I am a bad American

I did not watch the Superbowl.  I turned my back on America’s great unifying festival, in which citizens of all political persuasions, subcultures,  creeds, and no-creeds set aside their differences for one night of football, snacks, and television commercials.  I really have no excuse.  My heart hasn’t been in football since the Packers flamed out, and I know that I would just torment myself with thoughts of what might have been.  The half-time extravaganzas nearly always annoy me, and the prospect of Madonna putting on a show filled me with dismay.  And watching the game solely to see the commercials would fill me with self-loathing.  So I did something else.  I am one of the few Americans to sink so low–I hope for my country’s sake that I am the only American to remain aloof from our moment of national unity.

So what did I miss?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pete

    “So what did I miss?”

    Only one of the best Super Bowls ever. Very often the game is a dog, but this one was not. Super, indeed.

  • Pete

    “So what did I miss?”

    Only one of the best Super Bowls ever. Very often the game is a dog, but this one was not. Super, indeed.

  • SKPeterson

    I, too, did not indulge this year, except for about 10 minutes (about 2 minutes of game time) in the 4th Quarter. Neither team was compelling enough to hold my interest much longer than that. I am thankful I missed the pre-game shows, the half-time shows, and the post-game shows.

    In fact, most of the people I talked to at church on Sunday morning were rather disinterested in the game as well – it almost did feel as if they were doing it out of civic duty and maybe some desire for social spectacle, not out of any love of the game or desire to see either team win. From what I could gather, the most prevalent emotion yesterday toward the Super Bowl was disinterest salted heavily with ennui.

  • SKPeterson

    I, too, did not indulge this year, except for about 10 minutes (about 2 minutes of game time) in the 4th Quarter. Neither team was compelling enough to hold my interest much longer than that. I am thankful I missed the pre-game shows, the half-time shows, and the post-game shows.

    In fact, most of the people I talked to at church on Sunday morning were rather disinterested in the game as well – it almost did feel as if they were doing it out of civic duty and maybe some desire for social spectacle, not out of any love of the game or desire to see either team win. From what I could gather, the most prevalent emotion yesterday toward the Super Bowl was disinterest salted heavily with ennui.

  • WebMonk

    The game was indeed a wonderful game. Down to the very wire, including a line which I think ought to go down in Superbowl history:

    “They just scored a touchdown they didn’t want.”

    I’m serious. The Patriots allowed the Giants runner through the line to score the touchdown. The Giants runner realized he didn’t want to score a touchdown and tried to stop, but was unable to arrest his momentum and tripped into the end zone.

    Madonna put on a good halftime show, at least by halftime show standards. There were some really impressive parts to it, though the best parts of it were the special effects and the “background” dancers.

    Best commercial? It stared Betty White of course!

    That babe is still rocking it!

  • WebMonk

    The game was indeed a wonderful game. Down to the very wire, including a line which I think ought to go down in Superbowl history:

    “They just scored a touchdown they didn’t want.”

    I’m serious. The Patriots allowed the Giants runner through the line to score the touchdown. The Giants runner realized he didn’t want to score a touchdown and tried to stop, but was unable to arrest his momentum and tripped into the end zone.

    Madonna put on a good halftime show, at least by halftime show standards. There were some really impressive parts to it, though the best parts of it were the special effects and the “background” dancers.

    Best commercial? It stared Betty White of course!

    That babe is still rocking it!

  • Debbye

    You missed a heart-stopping game. (However, at 9PM I left the room to flip on the other TV to watch the latest episode of “Downton Abbey” on PBS. I’d rather watch Lady Mary and cousin Matthew than Madonna any day.)

  • Debbye

    You missed a heart-stopping game. (However, at 9PM I left the room to flip on the other TV to watch the latest episode of “Downton Abbey” on PBS. I’d rather watch Lady Mary and cousin Matthew than Madonna any day.)

  • Jerry Brown

    Dunno. I didn’t watch it either. I don’t even have a teevee. Read a good book instead.

  • Jerry Brown

    Dunno. I didn’t watch it either. I don’t even have a teevee. Read a good book instead.

  • Dan Kempin

    My heart was not in it, either. I almost turned it off, but watched on the principle that I had never missed a superbowl as an adult. Great game, though. Classic NFC style defensive game. Just wish I cared more.

    One thing I did differently was to watch it online. NBC has offered the games in live streaming all year. No commercials and no half time show. It was quite nice.

  • Dan Kempin

    My heart was not in it, either. I almost turned it off, but watched on the principle that I had never missed a superbowl as an adult. Great game, though. Classic NFC style defensive game. Just wish I cared more.

    One thing I did differently was to watch it online. NBC has offered the games in live streaming all year. No commercials and no half time show. It was quite nice.

