The Green Flash

Two weeks before the Super Bowl, the conference championship games were played to determine what teams would make it to the big dance. Paul, a guy I know from my fantasy football league, thought he'd be smart and throw his Super Bowl party during these games. Paul's party gave me a chance to give him crap about his lousy drafting, which was easy to do since I came in second place. And I didn't even make it to the draft. I was stuck in traffic for two hours and drafting over my cell phone. The only thing I did wrong was draft QBs Aaron Brooks and Kerry Collins. Both of them got benched at the same time during the season, and when I picked up Drew Brees, he wasn't having his best games.

Paul had second pick and blew it by taking Priest Holmes. I followed him with Shaun Alexander, who became the league MVP. Everyone told Paul he should've gotten Holmes's backup, Larry Johnson. He didn't and watched Johnson go in the 12th round. We call Paul "Steinbrenner" because he trades players all the time. It adds a lot of money to our pot.

To shut me up, he asked for $5 for one of the many pools they had going. I hate those squares, where you randomly pick numbers. They're based on luck. I opted for the pool in which you pick the teams that would have more passing yards, rushing yards, field goals, TDs, etc. I came in second on that, and two guys tied for first. As a tie-breaker, they had to pick the total score of the two championship games combined. One guy picked 118. The other picked 80. The combined score was 99 points, and both were off by 19. Another tie.

I met a guitarist at the party, and we talked about music. An older guy heard us and asked, "Do you remember the band Dickie Do and the Don'ts?" It made us laugh, but I remembered having an old teacher named Mr. Hudak who used to always talk about them. He started singing their hit from the '50s, while slapping his leg like a drum.

I made the mistake of telling this Led Zeppelin fan that although I liked them, their guitarist Jimmy Page was sloppy in concert. The guy left the party and went home. Not because he was mad, but to bring me a live DVD. I thought that was crazy, but he told me he lived nearby.

He told me a great story about being on the inside sleeve of a KISS album. He had his hands in the air trying to catch a pick. I told him that a friend of mine once won a contest, and his name appeared on the sleeve of a Jethro Tull album -- one of the many people singer Ian Anderson thanked.

I found out this guy was a process server, and he shared a few good stories. He said he's served people on golf courses. He said it's a misconception that the people have to sign for the papers. People often refuse to sign, and he drops the papers at their feet and walks away. He mentioned a person working for him whom he sent on a job in Poway. The guy had been refusing to open his door for him, so he sent an attractive lady. The guy did open the door for her. And put a gun to her head.

At most playoff games, the subject of the Chargers comes up. Everyone here seemed to have a theory. One said the coach should be fired. Another said the team wasn't focused. Someone else thought they should switch quarterbacks.

Another topic that came up was the Super Bowl parties people were going to. One person told me his friend has a 19-inch LCD screen above the toilet.

Someone else said they read in Sports Illustrated that $50 million dollars would be spent on food for Super Bowl weekend, and eight million pounds of guacamole and 14,500 tons of chips would be consumed. When somebody doubted this, he pulled out the article.

One tall guy with a cowboy hat came in late during the second game. He was with a woman who said, "You're the party crasher? I thought you were a black guy." I tried talking football with them, but they didn't seem interested in the game.

I went upstairs, where there's a view of SeaWorld from the upper deck. A few women were smoking. As one walked around barefoot, I told her she'd get splinters. She said, "Yeah, I thought about that. That's why I'm walking really slow." Her husband is overseas in the military, but he would be coming back in a few weeks, just in time for the big game.

She told me a story about being backstage for a Monster Magnet concert. She has a relative in the band and said, "When we got a tour of their bus, each bunk had a different woman in it, waiting for the guys."

Paul's wife was telling me about the construction they were going to do on their Bay Park home. I couldn't believe it was going to cost them $300,000. I remember when that amount of money could buy you a huge house.

When I went down to get some Chinese food (it was all catered), I ran into the guitarist again. We started talking about Steely Dan, and the old guy who brought up Dickie Do told us he thought that band sucked. We all argued, and he talked about a Steely Dan performance at Humphrey's. Neither of us remembered them playing there last year, and we were convinced he was thinking of the local tribute band Steely Damned.

When the sun was setting, many went upstairs to look for the green flash. I continued to talk music downstairs -- convinced there is no green flash, and I don't want to fry my retinas trying to witness this thing. I overheard someone say it was a myth, and another person suggested it was an optical illusion caused by staring into the reddening sun for so long. One guy sounded convincing when he went into detail about the prismatic effect of the atmosphere and explained it's the same reason the sun gets big and red as it's setting.

Paul came down later claiming it was the most dramatic green flash he'd ever seen. He said, "It was crystal clear over the ocean. It was long and pronounced and beautiful. It lasted about two seconds."

I'm hoping the green I see at the Super Bowl parties is from winning money. With the Steelers being favored over the Seahawks, I'll take Seattle and the points.

Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.

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