Super Bowl Sunday: Reflections on Dual Fandom Wielding

At least the Cowboys did not win.

So right about now were I bigger man I would congratulate Green Bay Packers for their Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I am not a bigger man and they are a hated rival. Even if my 49ers suck I will never congratulate the cheesehead foe, but at least it wasn’t the Dallas Cowboys. Still congratulations to Aaron Rodgers for getting a Super Bowl even if it was for the thrice damned cheeseheads. For me the Super Bowl along with the sports I follow offer me something that no sports anime really ever has, edge of your seat excitement, history, and drama. This year we had a quarterback who was trying to get out of the shadow of a famed predecessor and a town that is seen the worst of the economic turn down trying to make history with another win. The outcome was never certain until the last 2 minutes. Nothing went like clock work, anything that could happen did happen, dropped balls, interceptions, and a two point conversion. The tension was palpable in living rooms everywhere, but it is something I don’t think most anime fans can relate to since there seems to be little correlation between being an anime fan and a sports fan despite all the sports anime.

To a large extent my experience with football and the 49ers mirrors my time with Gundam just like the 49ers I think that Gundam’s best days are well behind them at this time. Like the 49ers five super bowl wins I have five special Gundam series, four of them UC (0080, 8th MS Team, 0083, 0079/OYW) and one AU (G Gundam), just like my teams four wins with Joe Montana and the one with Steve Young. Many of the more recent Gundam shows have been short of the old greatness, with SEED and GSD being a similar low point to correspond to the plunge in 49ers fortunes. The last season being full of promise and yet so filled with anguish pretty much sums up my view on Gundam 00. In short my love for Gundam is like a truck the 49ers.

On a fundamental level football is a microcosm of war that is seldom matched in fictional media with, shifts in initiative, territorial changes, historic rivalries and fueds, bitterness between fans, memorable victories that alter the fates of franchises, and infamous betrayals. Similar things also occur in other sports but while sports has it’s own genre in anime I hardly see as many sports fans in anime fandom. I wonder why this is, sports isn’t stupid and it isn’t just a game it is a social event in and of itself. It can stir emotions in ways that most authors struggle to do, there is no substitute for real sports in fiction in my opinion because anything thing can happen while fiction is supposed to follow some guidelines or be accused of abusing deus ex machina. In sports it’s any given game miracles can happen, and the only bullshit that happens are bad calls.

There was a small showing for the Super Bowl Skype on sccsav, but I still wonder how many sports fans are really out there who also consider themselves part of anime fandom. If you have a sport and or a team that you cheer for in the good times and the bad, please share your fan experiences and your haterade for your rivals. I am certain that I am not alone and I am hoping that there are more than a handful of sports fans lurking about.

P.S. My Super Sunday commercial favorites are Pepsi Max, Love Hurts; Audi, Release the Hounds (aka hit’em with the Kenny G); Doritos, House; Chevy Camaro, Miss Evelyn; Chevy Cruze, Stalker Mobile; Coca Cola, Siege; Volkswagen, Black Beetle, and THE FORCE; Carmax, Gas Station; Snickers, Logging; Bridgestone, Reply All; Bud Light, Product Placement. CAPTIALISM HO, YAYIFICATIONS!

I barely remember the Great Age of Montana, but the glory lives on, much like UC Gundam.

I remember his days like I remember G Gundam, the last time Gundam was AWESOME for a whole season.

Great guy and would be one of my local heroes, but damn it why did he have to win one for the damned Cheesheads?! At least he did not win one for the Cowboys.

I remember his heyday with bitterness, too often did he frustrate my hopes for my team. At least I saw the day he retired (still pending...).

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26 Comments

  1. MrTerrorist
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    Am i the only one who watch the Superbowl just for the Captain America movie trailer?

    • Crusader
      Posted February 7, 2011 at 5:04 am | Permalink

      Probably not but surely there were other commercials worthy of mention, plenty of movie trailers this year.

  2. bearzerger
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I’m someone who when I’m bored on a sunday can spend half a day watching sports I really don’t have any interest in, like all those wintersport events which are taking place right now, and still be reasonably entertained, but with the superbowl I just can’t get into it.

    As a non-american I always wonder what the fascination of a sport event is where the actual sport is only of lesser importance compared to the show and the marketing around it. They stretch one hour of gametime to three hours and that’s without all that pregame stuff. And I read in a german newspaper that 40% of the viewers only watch it for the commercials and the halftime show.

