Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 5, 2013

John Cannon: Also in ‘dark’ at Super Bowl: 02/06/13

John Cannon
The Independent

ASHLAND — Like the fans in New Orleans, I also spent a portion of Sunday night’s Super Bowl in the dark. However, unlike the thousands crowded into the Superdome, my darkness was intentional and self-imposed.

That’s because while millions of Americans were huddled around televisions watching the game and while scores were attending Super Bowl parties, I quietly sat at my desk in our home office and worked on my income taxes.

I just could not get excited about watching a football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco Forty-Niners — even if it was for the championship. I did not care who won and who lost. My interest in this pro football season ended when the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Houston Texans in the first round of the playoffs on Jan. 5.

But I am such a fair weather Bengals fan I only mourned their loss to the Texans for two or three minutes before getting on with my life. It’s tough to be a Bengals fan in this part of the country. It seemed like every time I had time to watch them this season, the West Virginia television stations played the Pittsburgh Steelers’ game instead of the Bengals’ game. It’s not easy being a fan of a team you can’t even see on TV.

I wasn’t invited to any Super Bowl parties this year, which probably says something about my popularity or lack thereof. But I did not mind. If I had been at a Super Bowl Party Sunday night, I would have eaten too much and been forced to act like I was actually enjoying the game.  

Besides, the last Super Bowl party I attended proved to be costly for me. It was at a friend’s house who had a large screen TV. Before that night, I had never really watched TV on such a large screen and saw no need for one. However, by halftime that night I never again wanted to watch sports on a small screen. That night, I told my wife I wanted a large screen TV, and I got one for Father’s Day that year. We have two other TVs in the house. I have not watched either one of them since the day I got the TV with a 40-inch screen. If it had not been for that Super Bowl party, I would have never known what I was missing.

When I was a child, I was a huge fan of professional football. Every Sunday afternoon in the fall I would be glued to the TV watching Jim Brown, Milt Plum, Leroy Kelly and the rest of the Cleveland Browns play. There were no Cincinnati Bengals in those days, and at the time, the Browns and the Green Bay Packers were clearly the best teams.

Of course, those Cleveland Browns I rooted for as a child are now the Baltimore Ravens. However, instead of following Cleveland to Baltimore, I became so upset at my favorite team moving to another city the Ravens immediately became my least favorite team. In fact, for years I called them the “team formerly known as the Cleveland Browns,” but I ceased doing that when an entirely new team was created and given the name of the Cleveland Browns. Those Browns turned me into a Bengals fan.

Because the Browns left Ohio to become the Ravens in Maryland, nothing could force me to ever root for that team, but I’m no big fan of the Forty-Niners, either. I like them better than the Ravens, but not so much I was going to spend a Sunday night watching them.

OK, I’ll admit it. I did not keep my vow to not watch the Super Bowl. During a break from doing my taxes, I clicked on the ESPN website and saw the game was close. So I went downstairs to watch the last 3 minutes and 30 seconds of the game on our big screen TV.

I have never pretended to be a huge pro football fan, but I have to admit I even surprised myself Sunday night. What kind of nut would do his taxes instead of watching the Super Bowl? Talk about not being a fan. ...

JOHN CANNON can be reached at jcannon@dailyindependent.com or at (606) 326-2649.