Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Big Game

I worked fifteen years for America's Favorite Junkmail®, so I know that Joe's Bar & Grill down the street cannot advertise any "Superbowl" specials. Oh no. That would bring a swoop of attorneys* down on his beer-soaked wooden floors. Now, if he spends the huge dollars and arranges licensing with the Superbowl boys, then it's okay, but those people are few -- and wealthy beyond belief. Therefore, poor Joe has to advertise "The Big Game" specials.

Each year at the junkmail factory, we'd receive a memo reminding us not to type "Superbowl," even if the advertiser did. They'd have to fax us a copy of the license to get The S-Word on a coupon, and I personally never saw one.

For some reason, I thought that law applied only to print advertising, but this year I noticed a couple bars with "The Big Game" on their marquees, and then I went to Publix ... on the day before The Big Game, which I'll never do again.

The place was so packed, I very nearly had to park across the street. The store was full of signs about The Big Game. Drinks for The Big Game. Snacks for The Big Game. Meat, potatoes, side dishes, napkins, cakes, balloons, and feminine hygiene for The Big Game. Okay. Maybe not, but the whole store seemed to have its very existence rooted in the idea of The Big Game. The PA system was full of it, too. At checkout, I gloated to the clerk. "Hah! You can't say 'Superbowl,' but I can!" A department manager overheard me, and we smiled and rolled our eyes in insider sisterhood.

So here's my dream. I want everyone to be so paranoid about saying or typing or even thinking "Superbowl" that we as a nation end up calling it The Big Game. Hah. Let's see 'em copyright that!

*It's like a pride of lions or a pod of whales or -- closer -- a murder of crows.