Better Geek than Prude

I failed miserably in my Hometeaching duties this past month. Fortunately, I won’t receive an email soliciting my monthly stats until sometime next week, and as I see it, “early February” is the new “late January”, so all is not lost. Thus my scrambling around this morning between church meetings, cornering my hometeachees, and inquiring whether my companion and I could stop by this evening. Strangely, most of my hometeachees weren’t available. Something about already “having plans,” or “family visiting tonight” or “getting together with friends at that hour.” Granted this is short notice, but how odd that nobody was available today. Hmmmmm.

I soon realized my mistake. Today is the day that most of my fellow Americans engage in an annual ritual I don’t pretend to understand. Caring about the outcome of professional sporting events is one of the odder features of modern life, in my opinion — sort of like the popularity of cruise ship buffets or the Dave Matthews Band. I don’t pretend to get it. But such is life.

What really worries me though, is what my hometeachees must think of me after today’s invitation. I can imagine one of two thoughts running through their minds:

1) Wow. Brother Brown doesn’t watch the Superbowl. He doesn’t even know today is the Superbowl!

2) Wow. Brother Brown is one of those self-righteous Mormon Mollies who never watches TV on Sunday, who likes to advertize this fact, and who likes to lay a guilt-trip on other Mormons who do.

I now have my work cut out for me. I’d much prefer that everyone think the former of me, rather than the latter. Better a geek than a prude. So next week I’ll be making the rounds, offering self-deprecating clarifications.

Wish me luck.


  1. Cynthia L. says:


    I always watch the Superbowl because I think it is a fun family tradition, but I really couldn’t care less about football thus never know which teams are playing until I turn it on.

    Actually, it isn’t true that I couldn’t care less about football. I actually think about and care about football a great deal, but by “care about” I mean hate. Feminist Cynthia L. blames football culture as the root of all misogynist evil in American society. The macho-ness, the beer, the cheerleaders—it’s all revealed on tablets etched by The Evil One himself.

    But once a year I check my feminist card at the door and enjoy the spectacle of Superbowl. Or just the ads. Sometimes I check out how Puppy Bowl is going. Point being, there is a picnic blanket on the floor in front of the TV to enable indoor tailgating, which is otherwise verbotten due to no food in the living room/on the carpet.

  2. Hah. I was assigned a new hometeaching family a week ago and the man-of-the-house emailed me Saturday morning and invited me to his place to watch the Super Bowl. How’s that for awesome. Except I was getting on a plane for Utah. So I had to turn him down.

  3. I didn’t realize today was the Super Bowl until I went to the market Saturday night and it was a madhouse. Oooooh yeah, that’s right. Then I had to ask who was in it.

    I confess, I did pop in a few times to watch today, mostly to see if the commercials were funny. But like Cynthia, my Feminist hackles get rankled by the misogynist culture of football (and most pro sports in general). The commercials seemed especially full of vitriol at men who are nice to women- portraying them in the worst emasculated stereotypes.

  4. “Feminist Cynthia L. blames football culture as the root of all misogynist evil in American society. The macho-ness, the beer, the cheerleaders—it’s all revealed on tablets etched by The Evil One himself.”

    Actually, golf is much worse. It’s just better at hiding it. That’s why Tiger’s story was no surprise to hardcore golfers.

    But hey, the Masters is coming up in April, so keep the basket handy.

    Aaron, there are some gaffes that there is just no recovery from. This is one of those gaffes. Give it up.

    Tracy, sorry to blow your feminist street cred but you know very well that you watched the whole game with us over on KB!

  5. Apparently I’m both a geek and a prude this year. Well, life could be worse. (But, really, I wonder how geeky/prudey I must be that I have not seen/heard any reference to the Super Bowl outside of T&S and BCC. I did not realize it was this bad)

  6. Ah, MCQ, I have no wireless router at the moment; my tv is upstairs, my computer- down. I was up and down all day. ;)

  7. Superbowl and beer go together. If you do not drink the latter, you are less likely to enjoy the former. It is not prudery to admit that many people are sadly not as interesting when they (or you) are completely sober.

    For Mormons who have not experienced this firsthand, trust me: you are not missing anything.

  8. Dan, I really enjoy your comments.

    But only when I’m drunk.

  9. Natalie K. says:

    Our ward has a home-teaching program?

    That’s hopeful. :)

  10. Ouch, no love for DMB from AB.

  11. Kevin Barney says:

    The Superbowl was yesterday? Who was playing, and who won?

  12. Kevin,
    As best I can tell, The Who played (and likely won).

  13. (I say likely because I just caught the first half of their performance, but as long as nothing went downhill from there, I’ll give it to them. Not Prince, maybe, but not bad.)

  14. Um, I wanted to watch the Superbowl. But I have no TV (reception). And asking people if I can come over and watch the TV at their house is awkward. Finally, apparently, I have no friends who had parties yesterday (and told me about it).

    PITY ME!

