You say Hog Fever and I say: Sick, Sick, Sick.
Yesterday afternoon I was twirling the radio dial and must have heard at least four different, equally ridiculous songs about the Redskins. At least the Redskins themselves weren't singing, although that's probably next. If that wasn't bad enough, it seemed that every time the team got mentioned on the air, people started honking their horns. The height of this round of madness came at about 2:10 p.m., when a deejay on WMZQ dedicated a Merle Haggard tune to some guy who had split up with his girlfriend because she was rooting for the--ugh--Dolphins.
. Remember the poor woman in the film "Diner" whose boyfriend wouldn't marry her unless she passed some silly sports quiz? It seemed absurd in the movie, but now we have the same idiocy going on right here in the nation's capital. Last night Georgetown seemed like one sprawling barroom filled with Elks on a bender, giving each other the high sign: a raised single finger, accompanied by slurred incantations of "We're No. 1." Big deal. Grow up.
Why is it that alleged adults tend to get so carried away by all this nonsense, as if it really mattered who won Super Bowl XVII? (Who are they kidding with this Roman numeral bit?) Why were seemingly normal women throwing themselves wantonly into the arms of strangers, as if they were sailors coming home from the war? (Q: What did you do in the war, daddy? A: I carried a pig through the streets of D.C.) Bruce Ogilvie, psychology professor emeritus at San Jose State, says watching football has "a gonadotropic effect. There's an incredible amount of testosterone exuded." Which is to say that there might be a "baby boomlet in D.C. come fall." How would you like to be the issue of such inspired coupling? Or have to explain to Junior why his room is painted maroon and gold?
Of course, on this issue I differ from most men of my gender. To them, I say, go play with your pigskins, pals! Or else go play with some of the 669,000 women who were expected to watch the big game right here in the metropolitan area, along with 936,000 men. Women used to have some sense of priority. Now even they can't be trusted. The Junior League Shop window on M Street was decorated in Redskin colors. Next thing you know George Stark will be coming to tea.
It's absolutely inescapable. If this were the Middle Ages, we'd be dealing with bubonic plague. Plastered across the front grills of pickup trucks, the entrances of houses, even--may the Muses spare us--draped atop the Corcoran Gallery: a 20-foot-wide banner that proclaims GO REDSKINS GO! Would the Corcoran go to such prosaic excess to proclaim the arrival of the Mona Lisa? Well, maybe, if she could make the Redskinettes.
I have lived in Washington a good decade and a half now, and can only remember such a display of jingoism once before, when the hostages were returned. There were yellow ribbons tied around everything from the control tower at National Airport to the baby finger of your little cousin Louie. That was a day of national expiation, a moment when we as a nation felt we had shaken off some horrible nightmare. Well, that's me this morning. Is this a great country or what?
Now I know how wars start. There's no difference, really, between the long bomb and the MX missle. All you need to do is get these Washington types all worked up over something, and the next thing you know IT'S TOO BIG TO STOP. Can it really be that WPGC and E.F. Hutton teamed up to give a $1,000 portfolio to the person who guessed the total number of points scored in the game? I tuned in Q-107 and all I heard about was some guy who got to fly out with a guest to see "the 'Skins beat the Dolphins." Didn't anyone even consider the alternative? Maybe they just got lucky.
Ah, but there is solace in all travail and we can be thankful that Dr. George Ginsberg, a professor of psychiatry at New York University, says that wearing war paint, serving dolphin steak and naming your firstborn Riggins is absolutely healthy.
Hey, who knows what's healthy? I just know I feel a lot better now that this is all over. And to all the fuss, I say, take this Super Bowl and shove it. Who cares? Go punt.
Play Pac-Man with your kid! Kiss your wife! Eat a peach! Read a book!
Hey, you. I'm talking to you. Is anybody listening . . .