16 Superbowl Sunday Irrelevancies

The problem with your team being the best is that for a bunch of years after that you can’t really enjoy things anymore. Up until 1996, Superbowls were incredibly exciting. What could be more fun than watching two titans clash in the biggest game of the year? My silly Patriots were never a factor of course, so for me, the playoffs were the time of year when all the good teams battled it out. Fun, right?

It was like the World Cup. This summer, the US might get out of their group, and maybe even win a game to make the quarter finals! But make the finals or win the whole thing? Not a chance. Sure, there will be some faint, secret little hope for a magical run while they’re still in, but when they inevitably get eliminated, it’ll be upsetting for a few hours and then it’ll be really exciting to watch all the real teams battle it out for the trophy. That was what the NFL used to be like.

But then came the ’96 Pats. They made a Cinderella run to the Superbowl, and they were within fighting distance of a victory until the third quarter, when Desmond Howard stabbed my eyeballs with a knife, or his penis, or something horrible—I forget the details.

And what followed that was something new for me as a football fan. Suddenly, in ’97, I didn’t just watch the Packers-Broncos Superbowl in boyish awe—I felt a little jealousy instead, like, “Whatever, I bet the Patriots could beat these teams if everyone was healthy.” This wasn’t overwhelming—the Pats were still kind of a silly team—but it was different than all the previous Superbowls.

Then the Pats became silly again and soon enough I was enjoying Superbowls once more.

But then came 2001. And 2003. And 2004. There was nothing silly about these Patriots. Forget being in awe of other Superbowl teams—after 2004, I got annoyed when people talked about any great team in history. The ’85 Bears? Whatever. The ’72 Dolphins? All I’d think was that the Belichick-Brady Pats would beat them. Talk of Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, and Johnny Unitas (let alone Peyton Manning) annoyed me, because I would take Brady over any of them.

After 2004, it was always personal. There was no awe whatsoever. Watching other good NFL teams play after the Patriots were eliminated was stupid and dumb and effing stupid.

So yeah. Superbowl Sunday!! Yay!!! [eye roll]

Anyway, the good news for you is that this will be the last time I bitch about sports until the Red Sox slowly peel my skin off in October.

And since I refuse to watch any pregame specials about Peyton Manning’s bullshit rise to bullshit stardom,* let’s get random now and discuss 16 irrelevant things I’ve been thinking about:

1) The last time I did laundry, I came up with the bright idea to put both loads from the wash into the same drier and just put the over-stuffed drier on for 65 minutes instead of 45. Now you can see my nipples through all of my t-shirts. This isn’t funny. It’s a huge disaster. I don’t just “buy t-shirts.” I collect t-shirts here and there over the years, and no matter what I’m wearing, winter or summer, there’s usually a t-shirt at the bottom of it. It’s not just that they all look ridiculous now—it’s also that I constantly feel claustrophobic. It’s like being used to boxers and then switching to briefs—not a fun transition. I immediately went back to the drier to press the Undo button, but I couldn't find it anywhere.

2) My thoughts on the iPad:

It’s succulent, of course, and I want one badly. But I’m trying to figure out exactly when I’ll use it. When I’m walking down the street or sitting in a waiting room or driving, the iPhone is ideal. When I’m in my office or apartment, my laptop is ideal. So what does that leave? There are two times I can think of in which the iPad will be perfect, where the iPhone and laptop have always been imperfect:
  1. When what you primarily need to do is read. This includes reading books, articles, documents for work, studying for an exam, etc. It’s better than a laptop or an iPhone for pure reading.

  2. When you’re traveling. For me, most of the “work” I do on my laptop is done and stored and dealt with online, so I rarely need my big laptop hard drive anymore. And I can type on an iPad just fine because I would always have the external keyboard accessory in hand. Secondly, you can access the internet without dealing with a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is huge. For traveling, the pros of the iPad largely outweigh the pros of the laptop.
Sure, it’ll be great for games and movies and photos, but the iPhone is pretty great for all of those already and it fits in your pocket.

