Wed, Feb 1, 2012 08:06 AM
This year's Super Bowl, which pairs the East Rutherford Giants
against the Foxborough Patriots, should be a pretty big deal in
Killington - Vermonters tend to cheer for the Pats, but there are
also a huge number of folks with ties to New York and New Jersey
sporting Giants gear. So most of you will be having fun on Sunday,
at least until the end of the game, at which point only half of
you, presumably, will still be having fun.
For the rest of us, though, - the Jets fans, the Eagles fans, the
Redskins fans- we who have already suffered through one February
matchup of these thoroughly unlikable, overexposed teams and just
can't bear to watch Tom Brady or Eli Manning win another
championship - here, for easy reference, are some of the other
fabulous television programs that will be airing between 6 p.m. and
10 p.m. on Feb. 5:
• "Law & Order" (6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m. on
TNT): Never forget that, no matter how lonely you are, no matter
how desperate you are, no matter what time it is or what's
happening in the world, there will always be an episode of "Law
& Order" somewhere on TV to keep you company.
• "The Wedding Dress" (6 p.m. on the Hallmark
Channel): An obscure made-for-TV romance about a possibly cursed
wedding dress, starring Neil Patrick Harris during those long
melancholy years between "Doogie Howser" and "Harold and Kumar." I
couldn't find any professional reviews (except one in German), but
an IMDb critic points out that "the dog's acting seemed
• "The Wedding Date" (6:15 p.m. on TBS): That
movie where Debra Messing has to hire a male prostitute in order to
accompany her to her sister's wedding, lest she be left dateless.
We've all been there, girl.
• "Teen Mom 2" (6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m. on MTV):
Watch as MTV rewards and exploits yet another set of adolescents
for their carelessness and ignorance.
• "Spy Kids 3: Game Over" (6 p.m. on Cartoon
Network): Sylvester Stallone plays a computer-programming genius -
a casting decision no doubt on par, in terms of strangeness, with
that movie where John Wayne played Genghis Khan.
• "America's Funniest Home Videos" (7 and 8 p.m.
on ABC): Somehow YouTube has yet to put this show out of
• "Home Improvement" (7, 7:30, 8 and 8:30 on TV
Land): They're showing the one where Jill gets the flu on Super
Bowl Sunday, and she tries to convince Tim to spend the day taking
care of her instead of watching the game with his buddies. Am I
wrong, or was she being super domineering and passive-aggressive in
that episode? The world doesn't stop turning just because you have
a fever, lady. (Yes, missing a Superbowl is a comparable travesty
to some guys.)
• "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" (8 p.m. on
the CW): Find out how, exactly, one tail belongs to two kitties.
Are they conjoined? I don't remember that from the comic strip.
Starring Bill Murray, based on the Dickens novel.
• "NFL GameDay StatZone" (6:30 p.m. on NFL
Network): This handy program will give you scores, statistics, and
live commentary on all the NFL games occurring between 6:30 p.m.
and 10 p.m. on Feb. 5.
Believe it or not, I am a big football fan, yet I've actually
skipped two Super Bowls already: XXXVII (Buccaneers vs. Raiders,
2003) and XXXVIII (Patriots vs. Panthers, 2004). After watching the
Eagles lose in person each year at the NFC Championship Game, I was
too heartbroken to look at a pigskin again until the following
When I do watch the game, I watch it, inevitably, with a sour taste
in my mouth: is there anything fun, actually, about watching
another franchise achieve the ultimate triumph that, of course,
should really belong to your own team? Super Bowl Sunday is
supposed to be the ultimate day of football, but unless your squad
is involved, it's more like the ultimate football day for casual
fans - those who sit back and enjoy the spectacle in the same way
that casual movie fans enjoy the Academy Awards. Whereas serious
cinephiles watch in fury and disbelief.
Ultimately, the Super Bowl is most of all a reminder of just how
pointless our football obsessions are. After five months of
watching, analyzing and dreaming about the possibilities - five
months where any glorious thing can happen - we see it all whittled
down to two random, lucky teams who, for all the pomp and
circumstance surrounding their matchup, finally play a game that,
just like any other, tends to be decided by a few random, lucky
breaks here and there - a game whose outcome doesn't seem any more
destined or meaningful than any other game's. It seems silly that
the whole season should ride on these arbitrary 60 minutes. The
winners celebrate, and then, next year, a new team wins, and they
celebrate just the same, with the same trophy, holding it up as
though they were the first people ever to do so.
Are you going to watch? Everything else on TV is a rerun, but then
again, so is this year's Super Bowl.