Monday, February 4, 2013


In 2008 Will-J was an infant and we went to the local Glenwood Springs brewery to catch some of the Super Bowl.  I wanted to see the Pats match the Dolphins' perfect season, and after awhile it seemed like despite the Giants banging away on Tom Brady that's what would happen.  It was a boring game with little scoring, people were eyeing our table, and Will-J got fussy.  So we went home, missed the helmet catch and all the excitement, I wasn't really that sad I had missed said excitement, and the next four years I went skiing on Super Bowl Sunday instead.  This year I wanted to see how New Zealand deals with the big game:

5:45 AM - driving back from the airport after dropping Catherine off.  The DJ on the one station that our Caldina picks up says that the Super Bowl is being played today, but that maybe no one will really be into it.

8:30 AM - I drop Will-J off for his first day of school.  His teacher is completely relaxed despite having an international mixed bag of new students joining her multi-age (model) classroom.  She greets Will-J and packs him off to be occupied by a few of the older kids.  In the States the equivalent teacher would be a frantic disaster.

11:00 AM - I ponder that the Harbaugh-bowl is what I wanted last year, but instead we got the crap Giants/Pats game redux.  I also ponder how CBS broadcasts the Super Bowl at home, but ESPN has the rights in New Zealand - now those would have been some interesting contract negotiations.  Conclude that ESPN abroad is far better than ESPN at home.

12:00 PM - I realize that I still can't seem to convert between Dunedin and Denver time.  I also realize that 4:00 PM at home is when the coverage starts, not when the game starts.

3:15 PM - I check on the game before going to pick up Will-J after his first day of school.  It's in the second quarter and the Ravens are winning in a blowout.  I realize I really don't care, but instead am very curious how Will-J has done at school.  I also realize that the equivalent Kiwi parent would be completely relaxed about how his son has done at his first day of school.  Maybe we're on to something here.

3:45 PM - Will-J has done fine at school.  The highlight in our post-school discussion is that he compares school here to his awesome preschool and not to his crap kindergarten.  I've forgotten about the Super Bowl.  I do think it's quaint that Ray Lewis' PED use was a story over the last few weeks.  Outside of the States everyone knows that professional athletes are on drugs and are completely relaxed about it.  I think this relaxed thing may really be a trend.  I drive by The Baaa and see a herd of Kiwi kids watching the T.V.'s - remember that the game is on.

4:30 PM - Surprised to find that the game has been delayed due to a power outage.  Briefly realize that every sports fan in America has nebulously linked the outage to Katrina, but also realize that the chances of one of the announcers mentioning this are 1,000,000 to 1.

5:30 PM - Decide to go for a run and maybe I'll swing by one of the bars to see if the game is still on - I'll finally have my New Zealand cultural experience of what they think of gridiron football.  I put on Simmons' pre-Super Bowl podcast.

5:45 PM - I run by the bars at the corner of Gladstone and North Roads.  None of them have a T.V.  I do see a white guy with dreads wearing sunglasses inside the Inch Bar drinking beer by himself and intensely bobbing his head to the music.  Basically this post exists so I could describe a white guy with dreads and sunglasses at the Inch Bar intensely bobbing his head to music.  

5:50 PM - I run towards The Baaa - the sky opens and starts pouring cold rain.  My ears fill with water and I can't hear Simmons anymore.  This place keeps reminding me of living in Alaska.

5:51 PM - A young person out for a jog easily passes me as if she is just walking past.  This happens to me pretty much every time I run.  I haven't felt so slow since I somehow barely made it into Boston and for various reasons never trained.  I may run a race while I'm here, and I expect to come in last.  Conclusion: Kiwis are good runners, but are absolutely relaxed about it.

5:53 PM - The Baaa is showing ATP 1000 highlights.  Maybe the game is over, they really just don't care about the Super Bowl here, or maybe they're just relaxed about it.

8:25 PM - Find out that the Ravens won and there was an awesome intentional safety at the end of the game.  Decide not to seek out the highlights.  Conclusion of New Zealand cultural Super Bowl experience.    


Buffs said...

I was wondering to a friend at a party what international folks must think of the Super Bowl. Bizarre storylines (Ray Lewis -- murderer, PED user, and preacher playing in a stadium where dozens [hundreds?] died in the deep stadium recesses during Katrina), crazy rules (2-point conversion, clock stoppages at random times), and completely gray-area outcome (Ravens CB blatantly holding the SF receiver on last play in the end zone). Could you ever explain football -- let alone the Super Bowl -- to a random Amazonian village dweller?

Will Stenzel said...

@Buffs - I don't think gridiron is that weird to people b/c their local sports are just as weird - and they have far more sports. Compare rugby union with rugby league, Aussi rules football, etc.