So what it really is is a phenomenal reading machine and travel laptop. Not bad. I can justify $650 for that. I think.

But here’s why it probably won’t be a breakthrough device—because I need to talk through a justification to buy it. Steve Jobs could take a shit and wrap the shit in smooth multi-touch glass and call it the iShit and charge $199 for it and I would buy it. When the iPhone came out, there was not even a question that I was gonna ditch Verizon, my family’s shared plan, and my current phone and get one.

So if I’m debating whether to get an iPad, that might not be a good sign.

(But I’m clearly getting one.)

3) I recently got a laser pointer. It’s wonderful. Nothing gives me a sense of power and self-importance quite like sitting back in my chair, kicking my feet up on the table, and demonstrating things with my laser pointer. Our director that has to sit in a room with me for 40 hours a week has already reached the sighing phase when she sees me lean back, kick my feet up, and begin a laser-pointing session. Since there’s usually nothing to point at of relevance, I’ve taken to writing stuff on the whiteboards purely so that I can then kick back and discuss what I’ve written using the laser pointer.

4) A woman has come to my attention that I need to tell you about immediately. So the mayor of Providence in the 80’s and 90’s was named Buddy Cianci. Why is this important? Because at one point he married a woman named Nancy Ann.

Think about that.

Nancy Ann Cianci.

Nancy Ann Cianci.

Say it.

This has become a pretty big part of my life.

5) I’ve been seeing previews for Alice in Wonderland. Shocker—Johnny Depp will be playing the part of the creepy weirdo.

6) Historically, I’ve enjoyed being the underdressed idiot on cold winter days. It’s a great tradition of mine. Growing up in Boston, I prided myself on never really wearing a hat or gloves or scarf or anything like that. I often would wait until late December to break out the coat for the first time.

Why did putting myself through pain to spite no one in particular bring me pride? It’s unclear. What was cool or at all beneficial in any way about this practice? I’m not really sure.

And yet, moving back to the East Coast after five warm years in LA, I find myself gravitating toward being the smug cold idiot once again.

But as a recent gift, my dad and stepmom sent me a pair of gloves. So I’ve been wearing gloves. And it turns out that wearing gloves when it’s freezing outside is delicious and heavenly.

There’s just one problem. I have to take a glove off every time I want to use my iPhone. I need someone to invent a glove where the tip of the index finger is attached by Velcro and can come off and on.

7) I really like it when the first of the month is a Monday, because it makes it easy to know the date all month. It’s an extra treat when that month is February, because that means that March will also be one of those months. These are the things that I think about.

8) I was in Starbucks the other day and the woman working there walked around and gave everyone a free cupcake because it was near closing time. Cupcakes might be the best-tasting food.

9) Illy coffee might be the best coffee.

10) Have Superbowl commercials gotten less funny or were they always unfunny and I was just younger then?

11) I was informed recently that the word “criminy” is pronounced “krim-iny,” not “crime-iny.” I was furious that someone had the nerve to even argue this, and then we looked it up, and apparently I’ve been wrong this whole time.

13) I came back from Brazil incredibly tan. I’d go so far as to say I was bronzed. It was great. For a brief stretch of time, everyone was nice to me, girls were smiling bashfully at me, and indeed, the world was my oyster. And we all know that tans fade away, but what happened this time was weird. I woke up one day recently, and just like that—it was gone. One day, bronzed, the next day, sickly and pale. I’m telling you, it was weird. It coincided exactly with me catching a cold, so that might be the explanation.

14) Winston has a Twitter page. It would have taken me 10 minutes to set up a Twitter account. Took him three and a half hours.

15) I know I’m not the only person out there having serious trouble not writing a zero right after the second slash when I write the date. Like 2/7/0_. So I’ve been doing a lot of catching myself after writing the zero and then slipping the “one” in before it. Whatever—what do people expect? It’s hard enough every January getting used to the new year when writing the date—and usually it’s just undoing a year-long habit. But we’ve been writing this zero for ten years. This shit’s gonna take time. I’ve also said “Oh ten” a couple times when referring to the year, which is embarrassing.

