This is it. The New England
Patriots and New York Giants are heading to Indy to play in the Super Bowl
Bowl. Millions of dollars have been spent and thousands of hours of
preparation by civic leaders have all led up to this.
The reward for Indianapolis,
besides the media attention and money spent with downtown merchants, is to
disrupt the lives and annoy the living hell out of anyone who lives or works
anywhere near Lucas Oil Stadium
Please understand that all of
next week I must leave for work at least an hour early and arrive home at least
an hour late. The bus system may be free, but it is trashed with detours.
I'm in no good spirits about this
of our city by rich people.
Allow me to vent:
First of all, dismiss the idea
that "the eyes of the world are on Indianapolis." Nothing could be
further from the truth. No country plays NFL-style football except the United
States and nobody but Americans care about the Super Bowl. To the rest of the
world, "football" is what we call "soccer"
and our "football" is an incomprehensible and violent sport designed
to sell beer on TV.
The rest of the planet could care
less about football and the Super Bowl. To them, it's just one of those bizarre
American weaknesses that defies common sense, like Newt Gingrich
Now that we've established nobody
outside our borders cares about the game, we can get a better understanding of
it. Barring a Janet Jackson-style nipple slip on TV, the rest of the world will
barely notice the game even occurred.
Since we're free from the burden
of global ambassadorship, the people of Indianapolis are free to greet the
inevitable scorn of our East Cost brethren with a little good-natured fun.
We'll never get into P. Diddy's
party or hang out with Charlie Sheen or even get to apply makeup to John
Madden. That means inventing our own games to amuse us.
Number one, always give visitors
the wrong directions.
The city got off to a good start
when they added confusing new street signs downtown, turning Meridian Street to
Bills Street and Ohio Street to Jets Avenue, guaranteeing wrong turns by anyone
dependent on GPS.
They even had a sign on Meridian
Street with arrows to landmarks pointing in the wrong direction. One would have
to cross the complete surface of the earth to have found the Canal Walk
Walkby walking east on Ohio Street from Meridian. Alas, the signs were
Since Indianapolis streets are
confusing even when there are not 100,000 strangers walking around, there's no
shame in directing visitors in the wrong direction. Make them angry enough and
the Super Bowl will never come back here, which is what we want.
Secondly, play into every
stereotype Easterners might have about us. Go out and buy some novelty teeth
that make you look like you stepped out of Deliverance. Instead of a belt, wear
a rope tied around your waist. If you come in contact with a visitor, be sure
to use the worst grammar possible and speak as if your education didn't extend
beyond the second grade.
Ask them where they're from.
Then, no matter what they say, respond with "Where's that?" When they
try to explain where New York is on the map, look confused. If they elaborate
even more, ask them if New York is near London or if tigers roam the streets. "Do
you guys have hamburgers
there?" is an appropriate response regardless of location.
Make up stories about unsolved
murders and incidents of violent crime. Discuss ancient Indian curses against
tourists. Whatever it takes.
It's bad enough that the state
and city increased my taxes to build that ugly new football stadium; now they're
asking us to be ambassadors of goodwill to Patriots fans, for God's sake! I won't
be able to get to work on time or go anywhere downtown for weeks, but I should
extend a hand of legendary Hoosier hospitality?
Sure, the NFL has dropped a few
selective dollars into the community, and restaurants and hotels downtown will
benefit from the Super Bowl, but I won't. The event is a convention for rich
people and the media, not us. We are specifically excluded from joining in on
There's nothing we can do to stop
the Super Bowl from invading our town but we are under no obligation to
facilitate the disruption and near-closure of our city. The best we can do is
to ensure it doesn't happen again and we can live our lives in peace.