YOU'LL FORGIVE our celebrating the Super Bowl this morning instead of waiting for this afternoon's football game. The buildup of the past two weeks has us in a near-explosive state. By now we know as much about Thomas (The Mouth That Roared) Henderson as it is humanly possible to know. And if we understood any more of Cowboy coach Tom Landry's philosophy, our heads would crack like eggs.
There will be a final score this afternoon, but the important thing is that it not detract from the events that count: the cocktail party with the Bahamian theme that included 400 indoor palm trees (housing parrots and cockatoos), 2,000 lobsters, which gave their lives for the week's festivities, and 1,000 pounds of chicken breasts; the tales of scalpers selling tickets for $200 and $300; the televised predictions of Ed McMahon and Angie Dickinson; the quotations from Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw, and others; the countless interviews and comments by sportscasters; and, yet to come, the astonishing pre-game show, which has outdone itself every year in taste and excitement.
Considering the latter, one cannot help but recall when Pittsburgh and Dallas met in Miami once before, in the Super Bowl of 1976. Then three television announcers called Irv, Brent and Phyllis led us on a pre-game and half-time journey that included mesmerizing chats with Alice Cooper and Raquel Welch; a motorboat ride with Hugh O'Brian; a "Punt, Pass and Kick" competition, sponsored by the "Punt, Pass and Kick" Association, which featured kids who were booed if they were not from Dallas or Miami; the "Up With People" singers, of happy memory; and, of course, the mandatory homage to Vince Lombardi, with Barbra Streisand singing "The Way We Were." That Super Bowl even topped the Super Bowl of 1972, when Carol Channing circled the field on a float as she sang "Hello, Louis" in memory of Louis Armstrong while a formation of Phantom jets thundered over Tulane Stadium to honor our POWs in Southeast Asia.
Of such stuff are Super Bowls made. Much will be made tomorrow morning of who won and lost, and why. But not by us. The frenzy of the past two weeks has been too much.