Wednesday, January 16, 2008

For the Love of Football

It's finally here - that unique American tradition, Super Bowl Sunday. As I'm sure you're aware, Super Bowl Sunday is a manly day full of manly activities, such as stuffing oneself silly and watching commercials. All this manly man hubbub is interrupted briefly by spurts of footballish activity, as two teams vie for the best camera angle in stretchy tights.

Ever wonder why it's followed rather quickly by that ever-popular holiday minefield, Valentine's Day? One clue can be found in an obscure Latin quotation from St. Valentine - "Apologia mius dem ballus pointius carpe lo inflagrante mio che mucho doodoo." This translates loosely to 'Sorry I Spent So Much Time Watching Football But It's Over Now So I Guess I'm Yours.'

Like many people, you might not be aware that Saint Valentine was a voracious football fan. This was back in the 3rd century, just before Howard Cosell invented the faux comb-over. A new, exciting sport, it was originally going to be called American Soccer, but since America hadn't been discovered yet, they decided to simply call it 'football.'

Since St. Valentine had taken an oath of poverty, he didn't have access to 24-hour NFL network games. A true martyr, he did not even use a remote, claiming the batteries contributed to global warming and he didn't want activists getting all up in his hair shirt. Ancient records show he attended Super Bowl MCXXIXVI, held at the Coliseum. His beloved Pompeii Packers beat the Assisi Rams in an epic battle, winning XXVIXX to XXVIIX. The losing team was tossed to the Detroit Lions.

In fact, many of the saints were fans, gaining martyrdom through their extreme sacrifices for their teams. It was recently discovered that the aura or 'halo' seen so often around a saint's head was actually an early form of fan headgear known as a 'cheesehead.'

St. Valentine set aside Sunday to offer prayers that his team would find strength and a decent linebacker. This did not sit well with his boss, Monsignor Testaverde, a Saints season ticket-holder. Tempers finally flared when Saint Valentine, secretly listening to a game via teeny radio, cried "Whoooo, touchdown!!!" during evening vespers and awakened the nuns.

A few weeks after this incident, as a token of apology to his boss, St. Valentine sent Testaverde roses and candy. This was a huge success, and Valentine was quickly promoted to Martyr-in-Waiting. His idea was widely copied and marketed by Greek greeting card companies, becoming known as 'Valentine's Day to Kiss Up to His Boss,' This was later shortened to the term we use now - Arbor Day. Sorry - Valentine's Day.

And 'sorry' it is. Nowadays the weeks between Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine's Day are traditionally filled with quiet reflection. This is because men are distraught over the death of the football season, and women are peeved that the trash has not been taken out since September. Men typically misinterpret women's stony silence as commiseration. Women consider men's mourning to be a self-imposed time-out, since they know they were wrong, horribly wrong, and horribly humbled by their wrongness. Reality lies somewhere far, far away. Yes, reality is on vacation.

But we are not. Enter St. Valentine and his wonderful solution - a proffering of humble, sweet 'sorry.' Was it heartfelt? We may never know. Did it work? Absolutely. Just ask your local florist.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post! BRAVA!


insomniac said...

happy birthday!

telecomdropout said...

This one shoulda made the paper as well, Annie - I laughed my rear end off ! Very very clever and FUNNY !!!
Sorry I missed your birthday, but celebrated on your behalf up in our local wine country - Los Olivos, Buellton & Santa Rita - Hope you had as wonderful a day as I did !

Annie said...

Thanks, guys. This will hopefully be in the Ventura County Star on Superbowl Sunday. I just couldn't wait to post it.