Unfortunately, the roo is back for this Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl and the Wine Curmudgeon don’t mix — never have, never will
Feb. 5 update: Traffic on Super Bowl Sunday was 30 percent higher than a normal Sunday — go figure. Much of the reason? One of the blog’s old standbys, the 1 1/2 year-old La Moneda malbec post, accounted for one-quarter of the blog’s Sunday traffic.
That’s because Super Bowl Sunday is usually the worst day of the year for blog visitors, even worse than Christmas. So anything that discomfits an organization that takes visitors away is OK by me. Know, too, that I haven’t watched the game since 1986, which was more or less the last time I got paid to watch it. In the end, as George Carlin has said so memorably, “Baseball is a 19th-century pastoral game. Football is a 20th-century technological struggle.” And I’m old enough to have had enough of the technological struggles of the 20th — and 21st — centuries.
But if you need more, consider these Super Bowl 2018 annoyances:
Know that I haven’t watched the game since 1986, which was more or less the last time I got paid to watch it. Know, too, that I have tried desperately to raise the quality of TV wine commercials over the blog’s history, and to little avail. Rose and local wine were easy, compared to TV wine ads. For the most part, they’re still as awful as they’ve ever been – not very creative or clever while reinforcing every annoying wine stereotype.
Hopefully, the Yellow Tail ad will be different. For one thing, the company went to a lot of trouble to advertise, piecing together time in 70 local markets because it couldn’t buy a national ad; a beer company bought those rights for all booze ads for the game. Second, it is spending what the normally authoritative Ad Age reports as more than $5 million for a 30-second spot – the equivalent of some 60,000 cases of Yellow Tail.
The Wine Curmudgeon does not know why this is, but I do know that it annoys the hell out of me. I am an ex-sportswriter who was so worn out by pro sports that the only thing I still pay attention to is baseball and my Chicago Cubs, and one can argue that the Cubs are not sports or very professional.
So the country’s obsession with the Super Bowl leaves me at a loss. I haven’t watched the game since 1986, which is more or less the last time I got paid to watch it.
Nevertheless, because so many of you do care, I offer you this wine story about the Super Bowl from the New York Times — “Wine Here! A Football Bud Gets Competition,” which includes a cartoon as badly conceived as that headline and this truly dreadful lede: “Beer and football may go together like wine and cheese. But lately more and more people seem be favoring a Bordeaux over a Bud Light.”
Which would have made me rise from the copy desk, pica pole in hand, to chase down the offending reporter (if my pal Johnny D. Boggs hadn’t already forcefully reprimanded the miscreant).
The point of all this is that since the game is being played in suburban San Francisco, which is in wine country, there must be a wine angle to the Super Bowl (even if Bordeaux is a French wine region). To the reporter’s credit, he quotes an expert, some former NFL types, and a wine person or two. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make the story any more interesting, and it’s way too long, but if you’re on deadline and the composing room is screaming for the copy, you spell check it, slap a headline on it, and hope for the best.
Am I the only one who thinks this pairing looks silly?
The Wine Curmudgeon doesn’t like the Super Bowl. This is not just because I was once a sportswriter and soon tired of sports’ hypocrisy, and especially the NFL’s obsession with money. And more money. And even more money.
Or that, living in Dallas, more people attend Cowboys games than usually vote in mayoral elections. Which always seems to annoy them when I bring it up.
Or that I get pathetic pitches from hard-up marketing and public relations types, desperate to turn the Super Bowl into a wine event. This week, someone wanted me to write about the Sea Hawks, which is an Errol Flynn movie and not a football team. The Super Bowl is a beer event. And a pizza event. But it’s as much about wine as St. Patrick’s Day is, and who ever heard of green-colored wine?
But mostly I don’t like the Super Bowl because no one reads the blog over Super Bowl weekend. I get more visitors on Christmas Day than I do during the Super Bowl, which shocked me the first time it happened and still makes me pause. What this says about the United States in the 21st century is something that I will leave to others more versed in the study of that sort of thing.
So enjoy the Super Bowl, and I’ll see you next week. I will spend Sunday messing around the house — maybe baking some bread, trying to get a few posts ahead on the blog, or working on my notes for my next wine class at El Centro. But I won’t watch the game, which I haven’t done since 1986. And somehow, my life has gone on.
Monday update: The numbers on Sunday were actually a little better than usual for the Super Bowl — three-quarters of normal instead of to two-thirds. Maybe some of you clicked in during the blackout.
The Cheap Wine Book is 42 percent funded, but we're halfway through the process. So we have some ground to make up this week. I'm about halfway through the first chapter, and I'm working on the English-Winespeak dictionary as I go along.
Friday: Not too many of you will be visiting the blog this weekend. Super Bowl Sunday is one of the slowest days of the year, and the run-up to the game isn't much better. The number of visitors is usually about two-thirds of normal, even less than on Christmas.
So how about a shameless plug for the Cheap Wine Book, combined with a cute puppy video (courtesy of KlaireW on YouTube)? And the puppies are even wearing hats. Is that viral marketing or what?
So if you're bored on Sunday or don't care about football or want to help the book get published, visit the book's Kickstarter site after you watch the video and pledge $25. You can check out the Q&A I did about the Kickstarter process, or if you have questions; no game for me, since I'll be writing this weekend.
Monday update: Same thing this year. Sunday was the slowest day on the blog since October. During the game, fewer than 100 people visited the blog. I wonder: Can I turn the blog off next to save cyber-ether?
The Wine Curmudgeon, after four years of poring over blog statistics, has discovered an odd yet interesting fact. Not many people come to the blog on Super Bowl Sunday; in fact, the day gets fewer visitors than almost any other day of the year, including Christmas.
I assume this is because, if anyone is using a computer on Super Bowl Sunday, it’s to check out the game. On Christmas (and even New Year’s, with its glut of football), the numbers are actually pretty good. That may be because so many people get computers as Christmas gifts, and are busy trying them out by visiting the blog.
Whatever the reason, the number of visitors on Super Bowl Sunday is about two-thirds of normal. So, for all of you who read this post, but won’t be back until Monday, enjoy the game. And did I ever tell you my Archie Manning story?
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