OK guys, let's all get fat, drunk and crude

WHAT A visitor from another planet would learn about our national culture by tuning into the NFL playoffs:

Only the scariest-looking Americans - mostly fat men wearing face-paint and too-tight team jerseys, their heads adorned with Viking horns, Patriot tricorner hats, etc. - are allowed in the stands at football games.


Based on total air time, the single most important issue facing Americans is: Who's been stealing Bud Light from unsuspecting beer drinkers and replacing it with Miller Lite?

If you're a beer-drinker and live with someone, especially two other males, you should guard your beer, because they will try to steal it.


(A helpful tip: If you keep a six-pack in the refrigerator, arm it with some sort of device that administers a powerful electric shock to anyone who attempts to remove a can without permission.)

The No. 1 health concern in the United States is not diabetes or heart disease. It is erectile dysfunction.

Commercial after commercial bears this out. But Americans are fighting valiantly to wipe out this scourge. Many are asking their doctors if Cialis is right for them.

Levitra, too.

Because if a relaxing moment turns into the right moment ...

At this time of year, the most powerful men in the country are no longer three waxy-looking guys named George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld.

They're three waxy-looking guys named Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson.

Instead of wearing pin-striped suits and power ties, they wear Fox TV blazers and clunky Super Bowl rings.


Instead of blabbing on and on about the war in Iraq, they blab on and on about the "war in the trenches."

During football games, two lucky Americans are selected to perform a series of meaningless tasks for which they are paid thousands of dollars, despite the fact that absolutely no one pays attention to them.

These people are called "sideline reporters."

If presented with a list that begins "Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot ... " most Americans would pencil in "Randy Moss" as the next logical name.

"Saddam Hussein" would likely be fifth on the list.

During a football game, pantomiming the act of removing one's pants is considered vulgar.


But introducing a football game with an actress who simulates disrobing in order to have sex with a professional athlete? That's hip and hot.

And yet ... there is an elderly man named Mickey Rooney with a backside so weathered and unattractive that just a quick glimpse of it in a cold-remedy commercial has stirred enough outrage to have the commercial killed.

So, clearly, Americans have some standards.

There is something in pickup trucks called a "hemi" that young, dimwitted American males lust after above all else.

Playoff football is considered so holy that TV coverage typically begins at dawn with a 6-hour pre-game show during which no item - a team's predilection for passing in the "red zone" in the third quarter, for instance - is considered too mundane to discuss ad nauseam.

There is a large, irreverent sideline reporter named Tony Siragusa who wears loud Hawaiian shirts and gold chains and is now considered a prophet with a microphone to the young Fox audience.


To Americans, pizza is the food of the gods. Followed closely by anything from Taco Bell.

When a football player scores a touchdown, the likelihood of him handing the ball to the referee and running quietly off the field is quite low.

On the other hand, the odds of a long, drawn-out, choreographed celebration occurring - one that draws attention solely to the player who scored and not his teammates - is rather high.

All in all, there are kabuki rituals that take place in less time than touchdown celebrations.

There is a coming event called the Super Bowl that promises to be the biggest and most spectacular extravaganza of all time, an event which only a social pariah would miss and one that can be truly appreciated only if watched in a home-theater setting with a big-screen HDTV and Dolby surround-sound, in the company of many loud, beer-swilling friends.

All swilling Bud Light, it goes without saying.