I promise not to harp on the Super Bowl all week long, but I want to take some time today to talk about Sunday’s game as experienced by my friend and fellow Brooklynite Tracy Forrester. Because whether you watched the game at home, in a bar, or at a party, your day was nothing like hers: Due to unavoidable circumstances, Tracy was stuck on an airplane, flying home from Los Angeles to NYC, during the entire span of the game. Fortunately, she made sure to fly JetBlue, so she could watch the game on one of those seat-back TVs. Even more fortunately, she prepared a little report for me:
There were lots of New Yorkers on the flight, and the crew were involved in the game too, so everyone was keen to get boarded and begin watching. Timing was perfect — as soon as we got seated and adjusted the channels, the teams were on the field getting ready for the coin toss. The seat next to me was empty, so I didn’t have anyone in my immediate vicinity to (a) bug me or (b) share the game with, but there were fans in front of me and behind, and the rest of the plane was watching as well. It was so good to hear the cheering and clapping whenever the Giants did well!
Toward the middle of the game and into 3rd quarter, I must admit that I began to think, “Damnit, Tom’s boys are in again.” I turned off the sound and listened to music while still watching the screen. It really took me by surprise when the Giants took the lead. I stood up and cheered and clapped, as did most of the plane. It was such a great feeling — oneness with the other hundred-plus folks on the flight. It was so exciting, wasn’t it? Man. I felt so (strangely) proud and glad to feel like a part of it.
Pretty cool. I had some additional questions for Tracy, which she graciously addressed, as follows:
Uni Watch: Were people buying a lot more drinks than usual?
Tracy Forrester: Definitely, but it wasn’t outta hand. I mean, if it had been a Qantas flight, that would be a different story [Tracy is a native Australian. — PL]. I saw lots of Heineken being delivered. Seemed to be the fave.
UW: Did the flight attendants ever stop to look over people’s shoulders, so they could see a bit of the game?
TF: They were watching the game when they could. They were smiling and shaking their heads in disbelief as they walked through the aisle towards the end of the game.
UW: Did the captain make any announcements relating to the game?
TF: No announcements from the captain. But when we first got on and the cabin crew did their first announcement, they kinda apologized for interrupting — “We know that you are all watching the game, so we will try to keep all announcements to a bare minimum.” And they apologized for having to do the safety drill thang. The girl came back on and said, “Okay, I am very sorry, but we have to do this. Here we go…,” and read it very, very quickly. I liked that.
UW: There must have been some Patriots fans on the flight, yes? Did they try to band together? Did they seem marginalized?
TF: I didn’t see or hear any Patriots fans. Honestly, there was no sign.
UW: Were you aware of any people who didn’t care about the game, or who maybe even resented being subjected to it?
TF: I was on the window, my middle seat was empty, and there was a middle-aged Japanese woman on the aisle seat. She calmly watched the Food Network for the entire journey. I kept checking, I thought maybe she would finally give in and switch it over, but no — Food Network all the way. When I stood up and yelled during the Giants’ comeback, she looked over at me and smiled. There were a few times where I guess we were all loud, and it momentarily distracted her, but she would just smile and nod in a motherly type of fashion. No anger.
Okay, so none of that is uni-related, but I still think it’s really cool. I may just have to book a JetBlue flight for next year’s Super Bowl.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Fascinating front-jersey uni number style worn by South Dakota in the late 1960s (with thanks to Vince Gitch). … Yesterday I mentioned that NBA ref Mendy Rudolph’s number has been unofficially retired and asked if any other leagues have retired officials’ numbers. Turns out MLB has retired quite a few umpires’ numbers (much obliged to J.R. Gain). … Larry Wiederecht just sent me this screen grab, which shows that the Redskins were apparently wearing a Super Bowl logo decal way back in SB XVIII — I had no idea. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: One of the refs in Friday’s Rangers/Devils game must have lost his luggage (or been playing role-reversal games with an NFL ref), because he had white striped pants. … Nice one-sheet brochure of MLS logos and fonts here (with thanks to Craig Justice). … Did you know UCLA had a gold alternate uni in 1994? Full details here (nice find by Erkki W. Corpuz). … This is fucking hilarious. … A few days ago I ran a photo of Kirby Puckett wearing No. 32, instead of his usual 34. That prompted the following from Jack Krabbe: “The Puckett photo reminded me of the program I got when I was in Cooperstown for Cal Ripken’s induction. If you look closely at Cal’s jersey number, it looks like 32. I’m not positive about the second numeral, but the first one has to be a 3, and it’s definitely not an 8. How did this happen? I mean, it’s the cover of the official induction program.” … I knew that the class-A Lakeland Flying Tigers used a lot of military imagery, but I didn’t realize they used stencil-styled uni numbers until Paul Wiederecht sent me these photos. … Alan Topolski saw this jersey at the Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati. I didn’t realize that Concepcion had worn a captain’s “C” on his left sleeve during the latter part of his career, but sure enough (additional pics here and here). … Wanna turn your authentic jersey into something like this? Or this? Okay, so you probably don’t, but you can still read about it here. The company in question (whose site has some very annoying music, so mute your speakers) is here. … Lots of fairly amazing game-worn Russian hockey jerseys available here (with thanks to Morris Levin). … Phil Hughes will soon have a new uniform number. Sez who? Sez Phil Hughes (although I wouldn’t have known about it if Tyler Kepner hadn’t pointed it out to me). … Best Lester Hayes stickum photo ever. … Interesting use of small caps here.