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Soooper Dooperrr
Frank Deford
January 16, 1978
Last January, Sports Illustrated assigned Frank Deford to cover all the Super Bowl activities in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, he traded his press credentials to a stranger for a handful of seeds and spent the entire time visiting Santa Anita. Luckily, however, he was able to obtain wire-tap transcripts of phone calls that were made by several typical Super Bowl guests, who were enjoying this great American sporting spectacle for the first time. Deford has assured us that these random impressions will provide a more accurate portrayal of the week-long Super Bowl scene than he could possibly have managed.
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January 16, 1978

Soooper Dooperrr

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"Darling, the what?"

"The Super Bowl. Oh, Sylvia, you can't imagine. It's the American football championship, although as nearly as I could fathom, the journey to the bloody game, on this dreadful bus, was much more an attraction than the game itself."

"Darling, please back up. What in the world were you doing on this bus at this bowling alley?"

"No, no, football, Sylvia. And it's all so depressing. You remember Nick, that ghastly producer who belongs to the nude backgammon encounter group?"

"Oh, God, yes."

"Well, he called me up at a fever pitch last evening to say that an extra ticket to the Super Bowl football had come into his possession, and would I care to go. And of course I protested that it would be a terrible thing to waste the ticket on someone such as myself, who knows nothing about American football, but Nick insisted that this was the single most important cultural event in the United States, and for me to turn down such an opportunity would be—and I fear this is a direct quote, darling—the equivalent of turning down an invitation to have dinner with the Queen at Buckingham Palace."

"Oh, my God, Michael. I'm so sorry for you out there, poor thing."

"Well, if we're going to get the financing and a chance for McQueen, Nick is the fellow. Any port in a storm. So I accepted with gratitude. And then he informed me about the bus. This game, for reasons that still elude me, is between a team from Minnesota, which is somewhere amongst the Midwestern states, and Oakland, which is a rather shabby working-class suburb of San Francisco, but it is being played here in Los Angeles. Or rather, it is being played in some godforsaken place known as Pasadena, which is primarily famous for its smog. And it is, apparently, inaccessible by automobile, which is why everyone journeyed by bus. Well, I should not say everybody. The Midwest rooters all seem to have traveled in these awful conveyances known as vans—every last one of them boasting a CB radio—while the fans from San Francisco appeared to have arrived en masse on motorcycles. Most of these fellows even affected the early Brando."

"Poor Michael. Was it all so bad?"

"Worse, I'm afraid. These people who inhabit the Sunbelt take a rather perverse pride in the vulgar, you know. They absolutely lack taste in all things but the climate. They can discourse upon a partially sunny day as literate men and women once spoke of poetry or philosophy. And saddest of all, they try mightily to bring the rest of the nation down to their level. I was told that this utterly tasteless exhibition was a classic representation of America. One especially annoying buffoon on the bus, who was wearing an off-lime leisure suit and drinking another margarita...."

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