Two pieces on the Super Bowl. The first is an official editorial of the Washington Examiner, the second a personal recollect of mine. To read the full articles, follow the links embedded in the headlines. — Quin

The Super Bowl unites us as a cultural event (Feb. 2):If the public is less culturally unified and more tribal these days, we can all at least treasure the Super Bowl as a uniquely American event — one we all can enjoy together no matter what our politics, race, or creed.

We love the competition, we love the hype, we love the chance to second-guess what happens, and we love the extravaganza as a whole. The event has become a cultural touchstone. We all know about Vince Lombardi’s leadership, Broadway Joe Namath’s guarantee, Joe Montana’s “John Candy” drive, the New York Giants’ famous “helmet catch,” and the Seattle Seahawks’ decision not to employ “Beast Mode” at the goal line. Those of us old enough to have seen the early games still marvel at Lynn Swann’s balletics, chuckle at kicker Garo Yepremian’s muffed pass attempt, and viscerally feel the thunder of John Riggins’s rumble to the end zone….

What is was like to be at the Super Bowl the last time the Chiefs were there — as I remember it from Tulane Stadium (Feb. 2).

Fifty years ago, the last time the Kansas City Chiefs were in the Super Bowl, the day was chilly and damp with a wet breeze, so it was good that fans were allowed to bring their own Thermos bottles with hot chocolate.

I remember it well; I was there, as a not-yet-6-year-old, in old Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. Tickets were a lot cheaper back then, concessions were much simpler (and bans on outside supplies less stringent), and the hype was all focused on football, not on halftime extravaganzas and TV ads.

Also different back then was that there still was a big rivalry between, and debate about the relative strengths of, what still were two football leagues. Sure, the New York Jets the year before had defied conventional wisdom and made a case for the quality of play in the American Football League, but most people believed the Jets’ win had been a fluke. The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings entered the game as huge favorites over the AFL’s Chiefs. As an NFL partisan, I remember expecting the Vikes to stomp the Chiefs into the ground.

Five-year-olds choose sports loyalties on rather random, sometimes charming criteria. As a New Orleanian, I was of course a Saints fan, but I had also adopted the Vikings that year because their purple uniforms were my favorite color. I also thought their defensive nickname of the “Purple People Eaters” was funny and cool — and because they had played several games on snow-covered fields that seemed attractively exotic to a Gulf Coast kid who had never felt a single snowflake…..


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