I want to mention how much I appreciate the Super Bowl. And, this comes from a guy who has never played a down of football… for obvious reasons. LOL!

And it’s not that I love and/or appreciate the game and its rules, which are much easier to understand than hockey. It’s the respite from real life that the game offers me and another 124 million people who gathered, worldwide, to watch the game.

It’s a riveting three hours of excitement during which most of those 124 million were not thinking and caring about what else is going on around the world. They were not thinking about the terrible wars in Ukraine and the Gaza strip. They weren’t thinking about the untold smaller wars that you and I don’t even know about. They weren’t worried about where their next meal was coming from.    They weren’t worried about being canceled and they weren’t filled with hatred. In short, they were just watching a game.

It felt good to put aside everything else in life that needed my attention. And it was comforting that I knew months in advance that that’s what I would do on February 11th. 

Among the plethora of super boring Super Bowl AI-generated ads, one clearly old-school ad got my attention. As usual, I can’t remember whose ad it was (attention, marketing geniuses!), but it did an outstanding job of promoting the many benefits of participating in sports in general… especially for children.

One of the most important things that children learn in sports is sportsmanship itself. Part of good sportsmanship is learning to lose gracefully. (Thankfully, our social engineering bretheren have not mandated that there will not be a Super Bowl loser, only participants). Under the enormous pressure of millions of fans acting like their life depended on their team winning the Super Bowl, I think the players displayed tremendous sportsmanship. It seemed that they all knew that on both sides of the ball they were the best in the world and were giving this final game of the season everything they had. Everyone of them expected to win, but knew one team had to lose. In the end, the losers were disappointed, but gracious losers.

Another reason I loved watching the Super Bowl is my lifelong fascination with the performance of world-class athletes. What they can do is beyond the imagination of the rest of us. As I have heard others say, “They just aren’t human.” 

In my day, I was an excellent skier. Good enough that I might have been judged one of the best skiers coming down the bumps above mid-Vail. However, standing on the side of a World Cup downhill, I could see the yawning chasm between being an excellent skier and a world-class skier. I have always thought that a world-class skier was 10 times better than a great recreational skier at Vail.

The Super Bowl was that chasm on display.