Posted: Tuesday January 24, 2006 11:35AM; Updated: Tuesday January 24, 2006 11:35AM
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By now, we should all be oblivious to the excessiveness and overhype associated with the Super Bowl. We should all have the ability to tune it out, or at least filter, the over-the-top zealousness -- just like we do with anything coming out of Donald Trump's mouth.
But then something comes along that makes you realize there really are no boundaries to our greatest sporting event and anything attached to it.
The latest example comes in the form of a book: XL: Forty Years of the Super Bowl.
It's 950 pages.
Has 500,000 words and 2,000 images.
Bound in calf leather and protected by a silk-covered box.
Oh, and it weighs 85 pounds, supposedly the heaviest book ever published.
Forget any steroids problems among NFL players. You pretty much need to be on performance-enhancing drugs in order to pick up the blasted thing.
Oh, and we haven't even gotten to the truly excessive part. The book's cost: $4,000 for the "plain" edition or $25,000 for the version signed by all living Super Bowl Most Valuable Players.
I don't know about you, but if I had that kind of cash to spend on something, I'd probably opt to make a down payment on a car. Or a house.
But hey, this book -- which is on sale now but won't be available until next fall -- is not about average folk. Britain's Kraken Sports and Media, the publishers of XL, are printing just 20,000 copies (including 400 of the MVP version). That means this is not a book to be read or referenced, but to be showcased, much like a trophy wife after another round of plastic surgery. You don't buy this book because you want to see all the pretty pictures or read one more time about Joe Namath's guarantee or brag about having Dexter Jackson's autograph; you're only interested in being able to point to it when friends come over and say, "Wanna check out my $4,000 book?"
Philosopher Bertrand Russell once said: "There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it."
For those who opt to buy XL: Forty Years of the Super Bowl, you don't have to enjoy it. Actually, you don't even have to read it. But no doubt you're certainly going to boast about it.