Monday, February 4, 2008

Clydesdale Wins Super Bowl!

A young Clydesdale named Hank and his Dalmatian buddy were the clear winners in the Super Bowl commercial competition yesterday. Check out the link to the ad here. If it doesn't bring tears to your eyes, you have no heart. What could be better than good horses and good dogs working together. It's better than the one with the little donkey who dreamed of being part of the team and the one with the Dalmatian who had a different kind of adoption. We were up close and personal with members of one team of Budweiser Clydesdales after they appeared at the L.A. Equestrian Center in January. They are such gentle giants.

George R.R. Martin and Viggo Mortensen have something in common today: they are among the overjoyed New York Giants fans in the world. That rattling sound is my father doing a happy dance in his grave. I didn't realize it growing up, but Dad was a huge football fan, somewhat subdued in a family of baseball fans. I knew he played in high school and dislocated his shoulder doing it, but it must have been a conversation we had after I got married that let me know how much he loved the Giants.

We had a small group of friends over to watch the game yesterday, a party Len holds in honor of his father. Unless the Browns are playing an easily available game, I don't watch football at all and Len watches even less. He's limited to the Super Bowl, which he used to watch with his Dad.

Until my freelancing brought me to the Washington Post and into contact with colleagues who were avid football fans, I would never even notice the football season. Then I learned that there were such things as post-season and Super Bowl parties when I got sent off to cover them for the paper. I liked those best when they were Food Section assignments because the pictures were better than when you tried to get a dozen people and the TV with a picture into a photo. This was in the days when it was unusual to see a color photograph in the daily paper.

Several times, the Post sent me out on Super Bowl Sunday to see what people were doing besides watching the game. The answer is pretty much nothing. Particularly when the Redskins were in the game. I remember photographing a deserted mall in Georgetown when one person was on the escalator. Then there were the 3 people at the big movie theatre near Adams-Morgan going to see a blockbuster film.

I started following the Cleveland Browns near the end of my time in D.C. A friend hauled me off to photograph a Browns game one cold December when I went to Cleveland for the weekend. They made it into the playoffs that year, so I watched. When I got to Cleveland to attend law school, there was no question--everyone followed the Browns games. With a lot of fellow students from Pittsburgh, I learned a lot about city spirit.

For a number of years after I moved to L.A. (a city without professional football) and married Len, my girlfriends and I would make of point of going antiquing on Super Bowl Sunday. It was great. Not much traffic. When I got home, I'd watch whatever was left of the game and we'd fast-forward through a video-tape to watch the commercials (often the best part of the game.)

Since I own a horse, antiquing is largely a thing of the past. Now I'm the person in the kitchen making the Super Bowl snacks. I made pots of vegetarian chili and turkey chili last night and we had the usual nachos, potato chips, guacamole, cheese, soft drinks (no one drinks beer in my house), and friends brought pizza and cake. Everyone was satisfied and I've got leftovers for the freezer (a start on the food I will need if there's an Oscars(R) ceremony--if the WGA has a new contract.)

My most ambitious Super Bowl meal was the night I did a fondue party. That was more work than I ever need to do again. Besides, it's hard to watch the game if you're going back and forth to the table for melted cheese or chocolate.

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