The Super Bowl of the Mysteries

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Thank you for the opportunity to present this report on exciting new findings that give us insight into life on Earth before The Great Flight. A brief review of commonly-known facts is in order.

In what the natives called the early 22nd Century, life on Earth was eliminated by an Ice Age. Some human beings, our ancestors, were able to escape the planet on spaceships. Their numbers were few, however, since successive governments had abandoned their primitive “space programs” to concentrate on developing self-driving electric automobiles. The only available spacecraft were owned by private parties who charged maximum fees for passage.

For centuries now, scientific expeditions have returned to the frozen planet, working to discover the details of life before The Great Flight. Recently an expedition working on a site in the area then known as Texas has returned with exciting findings about the religious life of the ancient Americans.

We have long known that Americans engaged in a form of ritual warfare to celebrate the harvest. Ritual warriors, wearing garments similar to actual warriors, engaged in ground acquisition contests in oval-shaped structures during harvest season. I need not remind any educated person that ovals are used as symbols of wholeness and divine favor.

Until the return of the most recent expedition, however, we assumed that these contests were purely local and that the outcomes perhaps dictated the distribution of resources for the coming year. But new evidence, gathered near the village of Fort Worth, suggests something much more important.

By combining this new research with findings from earlier expeditions, we are now able to draw some conclusions about American religious practice in the period just before the Great Flight. We knew, for example, the frequency of the contests dropped off drastically after the beginning of winter, but we thought that weather was the likely reason, especially as the Ice Age encroached.

Now we know that soon after the beginning of winter, Americans celebrated something they called “Bowl Season.” Bowls were eating utensils, most commonly in the religiously-significant round shape, so we believe that these contests determined who would receive the most food in the year ahead.

Most importantly we now are aware that the Bowl Season culminated in a supreme contest called the “Super Bowl.” Recall that Americans used “super” to indicate “large” or “special” and applied it to mercantile events (super sales), physical attributes (super-powerful), and food (super-sized fries) among other things. We deduce from this that the Super Bowl was the ultimate contest that determined distribution of the spoils from the most recent harvest.

The Super Bowl contest was held in the warmer zones of the country, we believe to appease the gods of planting. The time was approximately mid-winter, when the full harvest had been gathered in and thoughts turned to spring planting.

People made a pilgrimage to the Super Bowl from all areas of the country. Some wore ritual clothing similar to the contestants. Some even painted their bodies.

On the day of the great event, all activity stopped in ancient America. The people turned their attention to worship and praying for the contestants who represented them. Dr. Emmanuel Scheisskopf notes that people who did not travel to the Super Bowl still participated in the ritual. They ate ritual foods and kept informed of the contest using the primitive communications methods of their time.

These findings help us understand some important religious practices of Americans prior to the Great Flight. It solves one of the great puzzles of life at that time. We will be turning now to the puzzle of other contests, called “reality shows.”

Boss’s Bottom Line

Yes, this is just for fun, but we can still ponder how different people with different experience can interpret the same information differently.


This post was directly inspired by the incomparable David Macaulay’s delightful book, The Motel of the Mysteries. I encountered his work for the first time in his books which illustrated physical things such as cathedrals. The books were supposedly for “young readers,” but I was and remain captivated by them.

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