Is a Ravens Win “But A Dream Within A Dream”?

The Big Game is finally here. After months of weekly fashion shows by all of the teams in the league (and maybe a bit of ball running/throwing/kicking to make the NFL look like something other than a club for boys with cute outfits vying for rings each winter), it has come down to two options for Mr. NFL. We’ve got the 49ers who will be sporting red and gold ensembles tomorrow morning (game time is 7:30AM for those of us residing in the Middle Kingdom) and the Ravens who will wear a darker scheme of purple and black.

(Looking back over the season, the regular game day uniforms were pretty similar to last year, but when it came time for throwbacks, there were some major missteps! I still can’t believe the Steelers took the field looking like giant bumblebees this fall.  Horizontal stripes aren’t easy for most people to pull off, but put them on a 300 pound linebacker and the results aren’t pretty. Give them some antennae and a few Spanish phrases and they could be stand-ins for Bumblebee Man from the Simpsons. And don’t even get me started on the throwbacks donned by the Buccaneers this season. Just a hint boys: Sherbet-hued outfits will intimidate no one. And regardless of how you feel about the breast cancer awareness pink requirement during October, I would officially like to excuse the Redskins and the Chiefs from next year’s forced “we heart boobies” trend. There is just no way the red/yellow of their normal uniforms can come anywhere near looking good with a splash of bright pink. Let them off the hook, for the sake of all of our eyes.)

While my Idaho roots may make readers think I would lean towards supporting the 49ers, I can’t do that, for several reasons. First, those outfits are hideous. They look like they are stuck in the 80s. If the Super Bowl was based purely on uniform design (which I wish it were), they’d lose before the coin was even tossed.

But, their terrible threads are not the only reason they aren’t getting my vote. How can I not tell the tale of my heart and root on the Ravens? You’d have to chain me to a catacomb’s wall to keep me from cheering on Baltimore’s team tomorrow morning. The wings seraphs of heaven covet the playing abilities of Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco.  Will San Francisco take home the Lombardi trophy tomorrow morning? “Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.’”

He was a literary master and he has an NFL team named after him. There is no other team to root for. Evermore!

To prepare for the early morning match-up, my day has been spent getting ready for the Super Bowl party I will host at the consulate. With freshly painted purple and black fingernails, I’ve peeled about a million mandarin oranges, which are a perfect for the continental breakfast spread I have ready to go in the morning. (Rather than noshing on nachos, pizza, chicken wings and beer, we’ll be celebrating with muffins, cinnamon rolls, fruit and coffee. That’s what happens when kickoff is before the opening of business on a work day.) I ran to the store to get extra juice, worried that the four boxes I schlepped back to the compound after lunch on Friday would not be enough, and got some baby bananas to supplement the peeled miniature oranges.

Sadly, we won’t get to watch the overpriced Super Bowl commercials, as we’ll be watching the game live on an AFN (Armed Forces Network) feed, which doesn’t allow for commercials.  While all of America is watching a baby Clydesdale grow up and make his owner proud (and getting to take a shot at naming him) and a confusing VW commercial that implies driving one will give you a carefree Caribbean outlook and a stereotypical Jamaican accent (neither of which I got in the several years I drove a VW Bug), we’ll be sipping coffee as the military reminds us about such uplifting topics as PTSD, suicide and the pitfalls of only paying the minimum balance on our credit cards.

Knowing that winter is going to be cut short thanks to Punxsutawney not seeing his shadow this weekend, those of us in Chengdu will be enjoying some early morning pigskin play action and hoping for a bit of sunshine to break through the haze. Oh yeah, and rooting on an American literary legend’s team.


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