February 8, 2000
Last year I was highly disappointed because I couldn't
watch the Super Bowl. You see, Sunday evening in the US is Monday
morning here. On Monday mornings, I'm at work [choose one: working,
teaching, pretending to do something constructive, sleeping at my desk].
This year, however, I was lucky. The Super Bowl was re-broadcast
starting at 11:30pm Monday night, and I managed to a) not find out for
those 12 hours who won the game, and b) forget that I had to be at work
at 8:30 Tuesday morning.
a) involved not checking my email and starting every conversation with "Don't talk about the Super Bowl."
b) was a little easier. I believe the technical term is [choose one: "willing suspension of disbelief." "drunken stupor." "didn't give a rat's ass."]
Actually, I almost found out the result of the game at the last second because they played highlights of the game just before showing it. Strange timing. Fortunately, my [choose one: magnificent, peerless, carpal tunnel-inducing] remote control skills allowed me to change channels just in time.
Anyway, because I was watching the Super Bowl on Japanese TV, it was in Japanese. Everything. Or actually, I should qualify that. Everything football related was in English, only with a Japanese accent. What this meant was that even with very limited Japanese language ability I could pretty much follow what was going on. However, at times it made for a very strange sounding game.
For starters, as you might have guessed from the subject
of this message, the actual game was referred to as the "Supah Boru."
The two teams involved were the "Seinto Ruisu Ramuzu" and the "Tenesee
Taitanzu." At least they said Tennessee correctly. Some of
the star players were apparently playing under pseudonyms:
Kahto Wahnah (Curt Warner)
Suteebu Makune-ah (Steve McNair)
Masharu Foruku (Marshall Faulk)
Ehdee Jo-jee (Eddie George)
The play-by-play, also, had a smattering of English,
sahdo ando seben (3rd and 7)
ierou furagu (yellow flag)
and my personal favorite,
passu-cachi (complete forward pass)
In that last one, the phrase used by the Japanese announcers was based on English words, certainly, but when is the last time you heard an American announcer say "Wow, Bill, that was a helluva pass-catch there!"
The strange English was slightly annoying, but mostly just amusing. The annoying thing is that the whole thing was curtailed. The entire game lasted less than 90 minutes. I know some non-sports fans out there are saying [choose one: "well, that's how it should be." "that's plenty of time." "what's a Super Bowl?"] But you are wrong.
They showed the first eight minutes of the game without interruption, and I was [choose one: ecstatic, in seventh heaven, soiling my Union suit]. Then, after a short commercial break, they came back. But something wasn't quite right. I quickly realized that they had skipped from mid-first quarter to mid-second quarter, with no warning. Apparently, since there was no scoring during those minutes, they weren't important. Imagine if they followed this same strategy with soccer broadcasts -- each game would last 4 minutes. (Even less when the US is playing, since they never score anymore.) Anyway, I then sneezed and by the time I recovered it was already the third quarter. The only consolation of the shortened game is that the entire half-time extravaganza lasted thirty seconds. Now THAT'S the way it should be.
I shouldn't complain, though. At least [choose one: I got to see football for the first time in more than a year, I didn't get to bed too late, the team I was hoping would win the game did, Ricky Martin wasn't in the half-time show].