Let me be the seven millionth person this week to use that word. Destiny.
We're up to our keisters in destiny.
We are now witnessing what Robert Ludlum might call The Bandwagon Mosaic. I know it's only a few hours before kickoff, but there's still time to jump on the Washington Redskins' bandwagon. Sure it's crowded. You're going to have to elbow your way past the television anchormen, the editorial writers, the politicians, the syndicated columnists--all the assorted bozos who recently learned the difference between quarterback sack and Dense Pack. But it can be done in time. All you have to do is follow the instructions in this Super Bowl primer, and like them you, too, can be, as they say in football, some kind of knowledgeable.
Know the most important player: Washington quarterback Joe Theismann, a man who, in his own words, likes "to keep things in prospectus." You have seen and heard Theismann so often on television last week you may think he is John Houseman. Theismann's done it the old-fashioned way: he's earned it. Theismann is not your average football player. While others get their ankles taped before games, he gets his throat sprayed; Theismann is probably the only professional football player who travels with a voice coach. I don't want to suggest that Theismann is a compulsive talker, but when he sees the light go on inside his refrigerator he does 15 minutes worth of schtick to the butter and eggs.
Know the key matchups: The truly aware Washingtonian need be concerned only with Reaganomics vs. Rigginomics, and Mel Kaufman vs. Mel Krupin.
Know where to watch the game: anywhere in town with the possible exception of Claude Pepper's office, where Walter (Smurf) Fauntroy will have the place surrounded by wheelbarrows.
Know where not to watch the game: in George Allen's home in Chicago; in Jack Pardee's home in Midland, Tex.; in Richard Nixon's home in Saddle River, N.J. The future is now. And these men have absolutely nothing to do with it.
Know what to wear: burgundy and gold. (For those of you who advanced enough to get into the method-acting school of Super Bowl watching, remember that the game is being played in California. A burgundy jogging suit and gold chains will do nicely. When someone asks who you are rooting for, the correct response is, "Skins. Totally. Fer sure. Miami is like, ohmigod, mega-grody. Gag me with a dorsal fin.")
Know what to drink: burgundy.
Know what to smoke: gold.
Know what to eat: slop. Truffles.
Know what to say: "oink." In honor of the Hogs, the Washington offensive line, the pork-barrel movers and shakers of the NFL. "Whoo-Whoo." In honor of The Diesel, John Riggins. Say these things repeatedly whenever Riggins carries the ball. If the Redskins are winning, you will have an opportunity to say "oink" and "whoo-whoo" about 35 times. For variety, you might try saying them in foreign languages. In Russian, for example, "oink" is "gurg." And in Latin, "whoo-whoo" is "wuss-wussum." There is probably something you can say in Smurf talk, in honor of those teeny-weeny Redskins' wide receivers. But if you start talking in Smurf your guests may think you are carrying this bit too far.
Know what not to say: Do not say, "Nice kick, Garo." Do not say, "What's all this about Hogs and Killer Bees? Is this Dick Enberg or David Attenborough?" Do not say, "If it's close in the last two minutes Shula will think of something." For heaven's sake, do not say, "Re, re, re, re, re, re, re, respect." You cannot say it as well as Aretha Franklin, and your friends may confuse you with George Michael.
Know your history: Ten years ago, the Redskins played the Dolphins in Super Bowl VII, the year the Dolphins won XVII in a row. Miami won, XIV-VII.
Know what background music to play: Miss Piggy's greatest hits.
Know what inspirational verses to read: Sir Francis Bacon's memoirs.
Know what to do at halftime: Wrap a dead fish in newspaper and send it to the Fontainebleau Hotel.
Know what to remember: the Miracle Mets. The Miracle Jets. The Miracle U.S. Olympic hockey team. The Maine. To keep your thermostat at 68 degrees. That 55 saves lives. To keep your phone lines open in case Ronald Reagan can't get through to Pasadena and decides to make a local call instead.
Know your Capitol Hill financial-football terminology: the nickel. The dime. The quarterback. The $300 billion debt.
Know some interesting conversation starters: Tell your guests that when you play the Redskins' fight song at 33 rpm it sounds exactly like "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Tell your guests that there isn't a single Pakistani cornerback in the NFL. Tell your guests that although no NFL teams are named after salads, three of them--the Bills, Chargers and Bucs--are named after economic principles. Tell your guests that you find it instructive that no one on the Redskins is named Bubba, Hoss or Diane.
Know what the A.J. in A.J. Duhe stands for: Adam Joseph.
Know that the correct response to "Duhe?" is: "Hedu!"
Know your "on a roll, when you're hot, you're hot" statistics: The Redskins have won seven games in a row and 14 of 15 over two years.
Know your Hollywood trivia: The Redskins can win this for the Gipper. The Dolphins can win this for the Flipper.