1. Today we continue Jose’s running journal on Super Bowl XXXIX, a veritable grab bag of football, non-football and vaguely footballish KEYS. Today we begin with a KEY that is nominally related to football. In his previous entry, Jose wrote about the Melendez family’s grand traditions for football’s greatest, or at bare minimum third greatest, game. (Note: After the AFC championship and AFC division contests. And perhaps the Belmont-Watertown Thanksgiving game.)
Despite the years of noble tradition, not everything has gone always gone smoothly. For instance, there was 1995, the first year in many, many years, that Jose decided not to have a party at the Melendez family compound. Instead. Jose attended a party where the hosts decided to start watching the Simpsons at half time (Note: No problem), and then refused to change back when half time was over (Note: Problem). Jose loves the Simpsons as much as anyone, but watching a new Simpsons episode, much less a rerun, should never take precedence over even the most one sided of Super Bowls at the opening of the third quarter. One should never switch to the Simpsons unless the margin is four touchdowns at the beginning of the fourth quarter. This is just common sense people. On the plus side, there were a lot of chicken wings at the party.
2. But that was not the worst. No, the worst was the 49ers-Broncos Super Bowl in 1990. That was the Super Bowl that never was. Sure the final was 55-10 or something similar, so most football fans would like to think of it as the Super Bowl that never was, but for Jose, it really never was…he didn’t watch it. Instead, he was in sex ed. Sounds a little odd doesn’t it? But it’s true. Jose is a Unitarian-Universalist, the religious equivalent of O’Douls, and one of the religion’s tenants, in addition to the inherent dignity of all human beings and the importance of the democratic process is, apparently, that teenagers should get rigorous and explicit sex education, using the finest technology of the swinging 70s.
You see, the UU’s offered a sex ed class called "About Your Sexuality" (AYS) that presented teens with all of the useful information about sexuality that public school classes tend to omit in favor of lectures on self-esteem. (Note: The health class in Jose’s middle school, as part of the self-esteem curriculum, required students to come up with one nice thing to say anonymously about each of their classmates. Before this process began, the teacher sought to prove that one could say nice things about anyone by insisting that we develop a list of positive things about one of the worst people ever – Hitler. So everyone had to come up with nice things to say about Hitler. Jose doesn’t know which bothered him more, that he had to say something nice about Hitler, that his mustache was always well-trimmed or something like that, or that as a result, Jose believed for years that Hitler was a talented painter….that’s B.S., Hitler’s painting sucked.) In AYS, students were not only given useful information about anatomy, birth control, and sex, but actually shown film strips of people engaging in sex acts…not videos….film strips…you know, people in the missionary position
But what the hell does this have to do with football? Well, the initial class was set for Super Bowl Sunday during the big game. Jose was furious. This was the Super Bowl, this was the Bud Bowl, this was not something to be cast aside for a mere anatomy primer. Jose’s reform Jewish friend Dan, thought Jose was a sucker. He went on and on about how his Rabbi would never set anything for during the Super Bowl, and even if he did, he would reschedule after learning of his error, assimilation and all, Jose supposes. Of course, two years later, Dan’s Rabbi scheduled a Jewish youth group event for during the Super Bowl and Dan went along meekly. Wuss.
Jose did not go meekly. He complained to his parents with great anger, so stirring his mother that at the parents organizing meeting to explain the class, she rose and passionately implored the group to postpone the start of the class by one week. Just when she had begun to sway the crowd with her stirring and highly logical oratory, Jose’s father rose to support his wife. BAM. He insisted that the class not be postponed. In perhaps the most shocking reversal since Mr. Wonderful Paul Ornorff, clotheslined his tag team partner Hulk Hogan to the ground following a match with Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy, Dick Melendez double crossed his son.
As it turns out, Dick Melendez did his son a favor. The game was the biggest blow out in Super Bowl history, and Jose saw only the relatively competitive first quarter. And the class? Well, let’s just say Jose knows an awful lot about the ladies.
3. Finally, Jose leaves the world of football. Jose has learned that among the wrestlers being inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame this year are former Tag Team Champions Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. (Note: The Iron Sheik is also a former World Champion.) Jose finds a disturbing lack of resolve on the part of the WWF-owning McMahon in their decision to induct such rabid anti-Americans. Don’t they know there’s a war on? In light of pending Iranian nuclearization and renewed Russian militarism is this really appropriate? Won’t it give strength and comfort to our enemies? ? Is the Attorney General paying attention? Jose demands that they repeal these two inductions and replace them with real American heroes like Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiasie and Irwin R. Shyster.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE SUPER BOWL.