In the distant, post-apocalyptic future, when the children of our Kardash-a-tron humanoid replacements are assigned book reports on the ancient Americans and tasked with explaining our customs, rituals, and celebrations, the very first chapter will be titled: The Super Bowl.
I love the Super Bowl and its ability to unite Americans behind a love of violent sports and beer commercials. I love gathering with a sports crowd and sharing that feeling of momentum and destiny as we chant to support our team. The urge to join in a good chant can be almost irresistible, regardless of whether the chant makes any sense.
This is why I’ve taught my sons they can deflect most criticism in life by interrupting their accuser with the chant, “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!”
The police officer will impulsively join in the chant until the spirit of camaraderie washes over him and causes him to forget to read your rights, thus invalidating your confession in a court of law. Of course, the “USA!” chant only deflects criticism if your accuser is an American. If you try and use it on other nationalities, you’re likely to earn more criticism.
In the spirit of testing my theories on crowd mentality, I’ve made a habit of trying to get the crowd to chant ironic or meaningless phrases with me in sports bars and at sporting events. The following chants were my least successful attempts and did not work in any way, shape, or form:
“Sports! Sports! Sports! Sports! C’mon, everybody! Who loves sports? Sports! Sports! Sports! If you’re not chanting with me, it’s like saying you don’t like sports! Sports! Sports! Sports! Why isn’t anyone chanting? You know who loves sports? Our soldiers overseas protecting our freedom! ‘Sports’ on the count of three if you love freedom! One! Two! Three! Sports! Sports! Sports! C’mon!”
“Three cheers for sportsmanship! Sports-man-ship! Sports-man-ship! Sports-man-ship! C’mon, everybody! Three cheers for sportsmanship! Sports-man-ship! Sports-man-ship! Why isn’t anyone joining in? How about two cheers for sportsmanship? Who wants a good, clean game? Sports-man-ship! Sports-man-ship!”
(My fantasy football team is always named Team Sportsmanship. When the league gathers to watch football together, if I can get them to start chanting ‘sports-man-ship,’ it’s kind of like they’re all cheering for my team, and isn’t that what sportsmanship is all about?)
“Who made this dip? It’s awesome! I can’t believe spinach and artichoke would work together. Chips and dip are the best, right? Hey, everybody! Chips and dip! Chips and dip! Who loves dip? It can be any kind of dip! Guacamole! French onion! Follow my lead! Chips and dip! Chips and dip!”
I hope readers will support my crowd mentality studies by joining in on an experiment. Would all readers watching the Super Bowl be willing to join in on a chant? At the 2:00 warning near the end of the 4th quarter, wherever you are would you please stand and start chanting, “thegoodgreatsby.com! thegoodgreatsby.com! thegoodgreatsby.com!”
If you’re going to actually be at the Super Bowl, holding up a sign for the camera reading http://www.thegoodgreatsby.com would also be acceptable.