Not everyone watching the Bowl

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Sunday February 6, 2011

Okay, so roughly 85 million people will be crowded around TVs today, crunching munchies, quaffing ales and screaming at the screen.

But since there are more than 300 million Americans, Super Bowl viewers will be in the minority. So what do the other 215 million gringos do while the helmeted gladiators engage in battle?

Turns out they gleefully do anything they want.

From Alaska to Boston and New Orleans to Chicago, there are organized anti-Super Bowl parties, according to various online news sources. There are plenty of online anti-Super Bowl rants to choose from, and of course there are plenty of other channels on the TV that will be broadcasting alternative programming during the big game.

Why do these folks prefer to not watch the Super Bowl? It varies. "It's violent, stupid and boring," said one Lenox resident who preferred to remain unnamed.

Others just don't find it interesting, preferring other sports.

When Cheryl Lennon of Pittsfield gets invited to a Super Bowl party, she tries to avoid offending the inviter by replying, "No thanks. I'm not a bowling fan."

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But she and her husband hardly ever miss a professional tennis match.

Heather Grover Root of Pittsfield said she has never watched a football game. But she enjoys figure skating competitions.

"I don't even know how it works so I just don't get jazzed about it," she said. "I grew up with a family who never watched football. I'm a thinker. On Sunday I'll either go ice skating or read a book."

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Some prefer other sports because football doesn't have enough action.

"I have nothing against it, but football is just not my sport," said Joe Durwin of Pittsfield. "It's actually a little too tame for me. I prefer lacrosse or the roller derby."

Durwin said that while the Super Bowl is on, he'll be attending the grand opening of the new Emporium and Storefront Artists Project on Park Square next to the Berkshire Museum.

"To me, the Super Bowl is just football with a lot more commercials, which is not something I want to do on a Sunday night," he added.

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Megan Whilden, director of cultural development for Pittsfield, said she'll also be attending the new store opening.

"I just don't happen to be an organized sports fan, or a TV fan for that matter," she said.

Super Bowl Sunday, she added, is a good day to do things that might have been too crowded otherwise, like catching a hit movie or shopping at the mall.

Gail Zinberg of Canaan, N.Y. said she "couldn't be less interested. It is completely off my radar screen. I like to play sports -- I might enjoy a nice game of touch football. But I don't like to watch it."

Zinberg plans to spend the evening at the new Helsinki in Hudson where acoustic blues musician Rory Block will be performing.

And while she finds football to be "sort of barbaric," she predicted that the Packers will win by eight points.

To reach Scott Stafford:
or (413) 496-6241.


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