    It’s just too gaudy. In part because many players are apparently better actors making a show of themselves than players, but especially the way the american commentators present it trying to make an average play sound like the play of the century, which does make it hard to get fired up when an actually impressive play happens.

    • Crusader
      Posted February 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Not sure if that 40% stat is accurate but without a connection to the sport you lose a lot of the fun. The NFL has a lot of history to it that makes it richer, I suppose if you just watch the Super Bowl then you won’t get that much out of it. The half-time shows are pretty ho hum sometimes and this year wasn’t one for the Ages by any means.

      Not every play is worthy of the title greatest play in history but a well executed one can change everything. Not sure if you found this one to be all that boring but I thought it was a good game because even after three turnovers the Steelers still had a chance to win it with a good 2 minute drill.

      Again I founded plenty of hooks a would be local hero leading a hated franchise against a veteran franchise that was trying to add more distance between them and their would be rivals for most wins.

      Even if there are commercials they are usually a cut above the rest.

      • bearzerger
        Posted February 7, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        the actual ten to fifteen minutes of playtime was good for american football- of course it doesn’t compare to real football [note as a german I'm totally biased]-, it’s just the posing and this enormous circus around it which puts me off. Three hours for ten minutes just looks like a bad ratio to me.

        I would never watch anything for the commercials. What’s the point of watching commercials? Some company wants to sell you something and they made a shiny tv spot for it. If I want to buy something I’ll find out about it on the web or in a store, but I sure as hell won’t be influenced by something which interrupts my entertainment. Ever since I had access to a tv it was always policy to either change the channel during commercials, put it on mute or do something else for five minutes and ever since I moved out from my parents seven years ago I didn’t even have a tv because with the internet there just is no necessity for one.

        • Crusader
          Posted February 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          It wasn’t 3 hours for ten minutes, football is structured differently so there is more strategy involved and it takes time for players and coaches to settle on a play especially when it’s a make or break situation. Being more physical you have to make time for injuries and then there is also the issue of challenges, referee reviews, and injuries. I am not sure if a 30 minute half-time show is all that much pageantry since that locker room time can be valuable for teams. Besides I usually switch to ESPN to see commentary on the previous half. Also there are instances in association football where you should be allowed to challenge but you can’t… Personally I like how plays can go under review and plays can be challenged, seems more fair and to prevent Referee bias.

          As for commercials yeah they are trying to sell you something but there is a fine art to a sales pitch that lasts but a few seconds. It’s entertaining in it’s own way kind of like quirky foreign commercials.

  3. Posted February 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Movie trailers and Doritoes! Mmmm those where the highlights for me also GRANDPA YAY! I died laughing xDDDD

    Transformers 3 yes please! I know most hate that, but I don’t watch them for the story I just watch for the bots beating each other and mindless explosions.

    • Crusader
      Posted February 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Doritos resurrection powder was great, I hope you get what you want out of Transformers 3.

      • Posted February 8, 2011 at 1:09 am | Permalink

        Hahah yes! If not ill throw some Dorito powder at the screen :P

  4. eaglesfan
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    As an Eagles fan I can share your joy that at least it wasn’t the Cowboys. I was most giddy when neither the Cowboys nor the Giants even made the playoffs. The Giants failing was extra awesome considering their massive choke against the Eagles late in the season.

    I have to agree with the point about how sports anime cannot even begin to capture the emotions of a real game. As a Canadian and Leafs fan however I do crave a fully fledged hockey anime just so I can watch and poke fun at it.

    • Crusader
      Posted February 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Glad your rivals fell, but alas mine got the trophy and Rodgers joins Young and Montana in an exclusive club for passing years in a Super Bowl. On the one hand they are all part of California, but I still wish it was only the 49ers, worse now there is a Packer up there. Still may the Cowboys continue to suck. I wish the Browns had made it partly to negate the bad times in Cleveland since the Cavs are on a downward slide.

      Hockey anime, now that is one I wonder if we’ll ever see.

  5. yf19ex
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Funny this thread came together. Yesterday, I gathered all my friend and we did a full BBQ, game etc and ate all day. And the part about it is that all my friends are anime fans. Not everyone in our group watches football and were in for the commercials etc. But we all enjoyed the game none the less. Anime is our common bond, but our interests are far and wide beyond just anime.