  • Booklover

    My entire life is spent Not Doing what Everyone Else is Doing. So I did not watch the Super Bowl either.

  • Booklover

    My entire life is spent Not Doing what Everyone Else is Doing. So I did not watch the Super Bowl either.

  • Dennis Peskey

    I thought I was watching a Superbowl for fifty-nine minutes when suddenly a Probowl broke out. The 85 Bears would not suffer such indignity (and I’m a Packer fan)!
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    I thought I was watching a Superbowl for fifty-nine minutes when suddenly a Probowl broke out. The 85 Bears would not suffer such indignity (and I’m a Packer fan)!
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • John Brandt

    Dr. Veith,

    I teach English at Lutheran High School North in Macomb, Michigan and we are currently reading The Spirituality of the Cross in my A.P. Language class. Would you be interested in arranging a class discussion via Twitter chat? My students would enjoy discussing a text with its author.

    Thanks for considering the opportunity.

    John Brandt

  • John Brandt

    Dr. Veith,

    I teach English at Lutheran High School North in Macomb, Michigan and we are currently reading The Spirituality of the Cross in my A.P. Language class. Would you be interested in arranging a class discussion via Twitter chat? My students would enjoy discussing a text with its author.

    Thanks for considering the opportunity.

    John Brandt

  • Jon

    It was a good game. and the halftime show was pretty spectacular.

    Don’t do that again, Dr. Veith!

  • Jon

    It was a good game. and the halftime show was pretty spectacular.

    Don’t do that again, Dr. Veith!

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I who wanted both teams to lose, thought it was a pretty good game. Our youth throw a superbowl party every year and I go to be with the kids. We critique the ads together and hope that the game is at least somewhat interesting.

    The ads were pretty reasonable this year. The beer ads were surprisingly disappointing. Budweiser needs to fire who ever approved their ads this year or at least punish them by making them watch the Elton John travesty called an ad over and over and over again. The Doritos ads were funny, my favorite was the sling-shot baby. Volkswagen scored again with the dog and Vader ad. I still can’t believe they are making a movie out of the game “Battleship.”

    Halftime was pretty good. They went back to the huge spectacle halftime show with some rather stunning visual elements. Madonna did some of her classic songs and her new one. She did pretty good and some of the performers on stage with her (not the other named stars) were worth it.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I who wanted both teams to lose, thought it was a pretty good game. Our youth throw a superbowl party every year and I go to be with the kids. We critique the ads together and hope that the game is at least somewhat interesting.

    The ads were pretty reasonable this year. The beer ads were surprisingly disappointing. Budweiser needs to fire who ever approved their ads this year or at least punish them by making them watch the Elton John travesty called an ad over and over and over again. The Doritos ads were funny, my favorite was the sling-shot baby. Volkswagen scored again with the dog and Vader ad. I still can’t believe they are making a movie out of the game “Battleship.”

    Halftime was pretty good. They went back to the huge spectacle halftime show with some rather stunning visual elements. Madonna did some of her classic songs and her new one. She did pretty good and some of the performers on stage with her (not the other named stars) were worth it.

  • Joe

    I must be in the minority. Other than the last 5 minutes of the game, I was bored to tears. I used the time to teach my kids who to make balloons out rubber gloves …

  • Joe

    I must be in the minority. Other than the last 5 minutes of the game, I was bored to tears. I used the time to teach my kids who to make balloons out rubber gloves …

  • Jerry

    Read Gustaf Wingren’s Man and the Incarnation, a refreshing book; with a couple minutes left in the game my daughter altered me with a text message…

  • Jerry

    Read Gustaf Wingren’s Man and the Incarnation, a refreshing book; with a couple minutes left in the game my daughter altered me with a text message…

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I had it on, but didn’t watch it.

    I was at my computer (with headphones on) editing a terrific bible study on Romans. It’s well worth a listen. You can save it for the next Super Bowl :

    http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/bible-study-the-great-book-of-romans-chapter-8/

    .

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I had it on, but didn’t watch it.

    I was at my computer (with headphones on) editing a terrific bible study on Romans. It’s well worth a listen. You can save it for the next Super Bowl :

    http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/bible-study-the-great-book-of-romans-chapter-8/

    .

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    The game was on while I played with my son building and expanding a huge Thomas train layout (thank you Craig’s List). That was a far better fatherhood vocation than the one told to me by the commercials. I hear the last 5 minutes were pretty good, alas I was reading “Big Joe’s Trailer Truck” to my son. Oh well.

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    The game was on while I played with my son building and expanding a huge Thomas train layout (thank you Craig’s List). That was a far better fatherhood vocation than the one told to me by the commercials. I hear the last 5 minutes were pretty good, alas I was reading “Big Joe’s Trailer Truck” to my son. Oh well.

