The Indianapolis Colts managed to acquire this little trifle this time around. Big wup, huh?
Well, yeah. I know it is all kind of silly. If you're not into sports, or specifically professional American football, it all seems superbly ridiculous.
In the particular instance recorded above a local Indianapolis Meijer store provided the venue for Colt fans' first opportunity to see up close and even touch the Super Bowl trophy. Something like four to five thousand people waited on line for up to five hours to take advantage of this. The trophy is still being toured in similar fashion over the next several weeks all over the state of Indiana, and even one stop in Danville, Illinois, probably just to piss off "da Bears."
I admit to making the trip to the Meijer store. However, upon seeing the crowd winding its way around aisle after aisle, my wife and I quickly determined that there was no way we would get in that line. The photo above is as close as I got to the trophy, perhaps 25 to 30 feet. I had to wait until people shifted around for a second or two revealing the trophy to my vantage point - then "click."
The NFL Super Bowl XLI DVD was released a few days ago and again thousands of people have lined up at area stores to buy it and get an autograph from one or more Colt players.
I imagine that, if you asked people at random (at least people not from Indianapolis or Chicago,) who played in the last Super Bowl and who won, you'd get a lot of blank stares. "Don't know, and don't give a shit." would be a likely response.
I will say though, that winning the Super Bowl is a good thing for Indianapolis. I heard someone on the tube just prior to the game claim that Chicago really needed a Super Bowl win to bolster the city's collective psyche. Well, I don't know about that. It seems that Chicago has had some fairly recent success in the realm of major league sports. If memory serves, the White Sox brought a World Series win to the Windy City in 2005. And the name Michael Jordan comes to mind. I think "da Bulls" managed a modicum of success in the NBA not so long ago. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Indy, on the other hand has had no claim to any kind of major league sports championship since the mid-1970s when the Pacers won a couple of playoff finals in the old ABA. Since the Detroit "brawl" the Pacers have become more of a punch line than a professional basketball team. Even the glory days of Bob Knight's IU basketball teams have become a rather dim and now bitter memory. Their last championship was 20 years ago.
Now Hoosiers can bask for a while. We can enjoy this at least until next December or January. Indianapolis is, vicariously at least, a winner. The Colts won the big one.
What does it all mean? In the end of course, not much. The supposed "glory" is over stated and ephemeral at best. In lite of what's going on around the world, competitive sports at any level pale in importance. Obviously, a lot of people could care less. I watch some football and basketball, but am far from being an avid fan. I wouldn't have waited on line for hours for much of anything short of free money.
A bit after 9/11 the Onion published a headline that read something like: "Americans need to get beyond 9/11 tragedy to return their attention to meaningless crap." It's true, of course. And by and large, we have. Sports are essentially meaningless. But compared to war, mass murder, genocide, pandemic disease and famine what isn't?
Regardless, now that I live in a winning Super Bowl city, I must admit, it's kinda neat. I'm not even that big a fan of Indianapolis. But perhaps people from elsewhere may be less apt to call it IndiaNoPlace. What the hell. I'll share in the fun, for a while at least.