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Super Bowl = America

Baseball may be the American Pastime, but the Super Bowl is America itself ... condensed to two and a half hours of screaming madness, senseless violence, and in-your-face commercialism.

Short of the World Wrestling Federation, the Super Bowl is entertainment in its most primitive, commercial and sickly satisfying form. A hundred thousand people crowd the Coliseum, and a million more tune into their TVs, to watch 22 muscle-heads battle it out on the gridiron.

The Super Bowl taps into our primordial human craving for violence and sadism, which unfortunately, in this day and age, is largely forced into dormancy. Literature, music, the arts -- those things are nice, but at the end of the day, don't we all just want to see someone get his skull bashed in?

The Super Bowl requires no attention span, and only the most minimal brain activity. It can be enjoyed to its fullest level in a borderline state of consciousness. And just when you're getting bored with all the aggression, just when your mountain of BBQ weenies starts to get dangerously small, someone saves the day and calls a timeout.

Commercial break: Five minutes of body noises, bouncing bottles of Bud, crazy forays into future lands where laughing little men try to steal your Bridgestone tires -- every one a knee-slapper.

With each passing year, the humor of the Super Bowl commercials reaches new lows in humor, taste and creative merit. Just when I think it can't get any worse than a Budweiser Horse farting in a guy's face, or a naked sheep streaking through a game of Barnyard Football, it does . . . How long can this game of limbo go on? I often wonder. How much further can they lower the bar before people start falling backwards?

The Super Bowl is one of the few television experiences where the less you know about what you're watching, and the less you try to learn, the better. I didn't figure out who the teams were until halftime, and I still had a very enjoyable experience. Knowledge of the game only detracts from the central entertainment at hand: brute violence and lowbrow humor.

In the Super Bowl, there are winners, and there are losers. The winners get to go home, God help the losers. The fans are only fans until the going gets rough.

I know I'd be nervous if I was a quarterback sitting in the locker room after a Super Bowl loss, knowing that there are a thousand painted beer-bellies with my name on them, ready to start swinging. Football is a cruel, heartless game. And the Super Bowl is the most savage display of the dark side of human nature since Gladiators walked the earth.

It comes down to Darwinian theory in action. Who among these -- the very pictures of athleticism and hubris -- is the fittest? Who gets to survive? Tune in after a short commercial break and find out for yourself.

Nathan Kitzmann is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.