Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Dante's Inferno01/23/01: A Little Super Bowl History ... You Won't Have 42 to Kick Around Any More, and Boy Are You Going to be Sorry

The last time a Super Bowl and a Presidential inauguration occurred in the same month, the Dallas Cowboys bitch-slapped the hapless Buffalo Bills 52-17. I vaguely remember my Cowboys thrashing the Bills, and handing them their third straight Super Bowl loss in the process, but I mostly remember watching the inside of my eyelids thanks to the sleep-deprivation coma I landed in around kickoff. (And no, I don't count Clinton's 1997 inauguration ... nobody really doubted he'd beat Bob Dole like a red-headed stepchild, much like the way the Pack took care of the Pats 35-21.)

Despite the fact that the Super Bowl is almost never close (average margin of victory is nearly 16 points!), and less than a third of the games have been decided by 9 points or less (last year's 23-16 thriller the exception, not the rule), the game still generates monumental hype, hysteria, and eyeballs. Until this year, that is. In what may be the blandest match-up of all the playoff duos, the NY Giants (led by comeback kid Kerry Collins) will muck it up with the Baltimore Ravens (led by a dirty, cheap-shot defense spear-headed by Ray Lewis and Co.). Yawn.

The lowest-scoring game in SB history took place 28 years ago in 1973 when Miami claimed the first of back-to-back titles with a 14-7 win over Washington . This weekend's game could seriously be a 9-6 field goal battle. 28 years ago I was six, and George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of these United States, was a party-machine of 26, staring down the barrel at fourteen solid years of wreckless boozing while he ran Daddy's company's into the ground.

I watched this weekend's festivities with mixed emotions. I've never felt that this guy wanted, needed to be President. I guess "41" (dopey Republican code for George Bush, Sr.), still smarting from the thrashing Clinton handed him back in 1992, figured W was the better Bush Boy to run this time around. If he lost – which was likely and will be debated for years – it was no big deal. He'd slink back to Texas and get handed another company to fiddle with while he drank himself silly. Jeb was always viewed as the family's rising political star, but 41 might have the whole thing backfire on him.

Jeb's up for re-election in a few and Democrats will still be smarting from having the election stolen out from under their feet, whether that belief is real or imagined. Expect plenty of dough to be spent reminding disenfranchised voters how the Bushes came in, bullied everybody around, and got their boy into the White House despite losing the popular vote. It's bound to be an ugly scene, and one that could dash ol' Jeb's chances of ever making it to the Big Dance.

One wishes W had the same love for the job as "42," the whore-hopping consummate politician who found himself getting his own egg salad sandwich the day after the inauguration. Man, that must've been humbling for Clinton, coming a scant 24 hours after a farewell party that played out like the parade to be thrown for Super Bowl victors. It was almost like he was rubbing the Bush's collective noses in it, letting them know that were it not for that pesky 22nd Amendment, he'd still be sitting there in the White House.

I'm not sure when, maybe it'll be six months from now, maybe eight, maybe a year. But somewhere down the line, the American people will be begging for the return of Bill Clinton. SNL's portrayal of W as a squinty-eyed nitwit may be accurate, but it certainly doesn't make for good weekly tv. We'll tire of it, but we never tired of Clinton, even if he was a sneaky, back-stabbing snake capable of viciousness that W can only imagine in his worst nightmares.

43's administration is not likely to be the stuff of legend. The next 4 years are likely to be very, very vanilla. Much like this year's unmemorable Super Bowl match-up. match-up that has left me longing for the days of The Fridge and The Hogs, Roger and Terry, The Orange Crush and The Steel Curtain. Granted, the prospect of this game bores me to tears, but I'll still be watching...hell, there's a new 'Survivor' airing right after the game.

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