Are you ready for this?


By Randy Riley - Contributing columnist



Here we are. Debbie is sitting on the loveseat in the living room. She staked out that roost years ago.

I settled into my over-stuffed chair, better known as Pappy’s chair. It’s a big chair. When I’m settled back and comfy, my feet don’t even touch the floor. It sort of swallows me up, but there is always room in the Pappy-chair for a few grandchildren.

Those are the seats Debbie and I take when we’re both watching the same program on TV. That doesn’t happen very often.

Debbie likes anything on HGTV, the Hallmark Channel or any type of cooking show.

Not me. I don’t care at all about home remodeling, redecorating, flipping or flopping homes, fancy cooking or any of the variations on those themes. I enjoy watching news, old movies or documentary-style programming. I enjoy several other types of shows, but… not those.

As a result, we don’t watch TV together very often. The only program that we routinely enjoy together is “Dancing with Stars.” We pick our favorite dancer and root for them. We both get upset when a lousy dancer is allowed to stay, and a really good dancer is voted off. Every season we vow never to watch it again, but we do.

Other than that, we usually sit in different rooms, watching different programs on different TVs.

But, on Super Bowl Sunday, we’re together.

Just before kick-off, I turned to Debbie and asked, “Are we ready for this?” It was finally game time. The pizza was ready and so were we.

Sunday night, as we settled into our nests and hoped for a great game, I had my laptop ready to take notes for this, my regular Tuesday column. The game was so good and the commercials so watchable (for the most part) that I ended up doing very little typing and a whole lot of watching.

Debbie decided that she would root for the Kansas City Chiefs. She has an uncle and several cousins who live in the KC area.

I decided to root for the San Francisco 49ers in honor of a dear friend Roy Harrison, who died about 20 years ago. Roy lived and breathed anything having to do with the 49ers. Besides, it gave us the opportunity to root against each other in friendly competition.

Following the team introductions, by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as he introduced the players with his loud, trademark, resounding announcer’s voice and then transitioning to the beautiful voice of Demi Lovato as she honored our country with an amazing rendition of the National Anthem, we were ready for a great game.

We both wondered whether the game would be as good as the commercials or whether the commercials would overshadow the game. We were not disappointed by either.

Just as the referees prepared for the kick-off, a commercial started that featured a young athlete named Bunchie Young. He and his friends were playing a pick-up game of football.

Bunchie caught a kick-off and barreled down the field. As he passed all-time great running back Jim Brown, Jim smiled and told Bunchie, “Take it to the house, kid.”

He gets help from dozens of NFL all-stars, all who give him the same advice.

He continues to run past obstacles, including the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, until he finally makes it to the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. There, as he passes more all-star, hall-of-fame athletes, he enters the stadium.

Suddenly the commercial transfers from a pre-taped commercial to a live broadcast as Bunchie and his friends run onto the football field. As he hands the game ball to the referee, the crowd goes wild for this group of kids who may be our next generation of NFL stars. It was well done, unexpected and perfect of the moment.

We were ready whatever the next few hours had to offer.

I was a little surprised by the halftime show. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira shook every body part they had. With all the pole dancing and twerking, I kept expecting to see a wardrobe malfunction. They must have used at least a quart of glue to keep their costumes in place.

Like it or not, those ladies put on a show.

The first half of the game was a battle. They went into the locker room at halftime tied at 10 points each. The 49ers came back to score another 10 points in the third quarter.

It looked like the game was over. One of the announcers said, “For the Chiefs to come back, they’re going to need some Mahomes magic.” The Chiefs quarterback provided that magic, scoring 21 points in the final few minutes of the game. Wow… what a game.

Too often the Super Bowl ends up being anything but super… not this year. It was a great game, separated every few minutes by some really good commercials (and a few stinkers).

Congratulations to Chiefs coach Andy Reid and MVP Patrick Mahomes for a great win.

And thanks to Debbie for not rubbing my nose in her win.

Randy Riley is former Mayor of Wilmington, Ohio and former Clinton County Commissioner.

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By Randy Riley

Contributing columnist