The Super Bowl And Me

There was something wonderfully liberating this past week about not caring who was in the Super Bowl,much less who won.

I heard of the Chicago Bears from those skits on Saturday Night Live. But I didn't know the Colts had moved to Indianapolis. When did that happen? Didn't they used to be in another city?

I knew the Super Bowl was scheduled for last evening, but I never paid attention when they talked about it on radio and TV. I don't read the Sports section of the paper. And I speed-click past all the ESPN channels on my way to Turner Classic Movies.

I've never been a sports fan. As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, my friends and I played punchball, stickball and stoopball back on East 22nd Street. And I was more interested in Boy Scouts and slot-car racing, than in baseball or football.

I recall getting taken to a few baseball and football games as a youngster, but I didn't enjoy the experience. It was crowded and noisy and some guy in the row behind me always spilled beer or mustard or peanut shells on me.

I vaguely remember buying baseball cards, but I wasn't a collector, at least not for the athletes pictured on them. As kids, we used to flip baseball cards for distance or matching heads and tails. And my dentist got rich filling the cavities from the bubble gum in each pack. It was hard, flat and brittle – but it had a different taste than regular Bazooka.

So last evening, while the rest of America settled in front of their TV sets to watch the big game, I went grocery shopping. It was great. Usually, there's a Sunday evening crowd that fills my local supermarket, but not yesterday. The store was nearly empty and the check-out lines were a breeze. I usually get to read the tabloids while waiting on line, but yesterday – I only got to peruse the front pages. One paper called The Globe was reporting on the marital breakup of President Bush and the First Lady. How embarassed, I was. I cover the White House and I didn't know about it. Oh, well.

So congratulations to the Colts (they won, right?). Better luck next time to the Bears.

I'm subjected to a couple of sports event today. President Bush welcomes the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion to the White House this afternoon. I'm gonna have to look up who that is.

I own a car. I like to drive. I've even been to the Daytona raceway on a few occasions with some U.S. presidents. Not that I'm not much of a motorsports fan either.

But that's another blog.

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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.