Most seasons I watch one NFL game: the Super Bowl.
That was the case this year also. I enjoy football a lot, but the college game always has appealed more to me, probably because then I get to root for Oregon teams, and Oregon doesn't have a NFL team.
However, I do consider it my non-sacred duty to watch the Super Bowl. It's an American tradition. And because it's the most important NFL game of the year, I get excited watching it.
Partly that's because even though I don't have any favorite team during the regular season, I read enough on the sports pages to end up wanting one of the Super Bowl teams to win. In 2023 it was the Kansas City Chiefs.
For a couple of reasons. I follow an Oregon political guy on Twitter who is a massive fan of Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback of the Chiefs. During the past several years I've been exposed to tweets that make it sound like Mahomes is, if not a superhero quarterback, the closest thing to it.
I also was aware that Mahomes played on a bad ankle in the division championship that got the Chiefs to the Super Bowl, gutting out a victory. So while Mahomes was the NFL most valuable player, I decided I wanted Kansas City to win because they seemed like underdogs given Mahomes's injury.
And I typically root for the underdog in the Super Bowl.
My biggest fear, of course, wasn't that the Chiefs would lose, but that either the Chiefs or the Philadelphia Eagles would run away with the game, making it one of those boring Super Bowl blowouts of 45-7 or whatever.
That fear sure didn't come to pass. The game was close throughout. Mostly I had the impression that the Eagles looked like the better team. However, the Chiefs answered whenever the Eagles scored and the game was tied with about five minutes remaining.
Mahomes then showed why he's the NFL MVP. He worked his magic down the field, even running for a good gain on one play where he looked to be in quite a bit of pain.
It was kind of surprising to see the Chiefs doing their best not to score when they got close to the Eagles goal line with several minutes left on the clock. I understood the desire to not leave the Eagles with much time after a Chiefs score.
Still it seemed risky when a Chiefs running back slid on the one yard line to avoid scoring. What if there was a fumble on a succeeding play? Then the decision not to score when the Chiefs had the chance would have looked like an all-time Super Bowl dumb move.
But the Chiefs kicker easily made a short field goal with eight seconds remaining. That made the final score 38-35 with Mahomes and company earning a well-deserved win.
I then watched my recording of today's Meet the Press show.
During the Data Download segment, Chuck Todd presented a couple of slides about the Super Bowl. The first made me feel good about being part of an American sports ritual that, unlike other sports, appeals equally to both Democrats and Republicans.
I guess I'm included in the Democrats 44%, even though my NFL fandom usually consists of one game a year, the Super Bowl. Todd noted that it's only the NFL that attracts Democrats and Republicans equally, since other sports have a bias toward one political party or the other.
Good for the NFL. We need more things in the United States that bring us together, given how divided we are in many respects.
This slide also was interesting, along with being a bit disturbing.
Wow, 29 of 30 most viewed television broadcasts in U.S. history are Super Bowls. Not a moon landing. Not a presidential debate. Super Bowls. The exception among the top 30 was the finale of M*A*S*H in 1983.
Oh, well. Whatever brings us together is a good thing. Even if it is Super Bowls and the finale of a long-running TV show.