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Missing the Super Bowl – A Running Diary

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It’s been put to me less than gently the last few weeks that this journey without sport is becoming farcical!

Admittedly, I was up-to-date on more sporting information than I care to admit, not because I’d ‘broken’ and watched the Nadal-Djokovic Final, or tuned in to the cricket etc, but more because I didn’t actively avoid the plethora of sporting news that was out there over the summer.

With me on holidays at that time, I did allow my eyes to wander and scan a little online news.

So, in the 9th month of this year without sport, I’m going to try and step it up; be more bullish about shifting my focus elsewhere.

The first major test? The Super Bowl of course!

I blogged about this recently, the irony of ‘my team’ being in the big game versus a hated enemy, against whom redemption beckons.

As time drew nearer, however, I found myself less resentful of missing the big game. After all, I would find out the result soon enough, and the world would move on.

However, as part of the newfound determination to ‘step it up’, in seeking sport and sporting news to be less important in my life, the decision was made to avoid all results at all costs. I am finishing drafting this piece almost a full 24 hours after the game began and I am still clueless as to what happened. (And clueless in many other areas we well, but that’s for another post/s.)

So without further ado, here’s a running diary of what transpired as I sought to completely, utterly and wholly, miss the Super Bowl.

Game Day

7.10am – Jumped into the car for work and removed the Florence and the Machines new ‘Ceremonials’ CD. I’m about 8 listens in and the jury still hasn’t returned on this album. By the way Florence, thanks so much for the Melbourne tour date – May 20, 4 days after the due date for my first baby. Appreciate that…

7.11am – Avoided breakfast radio by muting the sound for the 8 seconds it takes to remove the Florence CD and insert another. Am I the only one driven crazy by the hysterical muses of cultural rubbish on FM morning radio?! I say no. Light FM, you’re not immune from this.

7.45am – Readying myself for Day 1 with the kids… Of course technology rears its ugly head and nothing that I need works. Of course my tv has no sound – why would I ever believe that it would!? Who’s thinking about sport right now, not me!

8.25am – Stampeded by a group of new students for the year. All thoughts switch to work.

10.00am – Turned ‘The Age’ site off – my major source of news. You never know what might pop up.

The Age - momentarily considered too dangerous for consumption. Btw, congratulations on being 'Newspaper of the year'. It must feel wonderful to beat such a high calibre opponent like the Herald Sun.

10.15am – Game begins in the States!

12.47pm – After a hectic morning and needing to tune out for a moment, I turned ‘The Age’ site back on! I’d decided not to stare at a blank screen while I ate my lunch and figured that, as it was only mid –game and I live in Australia, there’d be little or no coverage.

Wrong!

The main image on the site was of ‘Patriots-Giants’.

Fortunately, there were no scores or any details to ruin my ban.

12.48pm – Thought better of this ‘strategy’ and decided to read any articles I’d linked to my email account.

12.49pm – Started reading a phenomenal article on a player who lost his 4-week old daughter last year to a heart condition, which I have to link to here.

Just a beautiful story and an incredibly timely reminder about the true importance of things in life. Expecting our first child in May – 8 days before this no sporting journey ends – it’s a refreshing dose of perspective.

Still, that said, kudos to the Sydney Swans franchise. Just a classy response from a well-respected organisation. We often hear the worst out of football clubs – this is simply the polar opposite.

Jarrad McVeigh with his wife, Clementine

12.52pm – Realised that I was on duty outside with the kids, so the internet (wisely) gets shut down while I quickly trot off to ensure that all hell hasn’t broken loose on the top oval. It hasn’t, although some students are not wearing hats – these are the type of ‘issues’ you tend to get at a semi-private Christian Primary School…

2.15pm – Game ends in the States! (or so I assume)

3.30pm – Parent meeting with a kid I have known for 6 hours. What can I tell them?! What do I know?? Who won the game?!

5.00pm – Home but the regular practice of jumping online is withheld. I don’t want to deny myself the simple pleasures, but in this case, I know that if I log on, I will find out the result. A quick read and a dog walk with my neighbour mate makes for a great replacement.

6.15pm – I hadn’t to that point communicated to certain friends to back off on the sporting texts. Again, this is a form of blurring the line. I don’t ask them for results, but certain people send them my way regardless. Actively saying to them, ‘Hey, no more,’ could be a positive step forward.

6.21pm – Asked a friend to not give me any Super Bowl info, which was responded to with Man United news from the English Premier League! Ok, the info ban now includes soccer news as well…

Two other friends who are also sporting buddies are asked to hold off on Super Bowl shenanigans. At least they respond without sporting replacements!

7.20pm – No Facebook. This is not a big deal, as Facebook doesn’t hold a lot of deep feelings for yours truly. Still, it’s a form of discipline to not log on as again, I know I would easily have found out the result.

No Facebook? No problem...

10.00pm – Bed. Well, it’s been a success! I’ll need to repeat the same process on Tuesday and Wednesday, but that’s ok. I’m sure at some stage that the news will somehow come my way, but that’s alright. I, with the world, will have moved on.

Couldn’t this be done differently?

For the naysayers, it’s not like it hasn’t occurred to me that I am expending more energy in not knowing the result than I would have had I logged on at 3pm, saw the score, and moved on with life.

But, if it had indeed been that simple, I would not have had to go through these last 260 days. I wouldn’t have just moved on with my day. I would have wanted to read more, find out the stories within the story, the peripheral events and the comical ones.

It’s comforting to know that I won’t have to stay offline indefinitely. Of course in the first few days, I’ll need to be vigilant, but after that, the world will have moved on.

If nothing else, the 3 day test, where I actively searched for news on the NBA title-winning Dallas Mavericks a mere 3 days after they had won the title and came up with nothing, proved that point.

There is life after the Super Bowl.

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About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

5 responses »

  1. So much better than what you did during Djokovic versus Nadal! And while you don’t know what happened, and don’t want to know, I can tell you that what happened proves to me that some coaches are fools. Never give a sucker an even break. I just don’t get it.

    Oh yeah, I know I’m cruel. You’re extremely interested now.

    Reply
  2. The thing I learned from the Superbowl this year was that it was a rookie mistake for Madonna to open her half-time set with ‘Vogue’. She just reminded the entire world’s population that she hasn’t produced anything important in over 20 years.

    Good job on the media ban E. You’re thorough if nothing else!

    Reply
    • She did ‘Like a Prayer’ over 20 years ago, so you have a point, but if you don’t rate ‘Confessions on a dance floor’, that sir, is your problem… But yes, ‘Vogue’?? Really!?

      Reply
  3. Like a Prayer remains an Iconic song. And Mike Brady wrote Up There Cazaly in 1979 but everyone still sings it at the top of their lungs on grand final day. Sing the good songs when it counts, not the crap ones cos they’re current.

    Reply

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