Today we had THE GAME. THE GAME is something which overshadows all other events in American life. Like Christmas, it only comes once a year, and is greatly anticipated by Americans great and small. This GAME is known as SUPERBOWL. In THE GAME, two teams of burly men batter and push each other up and down a green field. This is a sport known as FOOTBALL, and THE GAME is the climax of a long series of matches in this sport. Seattle’s team, the Seahawks, were contenders in this game of champions, so naturally all citizens were in a tizzy over THE GAME. For weeks leading up to it, normally shy Seattlites would shout SEA in the streets, to which the answer HAWKS would immediately be returned by anyone in the vicinity. This is a true story – I saw it with my own eyes at a supermarket, where I presume no one had been drinking. Other methods of heightening the excitement include gaily decorated skyscrapers (blue and green are the team colors) and continuous mentions of THE GAME on television.
Incidentally, THE GAME falls on Sunday (known as SUPERBOWL SUNDAY in the vernacular liturgical calendar), so I attended the morning service at Christ Church Episcopal, Tacoma. The service finishes before THE GAME begins, so it was well attended. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, there is a fine organ by John Brombaugh in the church, which is presided over by the maker’s brother, Dr. Mark Brombaugh. Today we had organ music by Couperin and Bach, as well as choral music by Mendelssohn (How lovely are the messengers) and Gounod (Ave verum corpus), ably sung under the direction of The Rev Katherine Nichols. I found the music for the congregation to be interesting. We sang the Creed using a metrical text sung to the tune Psalm 42. This was most effective, particularly with the organ descanting on the last verse. The congregation and clergy are very welcoming, and the music is fine, so if in Tacoma, I would certainly recommend the church to you. Here are the co-directors of music, and the outside of the church.
After the service, the streets of the cities begin to clear. People rush home to prepare GAME FOOD, and to warm up the television. Families gather, and some people have SUPERBOWL PARTIES, where they gather to watch and shout and eat and drink, all in equal quantities. I am ashamed to admit that I am not a member of the FOOTBALL religion, so looked for other entertainments during GAME TIME. I had lunch at a cafe near the city museums, but had to finish by 2:00, as it was closing for THE GAME. Luckily, the University of Washington’s Tacoma campus library was open, so I spent a few hours in the reading room studying. I had exactly three companions. Below are photos of the library’s reading room.
Even the most studious of people will eventually tire of library time. I succumed in the late afternoon and decided to walk the mean streets of Tacoma to see what the citizenry would be doing on GAME DAY. It is hard to say what they were doing, as not a soul was in sight. I walked up the hill behind the university and found churches, empty streets, and general loneliness, puncutated by the occasional shout GO HAWKS from homes hosting parties. Views from my walk:
Finally tiring of wandering, I drove back home, stopping on the way to buy a bottle of champagne to celebrate the inevitable victory of OUR TEAM. Imagine my shock and incredulity at their loss in the final few seconds of play! My champagne and cheese soire turned into an impromptu requeim for dashed dreams. Seattle sleeps quietly tonight.