16) Talking about the weather is what you do when you have nothing whatsoever to say to the person you’re talking to. It is the smallest of small-talk. I’ll say, “Man, it’s cold out” or “Nice day” to anyone—but anytime it extends beyond that, it means I cannot think of anything whatsoever to discuss with that person. And the depth that the weather conversation goes to has an inverse correlation with the depth of our relationship. If we get to a full minute of weather talk, it means our relationship is paper-thin. We do not connect on any level at all. I found myself last night talking to someone with whom I never have anything to talk about—and we were literally talking about how February was a cold month and how March would probably be a warmer month and how it would be nice when it was April because April would be a much warmer month than February. Small-talk is a huge waste of time and energy in the name of the phony social blanket.

More awkward than the weather conversation from last night will be if that person reads this blog entry. I’m guessing that they won’t. But if they do, the next time we talk will be incredibly awkward. There have been a couple times that writing about a specific person has come back to bite me. One time it bit me hard, providing one of the most awkward interactions of my life. No I will not expand upon that further. This blog is in an unfortunate no-man’s land—not private enough that I can rail on specific people in my life, but not nearly widely-read enough that I can trash a company or person I hate and have it carry any significant weight or consequences.

That would be really fun—to have enough readers that I could get pissed about something and trash them here and it would actually be damaging. I could walk around just daring everyone to wrong me, and then as soon as they did I could quietly walk home and ruin them. Okay, so all that has to happen is this—everyone who reads this needs to force 10 people they know to start reading this, whether those people want to or not, and then all of those people have to force 100 people they know to read this. Deal?

*I wrote all that before the game. I will say—if I have to watch a non-Patriots Superbowl, watching Peyton Manning ruin his legacy and forever end the “Is Manning the greatest quarterback of all time?” talk is a pretty good consolation.


Anonymous said...

So , cold enough for ya?

Peyton Manning ...

Anonymous said...

Patriots cheated so it really didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

I looked at that loaf of bread oddly for about 15 seconds as it began to hit me that it was a dog. It was a unique experience.

Anonymous said...

How's that robbery/mugging investigation going ?

Have they sent YOUR photo back to you and asked if you could identify your muggers !!!

Anonymous said...

Illy coffee is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

It is NOT krim-iny. Blasphemy!

Anonymous said...


Tim Urban said...

Nothing is going on with the "investigation." The Rio police are intensely uninterested in my mugging case.

Anonymous said...

those gloves exist!


can i get a free underneath the turban tshirt or something for this?

anonymous said...

this is my secret funny blog that i'd get intensely jealous if ever heard someone talking about it. if this sentence made any sense at all.

sorry sweetie, no new readers from me.

and i think this post was a 7.8 on the scale of "good enough posts to make me read the blog at all", so it's actually pretty good.

also? nancy ann cianci.

Emperor Paolo said...


anonymous said...

oh, aaand.

you should make people stop posting as "anonymous" so you could get a better idea of how many people come here. or i believe there's a website for that. or something.

nancy ann cianci.

i hate you for that already.

Mary said...

Just started following Winstontaneous!

His status updates are more interesting than Ashton Kutchers . . .

Anonymous said...

Love it.

Average Jane said...

You can sew conductive thread onto the fingertip of your glove so you can use your iPhone without taking it off. http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-A-Glove-Work-With-A-Touch-Screen/

Anonymous said...


Billy Wheelan said...

1) You need to get a hat. Your hair looked freezing and wet and sad the other night. Take the plunge.

2) You want to use your iPhone with gloves? Try googling "iPhone gloves." Tada. You owe me a $500 blender.


Anonymous said...

#11 You were not wrong re criminy. Crime-i-ny is the 2nd pronunciation.

Anonymous said...

tha bread just changed my life. i will never be the same person again. and no that is not a good thing!!

Anonymous said...

krim-iny? noooooooo

Anonymous said...

In regards to your last point about a blog large enough to have an impact - well, that certainly happened. Only took 4-5 more years, but holy shit did it ever happen!

Anne said...


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