The soup was much better

Staff Writer
Ken Francis
I read somewhere that last Sunday’s Super Bowl was the most watched TV show in U.S. history.
According to the Nielsen ratings, 111.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the game.
I wasn’t one of them. 
Well, sort of.
Unlike many football fans - and their families, Super Sunday isn’t as special to me. 
Don’t get me wrong, I like football. I’ve been a Vikings fan since the 1970s - long before I moved to Minnesota. 
I was a Fran Tarkenton fan when I first started watching football as a youngster in New Jersey, He played for the Giants back then, but went back to Minnesota in 1972 and finished his career here in 1978.
I have remained a Vikings fan even after “Scrambling Fran” retired, and I still watch games on TV when I’m home and not doing something else.
But I’m not a die-hard football fan. I usually don’t watch other teams play each other - unless it’s a close game in the closing minutes. Or if I’m surfing channels and can’t find anything else decent on TV.
I wasn’t really interested in who won last Sunday. I like Peyton Manning as a quarterback. He’s definitely not a scrambler, but he knows the game as well as any quarterback I’ve seen, which makes the game interesting.
Last Sunday, I knew the kickoff was 5:30 p.m., although for millions of football fans, the “game” starts much earlier with TV coverage of fans, players and lots of other hype.
Lots of people make it a party day, which is a good excuse for staying inside and eating - and drinking and eating.
That comes in handy here in Minnesota, especially when it’s below zero outside.
I spent most of Super Bowl Sunday in bed with chills and muscle aches. It wasn’t the flu. I’m not sure exactly what I had, but after lots of rest it eventually worked its way through my system.
Finally, at just after 5:30, I climbed out of bed, turned on the TV and went into the kitchen to heat up some soup.
The phone rang, and I spoke with a friend for about 25 minutes. When I finally got back to the TV carrying my re-heated bowl of soup, I realized I hadn’t even turned on the channel for the game.
When I did, there was a commercial on, and when the game came back on, the score was already 15-0 in favor of Seattle.
I changed the channel and watched something else for awhile before switching back to the game.
It was halftime; 22-0.
Again I went channel surfing while the rest of the world watched the halftime show.
I can’t even remember what I watched, but I was sure I’d missed most of the third quarter before switching back to the game.
I didn’t. The second half had just started and the TV announcers were talking about the opening kickoff return for a touchdown by former Viking Percy Harvin.
Score, 29-0. Time to change channels again. 
I kept surfing with the remote for almost an hour, stopping at different channels for a few minutes at a time. Since I was hoping Manning might stage a late-game comeback for the Broncos, I’d switch to the game every so often.
Score, 36-0. Back to the remote control again.
Finally, I dozed off and awoke a few hours later to see the final score, 43-8.
I guess technically, Nielsen can count me as one of millions of viewers who had the game on.
But I think I spent more time on my bowl of soup than I did on the Super Bowl.


THE BIG LAKE LIONESS ANNUAL GARAGE SALE drew plenty of shoppers to Lions Park Saturday morning. The Lioness Club has been serving the Big Lake Community for 31 years. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

TREE EXPERT Gina Hugo works for the Sherburne County Soil and Water Conservation District.