An Alternative to the Superbowl – Austen Fest

By , February 8, 2010

Try as I might, I’ve never been able to muster proper enthusiasm for American football. It’s not my fault—I grew up in Southeast Alaska, where the only true indicator of a young man’s character and quality is, of course, basketball. This became particularly problematic when I went to college at an NCAA championship school, but I survived that experience without gaining any new appreciation for the game.

Nevertheless, I can’t resist the Superbowl. Before moving to the homestead, I loved going to Superbowl parties. I enjoyed the junk food potluck, the advertisements, the half time show, and bugging my sport fan friends while they tried to focus on the “life-and-death” drama playing out on the screen in front of us.

On the homestead, we’d have to hike out to see the Superbowl, which we’re not interested in doing. Yet, it’s hard not to spend the day sitting on our butts, glued to the tube, scarfing junk food like most of the rest of our country—if only in the spirit of solidarity. The only logical solution for us is to watch movies.

Yesterday, while a couple of teams did something that a lot of other people cared a lot about (I know one team was from New Orleans—and I finally learned what that “Hoo Dat” thing was. The other team was the Colts?) we had an “Austen Fest.”

Sometime last year, we became a family of Jane Austen devotees. Michelle picked up a recording of Pride and Prejudice from the library to listen to while doing handwork. One day, when we were all together, she asked if we’d mind if she put it on. We all quickly got caught up in the story. We had become fans of Austen’s works. It’s mostly Michelle and Aly, but I enjoy the stories as well. They have read most of the books. We started watching the many movies, and biographical films about Austen’s life. Many of these soon accumulated in our Netflix queue.

It just so happens that we had two Jane Austen movies from Netflix at home yesterday, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. It seemed natural to declare a theme for the day, so we dubbed it Austen Fest, and watched them back-to-back while eating popcorn.

So, while we can’t claim to give a darn who won yesterday, if you watched the Superbowl, we were with you in spirit! If it’s any consolation, I do plan to watch The Who’s halftime performance when it’s posted on YouTube.

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