  15. Left Field says:

    I quit watching the super bowl sometime back in the 80s. Truth be told, most years I have no idea who’s playing or when. It’s not a deliberate studied apathy, it’s just apathy. I haven’t followed the NFL since the my Baltimore Colts were stolen. But I live in the New Orleans area, where one can hardly be oblivious this year. I’m happy to cheer for the hometown team. And I’m more than happy to see the ill-gotten, misbegotten team from Indianapolis (I won’t call them the “Colts”) go down in ignominious defeat.

    I watched every snap.

  16. I grew up with really strict rules about TV on Sunday (i.e. none, not even Battlestar Galactica, despite my tortured arguments about its theological instructiveness), but my ex-husband always watched sports on Sunday. So one Sunday early in our married life we were agonizing about whether or not it would be ok to watch the Super Bowl, when the phone rang and it was our bishop inviting us to watch at his house.

    I think it should be ok whenever the Saints are playing, as long as at some point someone cheers “Smite them, Brethren!”

  17. Aaron–I’m sure your home teachees would much rather be home taught on Valentines’ Day anyway.

  18. #12: The Who nailed it!

  19. I got up at 3:00 AM to watch it live–the difference in time zones providing me with a Sabbath-viewing safe harbor.

    Sadly all points for virtue have been lost to the numerous Cokes I’ve since drank to stay awake at work.

  20. I watched the last three minutes, which included at least three rewards: Doritos Tim, the screaming chicken, and my 6-year-old dubbing the saints “Gold Butts.”

  21. The Who sounded pretty good, at least in comparison to other rock acts that have been at it for 45 years. (Cripes, the Rollings Stones post-Voodoo Lounge/Stripped have just looked and sounded atrocious.) Townhsend’s voice, in particular, still had some real spunk to it. They aren’t the same without Entwistle, but really, who could be?

  22. I have to say, I find it incomprehensible that someone could just not know that the Superbowl was happening. Its the SUPERBOWL.

    This year, my bishop invited my entire ward to his house for a Superbowl party. Last year (in a different ward), a family invited all of the YSAs to a Superbowl party, and the Bishop was in attendance.

  23. I guess I’m one of those self-righteous mormon-mollies. (Though I do not advertise the fact, and don’t guilt others who watch). I just checked the score every three minutes on my phone instead.

    In the tradition of he said, she said, they said, My Wife has a friend who is related to Dallin Oak’s wife. A few years back uncle Dallin paid them a visit on Super Bowl sunday (oblivious of the fact, the story goes). Two of the nephews were selected to run interference while the rest of the family watched the game in the other room!

  24. Stephanie, I heard about it on NPR. Not quite as geeky as T&S and BCC, perhaps, but geeky still. Otherwise I would’ve shown up for family dinner and made the embarassing remark of surprise that it was superbowl weekend in front of my brothers. The horror!

  25. I’m actually with John C. We don’t have cable (we’re cheap), we don’t have a digital converter (I got the coupon twice but kept forgetting to redeem it, and we’re cheap). We have nothing against TV–Hulu and Netflix cover that for us–and really nothing against TV Sundays, but we couldn’t watch it at home, and apparently I haven’t sufficiently done my job of making friends, because nobody invited us to watch it at their house.

  26. Aaron:

    Frankly, both 1 & 2 reek of condescention and I personally would be embarassed to be guilty of either. Would you try and schedule HT visits on X-mas Day or on Thanksgiving?

  27. John C,

    If I had only known. Dang it.

  28. Russell,

    I really liked the Who performance, if anything because it brought back memories. I really do not like the Stones and feel that the Who is under-appreciated.

  29. Well, one thing’s for sure: they didn’t die before they got old.

  30. “Well, one thing’s for sure: they didn’t die before they got old.”

    Two out of four didn’t anyway.

  31. I thought The Who put on a pretty good show, but Roger Daltrey’s voice quality and range seem to have gone the way of Pete Townsend’s hearing.

  32. For a long time, I’ve thought that the permas here were out of touch with the average member. Now I realize that not only are they out of touch with the average member, they are out of touch with the average American.

  33. I’d have preferred all eight minutes of “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

    I’m not sure, Mathew, if the Cokes will be as hard on your “virtue points” as “I’ve since drank”.

  34. I hosted people over. Cooked steaks for them and had a good time. I even let my 4 school aged kids stay up and watch the game past bedtime.

    I wanted to let Megan above know that her brother A’s donut eating record is still intact. He still owns the ward record at 19. We had somebody eat 12 and then dropout sick at YM’s on Tuesday

  35. StillConfused says:

    And you call yourself a man?

  36. blissfully geek and prude are not the only options…I knew of the superbowl, yet don’t get any tv and wasn’t all that willing to make the effort. I think that option is best known as ambivalent or lazy

  37. Don’t apologize, don’t explain.

  38. Thanks for telling me, Brother Bell. I’ll let him know when I email with him today. That record’s gotta be at least 5 years old by now… he’ll be proud that it’s still standing, and appalled at the paltry attempts to defeat it. Sick after 12 doughnuts? That’s weak sauce :).

