say I was devastated when they fell short. In fact, in my entire time as a football fan, I can only cop to one year when I really cared who won the Superbowl, though in that year, 1999, I wasn't rooting for a team. I was rooting against the Atlanta Falcons. I can't even tell you who won--I just know the Falcons lost, and that's enough for me.

But this year, obviously, is different. And that has caused me to completely rethink how I'm approaching the game.

See, most years I want a good game, exciting, taut, down to the last second. Last year, for example, was incredible, and I enjoyed every second of it. But I don't want that this year. Nope. I want a blowout. I want one of those Niners-Broncos 55-10 beatdowns, and here's what will surprise you--I don't care who's on the winning side.

Sure, I'd love it if the Saints do the beating down, but what I really need, for my sanity and my blood pressure, is a convincing win by one side or the other. None of this overtime-coin-flip-wins-it garbage (I particularly hate that debate, by the way). I want it to be over by halftime, so the celebration/sorrow-drowning can begin early.

But even if I don't get that, even if this turns into a double-overtime ulcer-inducing nailbiter, I'm still going to try to have a "pure" fan experience. What do I mean by that?

No divided loyalties. No bets, even on the coin-flip. No taking the points or either side of the over/under. No football pools. I don't want to do anything that would compromise my whole-hearted pulling for the Saints. I don't want to drown my sorrows at a Saints loss with the 25 bucks I won when the Colts kicked a field goal with 7 seconds left. I don't want to be satisfied with the Saints covering the spread, or hoping that the Colts will score again near the end so I can get the over.

If I'm going to be sad, I want to wallow in it. I want the misery or I want the elation--no interference by outside interests. I've waited 35 years for this. I'm going to savor every second of it.

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