Superbowl Spleen

Justin E. H. Smith in his own blog:

ScreenHunter_16 Feb. 06 11.13 Let's see, how should I spend my Sunday? Should I keep reading Herwig Wolfram's magisterial History of the Goths? Should I perhaps go a-hunting online for some whimsical new videos of cats doing unexpected things? Or should I check to see if there are any noteworthy athletic spectacles on television?

There has been a dull din, growing louder over the past few weeks, that suggests to me that some big sports event is in the offing. Distant memories from childhood cause me to associate this din, in this particular season, with football. These associations, in turn, conjure up others still: of Ronald Reagan, of high-school meatheads in letter jackets telling me not to stand too close to their girlfriends, of ROTC, of PromiseKeepers, of words like 'buddy', of a model of American masculinity that quite literally spit me out as indigestible.

And now, here I am, back in the belly of the beast, steeling myself for yet another Superbowl. (The last Superbowl I can remember, in early 1994, I spent locked in a closet reading Anna Akhmatova as my parents hosted a wide-screen-TV Superbowl fiesta, complete with trays of bean dip made up with various ingredients to resemble a football field: sour cream for the yard lines, a goal post out of avocado, etc.)

More here.