  39. Mark B,

    That is pretty funny.

  40. Natalie K., who’s your hometeacher? If you want, I’ll gladly offer up myself as his replacement to the EQ presidency…

  41. The Other Bro Jones says:

    Am I the only one who has a TV and could have watched it, but chose not to? Shame on you all!

    Now if we were talking about hockey…

  42. The Other Bro Jones says:

    oops, that didn’t work. My pseudo html tags did go through.
    Let me try this again with my tongue planted more obviously in my cheek.

    –get on high horse–
    Am I the only one who has a TV and could have watched it, but chose not to? Shame on you all!
    –/get on high horse–

    Now if we were talking about hockey…

  43. Proudly watched the game.

    Keith Moon looked amazing on those drums . . . especially considering he’s been dead for 30 years.

  44. The Other Bro Jones says:

    Ok. It is definitley monday.

    My pseudo html tags did NOT go through.

  45. Hangover’ll do that to ya.

  46. The Other Bro Jones says:

    I’m so embarassed

  47. Aaron,

    I’ve been caught on the horns of the same dilemma in years past on Super Bowl Sunday, but I will admit to watching the game yesterday, mostly because the first Sunday of the month is our family pot luck, and all our adult kids come home and we have a big dinner. Most of us don’t care that much about football, except my second oldest son, and we enjoyed watching part of the game together.

    But it was the only football game I’ve watched since Superbowl XXXXII (I think, my roman numeral skilz are suspect), so that might be two years.

    BTW, that was Zach Starkey, Ringo Starr’s son on the drums with The Who, but he’s no Keith Moon, who also Died Before He Got Old.

  48. Natalie K. says:

    Haha, Aaron, so kind of you to offer. We haven’t heard a peep from ours, but really, it’s fair, since only about 6 people in the whole ward know who we are. And, it’s big time karma, because we have been terrible at our own home/visiting-teaching assignments for the last few years.

  49. “but he’s no Keith Moon”

    Honestly, who is? To bust out my mad Latin skilz, that guy was sui generis.

  50. Two comments.

    1. There is a family in our ward that is currently taking the discussions, and a few minutes of every PEC is devoted to what is being done to fellowship them. For the past couple of weeks, the missionaries (and the Ward Mission Leader) have related that another family in the ward has had them over to dinner a couple of times. They have not yet been to church, so the plan for yesterday was to have the investigating family come to church, then head straight over to the member family’s home and watch the Superbowl.

    The thing is, every time the missionary/WML related the very last part of the plan, they would look around the room with a strange, half-embarrassed smile, as though waiting for someone else in the committee to explain that “That’s just not something we do,” kind of like having Elder’s Quorum meetings at the local strip club. And the awkward pause continued, even after the Bishop said that he would probably be watching the game, even though he is one of those who doesn’t ordinarily follow football. Almost like the elder was shocked that the person called to lead our ward would descend to such depravity.

    2. I was not able to watch the game because the director of the Temple Dedication Choir decided to have the first rehearsal yesterday, and we were told that rehearsal attendance was MANDATORY. (She did apologize – somewhat – for having the next rehearsal fall on Valentine’s Day, but I rather doubt that she even knew there was some sort of sporting event yesterday. Or maybe she just didn’t think that people who can sing well ever care about sports.

  51. Aaron B — you really, really, really, really, swear on your mother’s grave didn’t somewhere in the back of your brain know that the Superbowl was yesterday? Do you live in Finland or something?

    I agree with jimbob on this one. Out. Of. Touch.

  52. he’s less socialized than a homeschool kid

  53. I swear. I probably heard about it on TV, or on the internet, but I tune out crap that doesn’t interest me.

  54. For the feminist football fans everywhere:

  55. In church on Sun, I had one HP lament to me that his wife wanted him to go to choir practice and miss 1/2 the game. If I mentioned that to my husband, I’d soon find myself with an ‘ex’ in front of my title (ex wife). Wow– it’s an EVENT!

    That said, The Who was OK. No one has yet to come even close to topping Prince.

  56. i HATE it when my fellow memebers want to HT or VT on Sunday ! ANY sunday. 5 other days of the week AND 30 or so days in a month ! Mormons are LAME ! Also, it’s the SUPERBOWL !! sheesh, people. gives us all SOMETHING in common to talk to our fellow Americans about. And there are very few of those subjects left. This year’s Superbowl was even more important to the country considering how far New Orleans has come in 5 years. How far the SAINTS have accomplished and how far they’ve risen. From paper bag heads to champions. From the death of thousands and heartbreaking suffering while we watched, to trophies and parades. For people who didn’t know or care this year – you missed so much more than a game.

  57. Nope, T-NC. The Superbowl is for losers. Just admit that you are one.

  58. Amen. Once I admitted what a loser I was, my self esteem went way up. The lowered expectations finally allowed me to achieve something worthwhile, just by watching the Superbowl. Want not, waste not.

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