It's plain to see: He has no big TV

The Baltimore Sun

The first thing I have to say is: Don't feel sorry for me.

Sure, what I'm about to say is embarrassing. But I've shared greater intimacies with readers of this space over the years.

Besides, this column has always been about honesty. Say it and let the chips fall where they may - that's the philosophy.

OK, here goes: I'll be watching the Super Bowl on a regular, old-fashioned TV.

Yes, you read that right.

There's no 60-inch plasma monster from Best Buy lurking in my living room.

There's no 47-inch, flat-panel LCD HDTV from Sears or Wal-Mart in the family room.

No, sir.

In fact, this is how lame my TV is: It doesn't even have surround-sound.

It's just a 36-inch Sony.

Not only that, the remote is held together with a big piece of electrician's tape, because the plastic thing that holds the batteries in keeps popping out.

So now you know: I'm the last person in America not to upgrade to a fabulous home-theater system.

Didn't I say this was embarrassing?

I wasn't kidding, was I?

OK, right now you're thinking: that poor guy. How can anyone possibly enjoy the big game without watching it on a mammoth, state-of-the-art, high-resolution screen with big leather recliners everywhere, each with its own separate cup holders?

Look, I don't know how I'm going to get through it, either.

I'm trying to be strong. But it's hard.

For years I've gotten pitying looks from people when they come over to watch a big game on my TV.

It's not Super Bowl-worthy, that's what they're thinking. I can see it in their eyes.

Hell, it's not even playoffs-worthy.

At times like that, I feel like jumping in the car and screaming up to Circuit City or Target or wherever and slapping the MasterCard down in front of one of the TV sales geeks and shouting: "Gimme that big Sharp 52-incher right there, chief."

Mortgage payments, grocery and utility bills, college tuition ... why are people so hung up on this stuff?

Why can't I just pull the trigger and drop three grand on a nice new monster TV?

I don't know, but I haven't so far.

Something keeps holding me back.

The prospect of divorce, maybe.

Or the kids working at fast-food joints for the rest of their lives.

Here's another thing I should probably admit: I won't be watching the Super Bowl this Sunday with a roomful of fabulous-looking people cheering and hooting on every play, like you see in the commercials.

First of all, I don't know any fabulous-looking people.

And if I did, why would they want to watch the game on a puny 36-inch TV?

If you're fabulous-looking, you want to be around other fabulous-looking people.

And fabulous-looking people aren't squinting in front of a 36-inch TV mumbling: "Which one is Tom Brady? God, the screen is so small I can't even see."

Fabulous-looking people are in big, airy media rooms watching TV screens the size of highway billboards.

OK, a friend of mine is coming over to watch the game with me. But he's not too fabulous-looking. Which works out well, because neither am I.

Between us, we look like two guys who might've installed your new washer and dryer a few months ago.

At this point, as long as we're doing full disclosure, I should probably mention that the food we'll eat during the Super Bowl will be pretty lame, too.

We won't be scarfing down buckets of spicy Buffalo wings and vats of prize-winning chili and mouth-watering 6-foot Italian subs like you see in the commercials, either.

I think the guy who's coming over is bringing a pizza.

And I'll buy some beer and pretzels.

I just hope it's a decent game.

Although watching on a lame little TV like mine, how could you tell?

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