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January 04, 2006

the 2006 fedex orange bowl

Last night’s FedEx Orange Bowl was truly a celebration of the timeless sport of overnight express package delivery services providing a wall-to-wall extravaganza of commercial messages and promotional announcements. 

Sure, there were the all-too-frequent interruptions for football, but these were mercifully short leaving plenty of room for exciting recitations of the many virtues of using FedEx for all your shipping needs.

And this was at the game. No doubt, the viewers at home were able to enjoy the many instant replays of their favorite commercials and yet still take bathroom breaks whenever the camera happened to stray towards the field of play. For those of you who didn’t get to see the “Wrong” commercial the seven times we did at the stadium, all I can say is, thank God for TiVo.

Of course, it was on the field that we were treated to displays of physical strength, coordination and agility that left us all in awe. Unfortunately, the pre-game show eventually ended and the competitive cheerleading teams had to leave the field and we were left with two teams that apparently had decided to skip practice and spend the week at the Seminole Indian Hard Rock Casino (an exciting joint venture between a powerful profit-driven corporation and the Hard Rock Café).

The stadium crowd consisted of about 80% of my fellow Penn State fans. Penn State fans are very enthusiastic about their football. They are even more enthusiastic about finding a reason to drink and will take part in any such occasion offering the opportunity whether it’s a wedding, a holiday party, or Tuesday.

They also demonstrated the general classiness and good sportsmanship for which all modern sports fans are known by booing the opposing players, booing their band, booing the Florida State game MVP (a truly talented kick returner), and booing the special forces precision parachute jumper who had been tasked with displaying a Florida State flag (another had a Penn State flag).

Sure, he may be serving his country and all, but we have a football game to watch!

Prior to the game, was the Miller Lite Orange Bowl Tailgate Party, where for $15 per person you were able to drink all the Miller Lite you wanted as long as you wanted to pay $5 a cup for it. This would leave you briefly outraged until you got inside the stadium which left you wishing you had downed a few more of those bargain beers outside.

Food was also expensive but this had no practical effect since you never actually got a chance to buy any as all the servers appeared to dwell in a space-time dimension much different from our own. It was a place where any kind of physical movement was considered in very poor taste and the ability to remember things, such as a person’s order, or where the sodas were, or how to scoop cheese into a cup, remained a deep mystery.

The game itself was an ugly affair of penalties, turnovers and missed field goals. The triple overtime that resulted (the intricacies of which were already well addressed by a commenter on the previous piece), may sound exciting at first but like meeting a Kennedy, it just turned out to be an exercise in frustration and disappointment.

In the airport on the way home this morning I overheard someone (who was, if not a big muckety-muck, then at least a medium muck) on his cell phone describing how he had been invited to sit in the FedEx skybox where he met Senator Bill Frist who no doubt was there specifically to not be influenced by corporate money.

Which was a nice transition for my return to Washington DC and our regularly scheduled programming.

J.

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January 4, 2006 at 08:02 PM in Sports | Permalink

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