Here’s a classic column from the late, great Art Buchwald, perfect for Super Bowl weekend.
“He Didn’t Watch the Game”
A bunch of us were standing around the bar on Monday talking about Super Bowl Sunday and what a dandy day it had been. We all had that warm feeling you get when you have shared a great common experience. I was telling everyone I had watched the game on a large super screen which my friend Stevens had bought just for the occasion. Next to being at the game itself, this gave me quite a bit of clout.
I noticed that the only one who wasn’t enjoying the scene was Apple. With good humor I said, “Where did you see the Super Bowl, Apple?”
“I didn’t,” he replied.
There was a hush at the bar.
“Did someone die in your family?” Nelson asked.
“No,” Apple said.
“I know,” Bailey interjected, “you were on an airplane flying back from a business trip.”
Apple shook his head. “I wasn’t on an airplane and no one died in my family and no one got sick. I was home.”
“Your television set was broken?” someone suggested.
“My television set was perfect. As a matter of fact, my wife and I watched To Kill a Mockingbird with Gregory Peck. It was an excellent movie.”
“What were you doing watching a movie instead of the Super Bowl?” I wanted to know.
“I don’t believe in the Super Bowl,” Apple replied, “and neither does my wife.”
Ogilvy slammed down his beer. “What the hell do you mean – you don’t believe in the Super Bowl. Are you some kind of atheist nut or something?”
Apple was really cool. “I believe in God, but I don’t believe in the Super Bowl.”
I thought Woodstock was going to slug him. “Super Bowl Sunday is the holiest day of the year. One hundred million Americans observe it, believe in it, live for it. And you’re trying to say it don’t do nothing to you?”
“It may have religious significance for some people. But it doesn’t have meaning for my family. I have no objection to other folks believing that the day has some super power as long as they don’t try to inflict their beliefs on me.”
The bar was tensing up. I tried to be the peacemaker.
“Apple may have a point,” I said. “After all, what makes America the greatest country in the world is not that you have to watch ‘The Game,’ but that you DON’T have to watch it if you don’t want to.”
“If you don’t like it here,” Ogilvie spat out at Apple, “why don’t you go back where you came from?”
“Ogilvie’s right,” Nelson said. “Millions of dollars were spent to give us the Super Bowl. The two greatest teams in American football played their hearts out, and many fell on the field of combat.
“They put on a half-time show that would put the Roman circuses to shame. American advertisers spent every nickel they had to bring us a day we will remember for the rest of our lives. Only a pervert would be tuned in to To Kill a Mockingbird.”
“I’m sorry you all feel this way,” Apple said, “but we do have separation of state and sports in this country. Besides, I believe the Super Bowl has been hyped up to the point where it has lost all sportsmanlike meaning. It is now nothing but junk food.”
I wish Apple hadn’t said that. But our lawyer tells us that, no matter how much Apple sues us for assaulting him, no jury of 12 just men is going to award him a dime when they find out he doesn’t believe in Super Bowl Sunday.