II Many Roman Numerals IV Me

Green and yellow, baby! Green and yellow.

I feel weird typing those words. I am – and always have been – a Denver Broncos fan. They are my team, first and foremost, no matter how sorry their record has been lately. Isn’t that the mark of a true fan, though? Sticking by your team through the good years and the bad? It may be a cliche, but there’s always next season. When it comes to the NFL, there are two extremes for me: I love the Broncos and I loathe the Raiders. Everybody else falls somewhere in between. The Green Bay Packers are near the top of the heap, so when this year’s Super Bowl rolled around, I found myself pulling for them. Though I’d never stoop so low as to wear a styrofoam block of cheese on my head, I like that a team  from a relatively small town in Wisconsin, of all places, can hold their own against teams from bigger regional markets. Besides, the Packers are a team steeped in history. They won the first two Super Bowls ever played. The Vince Lombardi trophy was named after their legendary coach. Way to go, Packers!

Green Bay Packers cheese head
The nice thing is, if he catches a stiff breeze he can go hang gliding after the game. (Courtesy of greenbaypackernation.com).

A week ago, my kids suddenly declared themselves Steelers fans. All week long they were walking around the house, chanting “black and yellow, black and yellow.” I just shook my head. One of the best things about having kids is dressing them in clothes adorned with your favorite sports team’s logo when they’re too little to do anything other than drool on their miniature jerseys. Which means both Rusty and Audrey wore Broncos clothes before they were even old enough to walk. I don’t care that their interests have changed as they’ve gotten older; I certainly didn’t expect them to be Broncos fans for life, and my feelings aren’t hurt or anything. They are growing up and should make their own choices and establish their own identities. It’s just the fact that they so blatantly jumped on the Pittsburgh bandwagon that makes me smirk. After all, neither has any ties to Steeltown. A year from now, we’ll see who they like! As for me, I’ll still be cheering on my Broncos, even if they finish dead last in their division again. Sadly, I dropped the kids off at their mom’s house early – before the game – so I didn’t get a chance to rub the loss in their faces, except over Facebook. Mean-spirited? Nah – they would have done the same thing to me had Green Bay lost. Besides, that’s another great reason to have kids – there are always opportunities to tease or embarrass them. After the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland last November, I started skipping through the streets of downtown just because I knew it would mortify them. All I can say is, mission accomplished.

So, it turned out I watched the Super Bowl alone. Which isn’t nearly as bad as it might sound. I got to yell at the TV a lot and wasn’t “shooshed” by anybody nearby. I didn’t have a girlfriend asking me what a “lateral” is or how come the team with the black jerseys didn’t kick the ball after getting a touchdown but instead ended up with two points. I got to pour myself a drink at 2:57 PM and nobody chided me that it was “too early.” And I didn’t hold back on the food, either. There are two days every year where you just have to suck it up and say “calories be damned”: Thanksgiving and the Super Bowl. Between the hot wings and chili dogs and chips and gin & tonics, all I can say once again is, mission accomplished.

As for the game itself, it was everything a championship football matchup should be: close, well-played, action-packed and never dull. We even got not one, but two patriotic songs to start the game (though the Glee girl definitely out-sang Xtina, or whatever she’s calling herself these days). The commercials weren’t great, but I liked the Doritos ad where the guy licked the cheese crumbs off his coworker’s fingers. Not sure why people were throwing cans of Pepsi Max at other people, though. What kind of message is Pepsi trying to send? Our soda will turn you into a violent psychopath? The Budweiser spots were predictably satisfying, and the godaddy.com Joan Rivers ad was both hot and disgusting. (And yes, I went to their website for the “too racy for TV” versions of their Super Bowl ads. Typical guy, I know).  The only complaint I had was with the Halftime Show. My opinion? Stick with rock ‘n roll. Slash’s 30-second duet with Fergie was the only bright spot. It was all too much black leather, sparkly shoulder pads, and glowing boxes on their heads. All flash and no substance. Black Eyed Puh-leeze.

No more Roman Numerals in the Super Bowl.
We should have stopped using Roman Numerals in the Super Bowl XXV years ago! (Courtesy of flash-screen.com).

Oh, and one other thing. Isn’t it high time they ditched the whole Roman Numeral thing? It was cute way back when it was Super Bowl VI, maybe. But XLV? Who’s going to remember that, say, in another V years or so? Can’t we just use real numbers instead? Besides, how is football even remotely related to Rome in the first place? Julius Caesar and his empire never came within spitting distance of our shores. It’s strictly an American game. Maybe whoever is in charge of these things (who is in charge of these things, anyway?) thinks Roman Numerals look classier. Well, you know what? They don’t. I used to hate it when you’d be watching a movie or something and wanted to know the year it came out, but when you scanned the credits you got that ridiculous MCMXCIV copyright date. I’d be like, “huh?” That’s not a year – those are really good Scrabble tiles! It was a relief when 2000 rolled around because that was nice and easy. MM. But now it’s getting complicated again, we’re up to MMXI, and you know those L’s and C’s are looming on the horizon out there. Enough already. I vote for Super Bowl 46 next year, not Super Bowl XLVI.

Is there a petition I can sign or something?


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

9 thoughts on “II Many Roman Numerals IV Me

  1. Go Packers! That’s my team! I knew all that gorging of food and sick stomach feeling was not a waste of my time. Check back this evening, and I’ll have a delightful post on how to host the superbowl party of your dreams!


  2. I’m not sports fan, however the way you wrote this post made me feel like I missed something great! Especially the commericials….

    “Joan Rivers ad was both hot and disgusting. ”

    Now you got me all curious as to what it was. I guess I could either google it or find it on You Tube.

    Being a Philadelphian, I dare not even speak the words, “I’m not a sports fan…in fear of being beated with an Eagles helmet, or clubbed with a Phillies baseball bat – HA! Listen, I know everyone gets excited about their home team, but the people in Philly are WACKO overboard.

    Anyway, glad you had a great time watching the Super Bowl, Mark! And I’m happy your team of choice won!!


    1. Ron – I know all about the Philadelphia state of mind. My family is from Trenton, and so they’re all a bunch of Phillies and Eagles fans. It’s mania, I tell you!


  3. “black-eyed PUHLEEZE” that’s funny.
    we had fun at our house, too…I don’t recall the last time I’ve sat in front of the tv for 7 hours straight.
    today, I am…digesting.
    we ate a LOT of food…


    1. Heh. It wasn’t so bad for me…but then again, I just sat through a 12-hour Lord Of The Rings marathon not so long ago!

      I think I’ll be digesting for a couple of days still myself…


  4. Good call on the Raiders. They scream dirty ghetto to me. But we both know how Oakland can be. Haha. And the Broncos … really? What ties do you have to Denver??? Niners all the way, baby. 😉


    1. Hi Vicki,

      I almost addressed that in my post. My dad was in the Air Force, and in 1983 we were stationed in Rapid City. South Dakota isn’t exactly a hotbed of professional sports, and Denver was the closest big city; it seemed like everybody in town was a Broncos fan. Elway was a new addition to the team, and I was just becoming interested in the NFL, so I also gravitated to the Broncos. By the time we moved to the Bay Area three years later, I had formed a lifelong allegiance with my team. Who were handily beaten by your 49ers in the late 80s, I might add. Grr!


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