Super Bowl LIII was played Sunday, or as it was called at The Reaper office, the Not New Orleans Saints vs. the Tom Bradiots Bowl. 

We call it “the big game” because we are all terrified to use the term “Super Bowl” in print. Apparently the NFL’s lawyers are scarier than its linebackers, the film “Bird Box” and special counsel Robert Muller. 

The big game always reminds me of when I first started at this job. We were printing on paper instead of recycled hemp at that point. 

Anyway, I was admonished in the strongest possible terms to never, ever, under any circumstance refer to the “Super Bowl” as such. Then I was told the story of a man who filled out a comment card at a Chuck-a-Rama restaurant. At the bottom of it, they asked, “is there anything else we can do to make your next visit more enjoyable.”

Thinking he was funny, he wrote, “Give me tickets to the Super Bowl.”

Within 10 minutes a cadre of black vans filled with attorneys converged on the man, and took him away. Much like the band Wang Chung post 1984, the man was never heard from again. Rumor has it the NFL sued him into non-existence, just like Wang Chung. 

Personally, I think the man still exists, chained up in the dungeon underneath Roger Goodell’s pool house. He’s locked up there with other prisoners of the NFL, including Jerry Jones’ son-in-law, an evil clone of Terry Bradshaw that once broke out of a government lab and the guy who designed Janet Jackson’s wardrobe. 

The great thing about the Super, uh, I mean, big game, is that it unites fans of football with fans of commercials, which is stupid. How can you be a fan of commercials? 

Any other time in the history of man broadcasting images through the air, the commercial has been regarded as a bathroom break at best, or a foreign power trying to invade your living room at worst. As a child, I remember the only accepted use of the remote control was to mute the commercials as fast as possible.

“They’re not gonna sell me Pepsi,” Grandpa would say. “By the way, pass me a Coke.”

I always felt a little naughty not watching the commercials. 

If the Lucky Charms people paid for me to be able to watch “G.I. Joe,” wasn’t it kind of like stealing if I didn’t pay attention to their advertisements?

No one worries about that issue with the super big game. People who can’t tell the difference between Ben Roethlisberger and a broken down ’58 Desoto tune in just to watch the advertisements. In fact, it’s the one time of the year that the program becomes the bathroom break and the commercials are what everyone stampedes back into the room for. 

“Did I miss the Clydesdales?” Charlie says to his buddies.

“You did, but the one with the sexy girl in it is coming on.”

“Oh thank goodness. I thought I was going to have to watch football.”

The big game bowl is where corporations roll out their newest, best and most expensive commercials. In fact a 30-second spot during the 2019 game is reportedly setting heartless corporations back more than $5 million.

Now some people would say that $5 million could be used for something that improves society. 

For the cost of one commercial, you could buy 20 houses for struggling families, or 769,231 lunches for starving children or take 2,000 veterans to the Super Bowl. 

But if you went with the veterans to watch the game live, you’d miss all the commercials.

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