SANTIAGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — There wasn’t enough room in today’s column for it, but given that I’ve made such a deal of hating the Super Bowl, to the point of going into exile to avoid it, I have an admission to make. I actually enjoyed this year’s game. There was a constant battle over the TV in the auxiliary press box, between those of us who wanted the TV on the Venezuela-DR1 game, and the folks who had money on the Patriots. Since I only looked up from the the game when the people watching in the press box cued me to something interesting going on, it was nearly perfect–look up for a minute, catch a scoring drive; look up again, see big stop. No watching commercials, no halftime show, or waiting for the refs to watch a replay. More than baseball, football is a game that’s ideally made to be seen as highlights. The only time I paid attention for a substantial stretch was from the Patriots last scoring drive through the end of the game. All told, I saw maybe ten total minutes of football.
Still, I think that, for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the spirit of Super Bowl while watching the seventh inning of tournament baseball. It’s in the incredulous looks around the press box after the game was over. It’s in a guy with a Giants jersey coming up to a press box window in the Dominican Republic looking for the score, and getting a thumb’s up to tell him his team won. It’s in the smiles of children who don’t yet understand that their gridiron heroes will be physically disabled long before old age…
…I guess the Spirit of Super Bowl didn’t last so long. Darn.
I’m working on uploading some of the pictures I’ve taken so far, and tomorrow afternoon I’m doing a chat live here from Estadio Cibao. Technically, it’s for Caribbean questions, but we also have Roger Clemens getting deposed by Congress tomorrow, and stats questions are always welcome. I tend to give questions asked in advance get a little more thought than the ones that come in the heat of the moment, so they’re definitely welcome.