What's Gonna Happen

<B>(Home of Hype-nosis)</B>

You are getting thirsty, very, very thirsty.

The Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots have entered your life and there is no way out. The only thing left to do is buy something.

And you are hungry too; you crave crap – greasy crap. Plus you need a huge car with gun turrets and a Hemmie, and if you don't ship your package on time your life will simply be ruined.

Look.

Look at this.

You will stare at this swinging watch called Super Bowl hype because you are an American - and because you are surrounded by five hundred thousand, million, billion other swinging watches – only these watches look like magazines and television shows and newspaper articles and even Internet drivel written by an insane guy with a drooling problem. You can't help but look, but if you really want to stop, well…

Look.

Super Bowl XXXVIII is already so much part of your world that you don't even see the number 38 but rather the actual Roman numerals because those Roman numerals, ironically, are the most American of all the numbers.

And, as an American, you will dream, eat sleep and drink Super Bowl stuff for 24 hours a day until 24 hours after the game is over. You cannot fight it. You are obsessed because we are telling you that you are obsessed.

The Super Bowl is coming and that can only mean…

Look.

You are becoming very thirsty, and oddly obsessed with the quality of your toilet paper.

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This game is a religious experience brought to you by the god of capitalism – the million, billion dollar bill. If you try, you can believe this game will change your life. The $2.3 million spent for each 30 seconds of advertising will perhaps change someone's life somewhere. But, alas, not yours.

The Super Bowl is a national holiday disguised as a party disguised as a football game. Yet it is nothing less than the most rational of holidays. It is the best for the most basic reason.

All other holidays are spent with people you have to spend time with – your family. The Super Bowl is spent with people you want to spend time with – your friends. If you are one of the lucky ones where the two are the same – your family is your friends – then you spend the game with the same people as you spend Thanksgiving with. For others, the Super Bowl is a real reason to give thanks.

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Minutiae. This is the week of minutiae. Facts that you will never care about – the size of Tom Brady's little toe – will be examined in such detail as to make you and Tom Brady's podiatrist nauseous.  

And yet somehow the day is bigger than anything anyone can imagine because it is actually bigger than the imagination. And that's how the minutiae fit in. For some odd reason you actually care about all the weird and odd stuff – like that Rod Smart - "He Hate Me" from the XFL - is playing in the Super Bowl and that Jonathon Wiggins, star of the last Super Bowl for the Patriots, is now playing for Carolina. You want minutiae? Of course you do!

And the stock market is the perfect place to look for minutiae because the Super Bowl has always been a great place to look for stock advice. See, if an old American Football League team (mostly from the AFC) wins the Super Bowl, the stock market is in line for a bad year. If an old National Football League team (mostly from the NFC) wins, the market will rock. And if the Carolina Panthers (an expansion team) win, someone will go insane.

Two years ago, when the Patriots were playing in the Super Bowl, the Carolina Panthers were 1-15. That's minutiae with a capital MIN. So much of everything you will read and see in the next week will be of the who-cares variety that nothing can make "small" become "big" except for the magnitude of the game. It really does make that little stuff important. Minutiae? Nah, these are important facts.

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I bet that you are going to bet on the game.

Everyone bets on the game. Again, it is part of the experience of the holiday. Gambling is so much a part of the experience that Pete Rose, if he hadn't taken the time to sully his reputation further, could have been a spokesman for the NFL. Instead, though Jimmy the Greek is long gone, the NFL is savvy enough to see which side of the bread the butter is on and you are thirsty, so very thirsty.

Plus, according to Procter & Gamble, Charmin toilet paper will advertise for the first time on the Super Bowl. I am wiped out.

This column is sponsored by People Against Hypnosis



Brian Tarcy collaborated with Joe Theismann on the Complete Idiot's Guide to Football. He also wrote The Adventure of Leadership with Hap Klopp, who founded The North Face.


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