Saints be praised: On the Super Bowl, Townshend’s white belly, and the dominance of Indiana University football

Photo courtesy Ben "Le Petit Catfish" Niolet, actual New Orleans dude (and taken by his brother, Paul Niolet)

GateHouse — Thoughts, scribbles and stolen text-message jokes regarding Super Bowl XXVLXVIXCSI, which ended in a satisfying win for an iconic American city that has endured unfathomable hardships, and will, if there is any justice, spend the next five days drinking itself into a state of eyes-crossed, pants-whizzing oblivion. (Sorry, it’s all I can work up at this late hour, as its important to hear the winning franchise’s 275-year-old owner share his thoughts on the victory, because people really heart owners, and also FYI however long you think it takes to scrub a couple of bowls of queso out of the couch, it’s like six times that).

  • As happens nearly every year, a 30-second TV commercial featuring a guy barely old enough to drink but who can throw a football straight caused me to adjust my entire stance on a major moral issue. Last year, of course, it was Eli Manning warning me about the dangers of sexting.
  • How about that interception from INDIANA UNIVERSITY GRADUATE Tracy Porter, much-needed proof that they have those in the NFL. (Call me for directions to the practice field, Scouts of America!)
  • According to TV, I, as a dude, do not spend nearly enough time thinking about the care and quality of my skin, which is entirely true, as I have never in my life exfoliated or moisturized anything important. So no, Commercial Than Ran Six Times At A Cost Of Six Million Dollars To Jergens Or Whatever, I am not yet comfortable in my own skin. And I’m not alone: “I’m about two beers away from being comfortable in my own skin,” cracked my friend Jason, while he was being much funnier than me.



  • Bears repeating: Banned for the 2010-11: Celebrating yourself on the field when you have completed the task that you have come to the game to complete. I think I saw a guy engage in a three- to four-minute version of the “Thriller” video because he tackled the punt returner, and while I’m glad he managed to pull off this near-impossible achievement, it is hard to imagine what else he would have been doing on the field at the time.
  • Anyone else think the halftime show contained an inordinate amount of Pete Townshend belly? I’m gonna avoid the jokes about The Who being old, or about the number of my grandmother’s friends that Roger Daltrey resembles, but seriously, a little tucked shirt action next time, fellas. “The Constitution’s be rewritten twice since these guys started,” said Jason, who was totally on fire all night, while I sat there turning myself into a potato-skins storage unit.
  • “OK, but would you prefer Townshend’s stomach to Springsteen’s crotch?” texted my cousin Kevin. Good question. And of course not, Kevin, what’s wrong with you?
  • Incidentally, having gone through The Who, Bruce, Prince, Petty, U2 and McCartney, we are now out of bands.
  • Hey you know what’s awesome is watching a 42-year-old kicker and determining how much closer you are in age to that guy than all of the other children running around the field, and by “awesome” I mean can somebody get me a beer already.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, I am told by Jake Gyllenhaal experts, does not make an attractive Persian.
  • Nice of the reclusive to turn up. And oh good, he’s remixing something!
  • It’s tough to imagine another scenario in which the forced absorption of a minute-long film that culminates with what appears to be Emmet Otter performing a classical violin solo in Carnegie Hall could be shrugged off, but after 150 years of hearing about Super Bowl ads, talking about Super Bowl ads, being compelled to anticipate Super Bowl ads, and then spending the next day ranking Super Bowl ads in order of awesomeness, this year’s crop was pretty pleh. I guess regarding the forced cleverness by untold thousands of marketing departments just doesn’t have that pure, emotional resonance it once did, or maybe the collective evaluation of a numbing three-hour barrage of television advertising is no longer as fulfilling as it once was, somehow.
  • The Saints’ 14-point win = latest proof that sports journalists, along with weathermen, music critics and anyone who appears on TV under the title of “commentator” do not actually know a damned thing.

About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

16 responses to “Saints be praised: On the Super Bowl, Townshend’s white belly, and the dominance of Indiana University football

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