Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fat with pride, Patriots fan goes on media-free diet

I played golf to avoid watching television and consuming the constant babble about the New York Giants' big shocker - only to be met with overjoyed New York retirees bragging about their team while I was trying to tee off.

On Monday, I was disgusted by the front pages of newspapers. I wasn't even tempted to read them.

I started my new diet a few hours after Eli Manning took the final knee Sunday, stabbing the proverbial fork into the Patriots' perfect season.

I was at work for the Super Bowl and watched
my Pats on three televisions attached to the ceiling near my desk. After all the copy editing was done for the day, we got early copies of the newspaper. On the front page, of course, was a bloated headline about the game. I usually take the issue home to read the stories that I don't edit, but this issue was worth flushing away. I didn't want anything to remind me of that miserable taste of defeat, so I threw it into a pile of discarded papers.

I don't understand why all the so-called experts were predicting the Patriots would eat up the Giants. I knew it would be a close game because New England had been looking quite anorexic toward the end of the season. But the Pats were fat with pride Sunday, as they played sluggishly the entire game.

I'd rather not pour salt into my own wounds, so I decided to abstain from newspapers and cable television news for several days to avoid consuming any coverage of the Super Bowl and all of the "shouldn't count your eggs before they hatch" criticism of the Pats and their fans.

Halfway through a bowl of milk and cereal this morning, I was watching the Discovery Channel, where I thought I would be safe from such football garbage. It should have been a virtual salad bar: Everything should have been safe to eat. But a commercial came on.

"Congratulations, New York Giants. You're going to Disney World," it said. Or something to that effect. I actually changed the channel before the narrator said "York."

I accidentally bought a newspaper yesterday when I was at Panera, the cafe. After finishing a book, I needed something else to read while I gulped the rest of my bottomless cup of coffee (free refills), so I stuffed three quarters into a vending box and got a USA TODAY.

I had forgotten about my diet. It was a moment of indiscretion.

But I snapped back into good form. The A section was loaded with Giants, Giants, Giants. Yuck. All fat. I didn't need it. I tossed it into the trash with empty coffee cups and crumpled-up sandwich wrappers.

And of course, I never laid eyes on Sports. If I had seen it, I may have wanted some.

So my reading was done wholly in Life and Business, two oft-neglected portions of the paper for me. I got my fill of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Matthew McConaughey and how to make wiser investments in such things as Roth IRAs. Even though I enjoyed my reading, the Splenda version of USA TODAY tasted bland.

Unfortunately, I couldn't avoid the force-feeding of overheard comments such as "Great game last night" and "Didn't see that coming" served with a side of "They thought they had it won" from the transplanted New Yorkers at the golf course. I played golf on Monday to quench any temptation to watch ESPN or the high-definition recording of the Super Bowl stored on my roommate's cable box. But it's difficult to escape the defeat here in Florida: There are too many New York retirees with a renewed pomposity that was shelved after the Yankees' bitter season.

Papers whipping up bad news to serve to Pats fans is akin to Subway giving Jared Fogle an entire apple pie to wolf down. If I were a newspaper editor in New England, I would have put the Super Bowl articles on some inside page and dedicated the front to white bunnies and fluffy clouds ... or the Boston Red Sox.


Wordnerdy said...

So now you're a proponent of fluff, eh?

So bitter. So sullen.

If it makes you feel better, my new friend is a big Giants fan. He, too, is upset that so many experts are saying the game was a surprise victory. He says the Giants deserved the win and it wasn't a stroke of luck.

Andrew Knapp said...



I'm not mad. I just chose not to dwell on the game in any way.

Andrew Knapp said...

Oh. Fluff.

I'm a bit slow in my old age these days.