Tuesday, January 31, 2012

To Lose the Will for Free Shrimp Is to Lose the Will to Live

Both Boston sports talk radio stations have emigrated to Indianapolis this week, part of that odd but apparently effective programming strategy of broadcasting from the Super Bowl host city without covering any Super Bowl events, then leaving town 48 hours before the game.

Early this morning, two of the hosts of one of the AM drive-time shows, the one that can be funny on occasion, were discussing the host city committee party for the media, which will be held this evening at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The hosts said they weren't going to attend.

These guys were missing a bet. Of the pre-Super Bowl parties to which media members are or can get invited to, the host city party, usually held on Tuesday, is by far the more jolly occasion. The vaunted Commissioner's Party on Friday night, quite the blowout back in the day and worth hitting as recently as the 1990s, has evolved into what essentially is the Republican National Convention with a buffet instead of speeches. If rubbing elbows and every other body part with an inchoate mass of old rich people is your idea of fun, well, start scrambling for your invitation.

The crowd is much less dense at the media party, the food is just as good, the drink just as free, and the locals of both sexes who have wangled themselves into the party in the mistaken belief it's an opportunity for social climbing tend to be way more physically attractive. All in all, it's a pleasant evening out to which you, the media member, is being treated. It's only POLITE to accept the host city's bread and salt. Also beer.

Morning radio personalities have to get up very early indeed, so I could understand why the two hosts weren't going. But the tone of their dismissal bothered me. They implicitly and then explicitly stated that the media party was an event for small-town boobs and small-time journalists, a fundamentally uncool event which any person with a decent respect for their own hipness would avoid as fervently as work at a Christian music format station.

Avoiding generally accepted social rituals is sometimes a wise decision. Avoiding them as a matter of policy makes you a person others will seek to avoid. Skippin Super Bowl parties, hype and fun while you're AT the Super Bowl isn't cool. It's just stupid.


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