Sometimes inspiration strikes like lightning. After the NFC Championship game, as I was crossing the bar to rub salt in 49er fans wounds, Richard Sherman exploded into his tirade. I stopped and turned to the TV. With a grin, I knew my plan for the Super Bowl. The following day, another piece of the puzzle fell into place. A friend of mine decided to pay his monthly visit. He happens to be a die-hard Seahawk fan. When I mentioned my idea, he offered to lend me his jerseys.
The stars were aligning.
From a bar’s perspective, Super Bowl Sunday, like New Year’s Eve, and Halloween, take care of themselves. Sure, you can advertise, and offer this or that, but, everybody and their mother have plans. Over the years, our day has developed into a quasi-Italian Pot Luck, headlined by Mullet’s lasagna and spaghetti. In our town it grabs more attention than Janet Jackson’s breast or M.I.A’s middle finger. Anyway, as other bars posted their specials, I plotted something much more sinister.
Phase One: Announcement
BREAKING NEWS: CELEBRITY GUEST BARTENDER SECURED
Everybody else has advertised it. Now it’s time for us to talk up the Best Super Bowl Party in Montana. Besides Mullet’s Lasagna, an amazing pot luck, and an incredible amount of smack talk, we have a celebrity slinging drinks. After weeks of intense negotiations, we have secured the services of a guest bartender. All we can say is this person made a splash in the headlines a few weeks ago. Be at Sportys Sunday afternoon, or miss out on Alberton’s biggest cultural sensation since Aunt Esmeralda’s goiters.
After intense speculation, an office pool, and guesses that included Justin Bieber and Andie McDowell, it was game on. There were expectations to meet.
Phase Two: Enroll wife to bring costume together.
I have the ideas, Tammy has the skill. Sherman’s dreads… mop heads, Convert old-school Seahawk jersey, and the obvious: a Race-Change Operation.
“What about shoulder pads?” Tammy asked.
“I was going to make them from cardboard,” I answered.
Luck again intervened. The day before the big game, we were strolling through Goodwill and what did we find? Shoulder pads, of course. That they fit, well, catching lightning in a bottle I tell you.
That night, Tammy dyed the mop heads, and altered the jersey while I practiced getting my Sherman on. When I offered to ravage her like the ‘other Sherman’ ravaged the south, she said: “Please, you’re still a white man.”
When the alarm screamed the next morning, it was time to put the game face on. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Phase Three: Execution
After posing for a few shots, Tammy sent me out into the vicious, cruel world. The ride to work was entertaining. To paraphrase the credit card commercial: Mop heads: $6.99 Shoulder pads: $7.99 Looks from hillbilly neighbors: Priceless. Once in town, I immediately set to mischief. I stepped into the grocery store and was met by the stare of the counter jockey, a life-long Green Bay Packer fan. Before she could say anything, I said: “I’s suppose to be in New Jersey, I don’t know what’s happening. I woke up this morning and found myself in Podunk Montana. Which way to the airport?”
She looked at me over her glasses.
“It’s Nine forty-five, I only gots a couple hours.”
When she didn’t answer, I stormed out mumbling nonsense about white people.
In the meantime, karma played a joke on me. Just like every day for seven and a half years, I walked into the bar and punched the combination into the safe’s touchpad… nothing. After the third failed attempt it times out and you have to wait. What? I know the combination by heart. I tried again, and again. I wasted an hour. It was official, I forgot the combination.
To blow off steam, I hopped in the car and drove back to the grocery store. I walked back in and said: “I’s suppose to be in New Jersey, I don’t know what’s happening. I woke up this morning and found myself in Podunk Montana. Which way to the airport?”
The clerk says: “John, what’s your problem?”
“John? Who dis John? Don’t you know who I am? I’m Richard Sherman, and I have to get to New Jersey. I’m playing in the Super Bowl.”
The clerk shook her head.
I stormed out mumbling nonsense about white people.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, I was striking out. Only now it was opening time and I still couldn’t get the safe open. There was a knock at the door. It was Krash. (Krash starred
as cohort #1 in this episode of The Barroom Chronicles.) When I told him my predicament, he laughed and said: “At least your security system’s working.”
“What do you mean?”
“It ain’t going to let no Bros inside the safe.” Now before you get all P.C. on me, Krash has license, he showed it to me. He gets a pass.
Only when our version of Jimmy the Greek – Mick the Gook – (yeah I know… Mic is as much Asian and Jimmy was Greek, get over it) called did everything click. The light bulb went off and I defeated the early onset of dementia. After bidding “The Gook” a happy SuperBowl Sunday, I tried the numbers and wa-la. It opened. To celebrate, I took another trip to the grocery store.
This time with people at the checkout counter, I said: “”I’s suppose to be in New Jersey, I don’t know what’s happening. I woke up this morning and found myself in Podunk Montana. Which way to the airport?”
“Really? What’s your problem?” The clerk asked.
“I have to get to the Super Bowl. It’s 9:45 and I have to get to the airport.”
“It’s 12:45 and you’ve been here 3 times. What are you smoking?”
“This be like Groundhog Day,” I said shaking my head before walking out mumbling nonsense about white people.
Phase Four: The Game
As it so often is, the game was anti-climatic. I had prepared some great one liners to use on the predominant Seahawk crowd. Being a dye-in-the-wool Bronco fan, dressing as Richard Sherman may have seemed a conflict-of-interest, especially when it came to rooting. You know a guy dressed in Seahawk gear rooting for the orange team. Well, I didn’t have much to cheer about, and like the rest of the Denver fans present, I took my medicine. For a mutt like me, who suffered through some of the worst Superbowl beat downs in history, it was just another day at the office. Beaten Dog syndrome came in handy this Superbowl Sunday. At least I dressed like a champion.