I can't even make a joke. Does anyone care about this game outside of Pittsburgh and Phoenix? After the Cardinals were almost blacked out for their first playoff game, one almost has to wonder if that many people in Phoenix even care. The excitement of the inauguration makes it feel like the conference championship games were played a year ago. We're on a collision course with mediocrity. Two very average teams are playing, one with a fan base that a lot of people think are jackasses, one that comes from a pathetic division and excites nobody (outside of Fitzgerald, obviously), they clash in a game that probably won't be memorable and that will have an outcome that everyone will hope to forget by next year. It's the football equivalent of the 2004 Presidential election.
But, fear not! I'm not going to break down the game because I really just don't f***ing care (other than how in heck is Pittsburgh going to cover Fitzgerald?). Instead, here are some things to look for and discuss with your fellow bored party-goers as all of you wonder, but are afraid to ask, why you can't just switch over to playing Mario Kart already:
- Why are sportscasters racist? They love to refer to Troy Polamalu as a "throwback" player, but you'll never hear that about Adrian Wilson. It's because "throwback" refers to a non-black player who hits hard and doesn't have a shoe deal. Discuss with pertinent examples, such as Kevin Curtis, Jason Sehorn, and Jake Delhomme.
- Does "Fast" Willie Parker sound more like the name of a football player or a role that Eddie Murphy would play? As a group, come up with a plot where a street-wise cop/bum/criminal named "Fast" Willie Parker finds a way to screw with the white establishment while cracking jokes. Don't forget to include a banana-in-the-tailpipe gag!
- Is there anything more stupid than 50-calorie packs of dog treats? It's true; I saw them in 7-11! It has nothing to do with football, but it's a hell of a lot more intriguing than another Neil Rackers field goal.
- See who can name the most Cardinals. Take away Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin for an extra special challenge! Remember, Albert Pujols doesn't count!
- Spot the bandwagon Cardinals fans in the crowd. This one might be a little too easy. They're any fan in the crowd that is rooting for the Cardinals.
- Which city is worse, Pittsburgh or Cleveland? You can't think of the Steelers without thinking of their long-time rival. Talk about the two towns while you laugh and not-so-secretly thank your lucky stars that you live in neither.
- What would have to happen for Kurt Warner to question his faith? There's not a doubt that Warner is the most genuinely God-loving man in the NFL. So what would shake his belief system? Personally, I might question the existence of a higher power if the Arizona Cardinals were to ever actually win a Super Bowl. See if that creates a paradox for Warner.
- Who is the goofiest Pittsburgh QB ever? They had Neil O'Donnell. They had Bubby Brister. They have Ben "Evel Knievel" Roethlisberger. But can anything top the fact that Terry Bradshaw appeared in a Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy, Failure To Launch?
- Why do you have to watch this crap-ass football game? Be as existential as possible. Encourage your friends to be open and honest about why they think they've brought this horrible punishment upon themselves.