    A game is good when they keep it close till the end. The holes in Green Bays defense at least was made up by all the interceptions thrown by Pittsburgh. Although Green Bay has been the one of the 49ers biggest rivals, at least, as you said, Farve is not there and Rogers is a local boy so I can get behind that. Plus I don’t want to see the Steelers get anymore wins. At least the 49ers have the perfect Superbowl record no one can match. 5 appearances and 5 wins. I don’t expect to see the 49ers ever to go back to the days of Eddy D. Not with the Yorks in charge. In some ways the Yorks mirror Brian France of Nascar. They both don’t know how to run a franchise.

    In that respect, I am a racing fan my nature. F1, WRC, Nascar, DTM, LeMans etc. if it has wheels I’ll watch it race. I tend to respect race car drivers more than most other athletes because its just as hard on the body, and in more ways far more dangerous but they get paid way less. I remember watching when Dale Earnhart died. I myself was participating in an autocross event and found out when I got home to watch the aftermath. No anime could convey the grief of watching one the legends of racing die that day for real.

    Its good to have varied fandom in just not one interest. My hobbies sometimes are a stark contrast against each other and others tend to complement each other.

    • Crusader
      Posted February 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      I hope your not that on the mark with the Yorks, just maybe if we get a good roster for 2011 assuming we can have football next season we’ll have a chance. Alex Smith is pretty much out and I hope that we can get a good QB, otherwise Carr is in for a rough time. They kept it close but as you said it was a kind of lose lose situation even had the Steelers won it would have been that much harder to catch up. Again at least it wasn’t the Cowboys. If only the Browns were on the up in the AFC last season.

  6. sol
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Go Cowboys!!! We will get them next year!!

    • Crusader
      Posted February 8, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Sure if they can finish a game… what was it last time? 7-45 Packers Victory?

  7. Posted February 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Heh. I’m an anime fan AND a 49ers fan! But my 49er love goes waaaay back to the days of John Brodie and Gene Washington. (Yeah… I’m old… I can remember broadcasts of Kimba the White Lion.) The Bill Walsh era was a bonus.

    • Crusader
      Posted February 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Wasn’t around for that era, but did catch the zenith of the Montana legend. I miss those days still think about them makes me feel old.

  8. Marigold Ran
    Posted February 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I feel your pain. We have the Redskins.

    • Crusader
      Posted February 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I feel your pain but at least we are better off than poor Cleveland, poor, poor, Cleveland.

  9. Posted February 9, 2011 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I’m sure most anime fans watch sports to some degree. It would be silly to think that the two are mutually exclusive at least for fans in the western world (dunno about Japan though). Sports are just TOO prevalent. Hell, even I watch the superbowl every year even though I could care less about American football since my Bills lost 4 in a row or there’s no Tom Brady to cheer against. Now we’ll see if the Penguins win the cup to avenge the Steelers…(yes typical ice hockey loving Canadian here…)

    • Posted February 9, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Oh and we don’t even get the good commercials in Canada. Damn Canadian content rules.

    • Crusader
      Posted February 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Oh the Buffalo Bills they come so close sometimes but alas their day has yet to come. As for Hockey it seems the Bruins have a whole lot of fight in them. I agree that in the West it can be hard to keep away from sports, maybe in Japan they just don’t have the fervor for imported sports.

      Sorry to hear that crappy broadcast rules sucks some of the fun out of Super Sunday.

  10. Steeler Fan
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Amen, as a long time Steelers fan, the game was just sickening. But they had it coming, too many idiotic turnovers. One less turn over, and the Steelers would’ve won. Time to cry some more in my beer

    • Crusader
      Posted February 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      You guys almost did win but those were some bad turnovers. Still at least you guys have a real fighting chance to return supposing we have another season. At least you guys have six championships to their four and my five…

  11. venom_aa
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh the drama of watching the NFL commercials, I live in Mexico and I had to switch between the mexican transmission of the game and a stream of Fox on one of low quality tv streams just to get to see the trailers of the new movies. Is it me but this years commercial were one of the worst of all the Super Bowls?

    As for the game, it was just great. Rodgers kinda of reminded me of an updated Favre, sitting in the pocket, changing the plays. Seems like the GB fans are in for a new golden era.

    I’m a Raiders and oh my poor raiders, I don’t know how long will they be in the hole with that owner. :(

    • Crusader
      Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Well at least this year was better than the CASH FOR GOLD commercials of ages past. I hope Green Bay is not in for a dynasty I really want to see this be a fluke, not that they don’t deserve to win from time to time but because they are a hated rival and I hate to see them win championships.

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