Now that the Super Bowl is history I would like to have the last word on what it all means. Although some people (with inferior teams) have mixed feelings about the game, it does serve a purpose. It allows those who would otherwise be normal American men and women an opportunity to let off just enough steam so they won't kill each other. Football is the great leveler in all our lives -- possibly the only thing that separates us from four-legged animals.
Let me give you an example of why I believe pro football, with all its faults, should not be abolished.
Last Monday I arrived at National Airport and was placed by a dispatcher in a beat-up taxicab, driven by a giant of a man with deep black eyes, a beard and two gold front teeth. For those who do not have opportunities to take our taxis at National Airport, the majority of drivers are shipped to Washington by camel dealers from the Third World. The cabbies are not only unable to find an address in Washington, they can't find one in the Third World. Because they don't know where they're going, they turn around and stare at you while they drive very fast.
When I gave Attila my address he spat out the window, cursed in what I thought was a Khomeini accent and headed into the highway traffic at 70 miles an hour.
I knew to save my life I had to do something fast. "How did you like Doug Williams' passing at the Super Bowl?" I asked him.
He spat out the window again. "We killed them. The Denver defense couldn't cover Sanders and Clark at the same time."
"You can say that again," I said, noticing him thaw in front of my eyes. He had even slowed down to 60. "Dexter Manley earned his keep."
"You can say that again," the driver said. "But the real credit has to go to Joe Gibbs."
By the time we got to the special teams you would have thought we had shared the same locker at Forest Hills High School. My driver turned into a teddy bear and even stopped for a red light. Here we were, two strangers from two different cultures, one from the first world and the other from the Third World, and the only thing that could have brought us together was the Super Bowl. It was a miracle.
Football does not only bring taxi drivers and their fares together. It also stops strife in the family. There is a male cousin in our family with whom I find it hard to spend more than 10 minutes. If it weren't for football I'm not sure what would happen at family gatherings.
"They stopped Elway," Tyrone shouted at me before I got my coat off.
"They also stopped the Three Amigos," I told him.
"Darrell Green stopped the Amigos," he said. Tyrone was exaggerating his knowledge of the game, but when it comes to football a man is entitled to his opinion, particularly if he's a blood relative.
"You're probably right," I told him. From then on I lost my urge to kick him in the stomach.
Family, friends, cops -- there isn't anyone who can't be tamed by asking his opinion of the NFL and the Super Bowl. Everyone is an expert at football and willing to prove it to you, and you don't have to be Jimmy the Greek to say how the players are bred.
If anyone has doubts that football is a civilizing influence on the American people, all he or she has to do is watch the fans in the stadium on television. When you see them trying to claw the camera, you have to conclude that these people are dangerous and should not be trusted with a nuclear bomb. But as long as you give them Super Bowls the chances of them committing homicide are no more than 3 to 2.
The down side of football is that now that the season is over there is nothing to talk about. That's why I have a deathly fear that Attila will kill me the next time he takes me home from National Airport.