  • Bob

    Loved the Clint Eastwood/Chrysler ad — “It’s halftime, America.” Gave me goosebumps.

  • Bob

    Loved the Clint Eastwood/Chrysler ad — “It’s halftime, America.” Gave me goosebumps.

  • formerly just steve

    I didn’t watch a second of it and yet, strangely, I feel exactly the same this morning as I did last Monday morning.

  • formerly just steve

    I didn’t watch a second of it and yet, strangely, I feel exactly the same this morning as I did last Monday morning.

  • kenneth

    Strage stuu Americal football! I rember when our Pastor would tease the congregation with taunts about both whatching and tuning out. This year it was not mentioned at all.

    I am very glad because it really isn’t the American thing to do. The American thing to do is to go to Church.

  • kenneth

    Strage stuu Americal football! I rember when our Pastor would tease the congregation with taunts about both whatching and tuning out. This year it was not mentioned at all.

    I am very glad because it really isn’t the American thing to do. The American thing to do is to go to Church.

  • cattail

    Don’t feel bad, Dr. Veith, I didn’t watch it either!

  • cattail

    Don’t feel bad, Dr. Veith, I didn’t watch it either!

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    You missed a sycophantic commercial narrated by Clint Eastwood.

    P.S. Has anyone noticed that with each new face lift, Madonna looks more and more like Marlene Dietrich?

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    You missed a sycophantic commercial narrated by Clint Eastwood.

    P.S. Has anyone noticed that with each new face lift, Madonna looks more and more like Marlene Dietrich?

  • Barry Bishop

    This is the first Super Bowl I haven’t watched in many years. I love football!!!… but I am growing increasingly wary of the flesh fest that the Super Bowl is during the commercials and halftime. I may sound like a prude but as a Christian I just feel like I am going to Vanity Fair with each Super Bowl. I know that it is wrong for me. Others will have to make that call for themselves before the Lord.
    In the past I told my congregation to use the Super Bowl parties to witness to neighbors but I feel dirty even endorsing the big game now.

  • Barry Bishop

    This is the first Super Bowl I haven’t watched in many years. I love football!!!… but I am growing increasingly wary of the flesh fest that the Super Bowl is during the commercials and halftime. I may sound like a prude but as a Christian I just feel like I am going to Vanity Fair with each Super Bowl. I know that it is wrong for me. Others will have to make that call for themselves before the Lord.
    In the past I told my congregation to use the Super Bowl parties to witness to neighbors but I feel dirty even endorsing the big game now.

  • Grace

    My husband watched the game, I watched off and on.

    The Madonna moment was,….. well how can you say it? She’s boring.

  • Grace

    My husband watched the game, I watched off and on.

    The Madonna moment was,….. well how can you say it? She’s boring.

  • https://profiles.google.com/114761676313688657626#114761676313688657626/about P. C.

    Actually a pretty good Super Bowl for once. The last play of the game (Brady Hail Mary into the end zone) was like watching a 6th grader volleyball game.

    Didn’t watch the Madonna half time show. I had to get the Johnsonville brats on the grill…don’t ya know!

    The Pack will be back!

  • https://profiles.google.com/114761676313688657626#114761676313688657626/about P. C.

    Actually a pretty good Super Bowl for once. The last play of the game (Brady Hail Mary into the end zone) was like watching a 6th grader volleyball game.

    Didn’t watch the Madonna half time show. I had to get the Johnsonville brats on the grill…don’t ya know!

    The Pack will be back!

  • Joanne

    Oh yeah, they had the superbowl again. Who won; my Mom wants to know.

  • Joanne

    Oh yeah, they had the superbowl again. Who won; my Mom wants to know.

  • helen

    I watched… some of the time. I saw the fantastic catch that was almost but not out of bounds and the touchdown they didn’t want (or so the announcer said).
    [I will obviously have to go somewhere else to get that explained!] And the last beautiful minutes.

    Madonna? The TV was on mute and I was at the computer. I hope that didn’t count with Nielsen as “watching”!

  • helen

    I watched… some of the time. I saw the fantastic catch that was almost but not out of bounds and the touchdown they didn’t want (or so the announcer said).
    [I will obviously have to go somewhere else to get that explained!] And the last beautiful minutes.

    Madonna? The TV was on mute and I was at the computer. I hope that didn’t count with Nielsen as “watching”!

  • Renee

    @ Steve Martin / Excellent sermon, Steve. Thank you for sharing. I’ve added you to my favorites so I can listen to more.

  • Renee

    @ Steve Martin / Excellent sermon, Steve. Thank you for sharing. I’ve added you to my favorites so I can listen to more.


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