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Rich In Thought - All The X's, L's, V's And I's
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The Super Bowl Season is upon us as many of us gather for what is as close to an American holiday as it can get.

I've been fortunate to have been sucking air on this planet for all of them, since being a little guy all of seven-years-old when the name "Super Bowl" wasn't even applied to this first competition. (It wasn't until three years later when the game was branded "Super Bowl.") The contest itself, though, has caught on quickly and thus the American tradition of "Super Bowl Sunday" was born.

This Sunday, we will be celebrating Super Bowl XLVII.

There's something impressive about using Roman numerals to denote the sequence of all these games. Roman numerals are a grandiose way used to indicate popes, royalty, world wars, and Rocky sequels. Why not the greatest single game of the year?

There are some drawbacks. Remember Super Bowl XXX in 1996? Work Internet filters still redline on blocking access to that one. However, there's nothing racy about the longest sequence XXXVIII in 2004 and XL was just "huge" in 2006.

The NFL will have a challenge in 2016 when the 50th adaptation of the contest will be played in Super Bowl L. Because for some reason I picture an extended thumb and forefinger displayed in front of one's forehead, I foresee the Arabic numbering system brought into play by the NFL for Super Bowl's golden anniversary.

Super Bowl parties are very popular in the country for that day. A lot of build-up comes and the gala is filled with barbecues, comical commercials and of course - for the serious sports fan like me - a football game between both conference winners.

A good Super Bowl party rivals only Thanksgiving in food consumption per individual but with the nutritional value far lower on the health scale.

Put the fire department on stand-by guys and have those paddles charged on Feb. 3. You can hear the arteries hardening as you stuff all the fried, high-fat, grilled, cheesy, creamy, cuisine into your mouth followed by REAL beer (not the light stuff) and liquor.

There are some serious sports fan shortcomings by attending a large Super Bowl party. Socializing at this type of party means you're not giving the contest its deserved attention and missing out on the biggest game of the year.

I've noticed most party-goers aren't as into football as I am and want to mingle, distracting me from my private use of the telecast and transmission, description and account of the game. These are the same fools who yak freely throughout the game broadcast but are all eyes and ears, shushing everyone during the latest Doritos 30-second magnum opus.

Don't get me wrong. I love the creativity and humor in the commercials. A good E-Trade baby line or seeing what the Bud Clydesdales are up to piques my radar. However, just because something is run during the Super Bowl at $3.5 million a pop doesn't make it quality.

If you want to talk to me at a Super Bowl party you'll most likely have to wait until halftime. But I predict I'll be as noticeable as a Manti Te'o girlfriend because everyone will be gathered to watch a lip-syncing Beyoncé this year. The last Super Bowl halftime show I can remember watching had some version of Up with People and was during the daytime hours. (With the exception of rebroadcasts of Janet Jackson's "clothing malfunction.")

This year, I'll be the guy in a perfectly placed recliner in front of high-def 1080i surrounded by a 360 sphere of 5.1 Dolby cheering on the Niners and the wunderkind known as Colin Kaepernick.

I'm also preparing myself, win or lose, for that final Ray Lewis interview as he yells, cries, and makes senseless babble into the microphone.

For those of you who won't be watching the game; great news, there'll be plenty of parking at the mall.

Richard Paloma is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.