NPR Maybe Doesn’t Understand The Super Bowl Very Well

02/03/2014 11:26 AM |

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  • The perfect accompaniment to the REAL football.

Generally, if you preface a statement with “I hope this doesn’t expose me to ridicule… or any more ridicule,” you probably know what you’re getting yourself into. Ridicule, most likely! As such, we don’t really feel too bad about taking a minute to look at Scott Simon’s interview with Katie Parla about Super Bowl beverage options. It’s not the least silly thing we’ve seen from NPR in recent memory:


SIMON: So what’s your beverage lineup?

PARLA: I’m a total pizza purist and I also love champagne and fortunately these two items go well, really well together.

SIMON: But you can’t drink the champagne until the team you’re rooting for has won, or am I being old fashioned?

PARLA: That’s a bit old fashioned. I mean, save your really great bottle for the end of the game, provided that your favorite team has won, but if you don’t want to really start out with the nice champagne stuff, you can begin with a champagne-style sparkler from Italy called Franciacorta, and those go really well with Margherita pizzas as well.

SIMON: What about – I hope this doesn’t expose me to ridicule, or any more ridicule – Chianti?

PARLA: Chianti is a really classic pizza pairing in American pizzerias and I think you can pretty much get away with it because the conventional, more industrial style cheeses that you find in the U.S. don’t call for that crisp acidity and minerality that champagne or Franciacorta or any of the number of white wines would provide. So I won’t ridicule you. It’s a decent pairing.

Hoo, boy. The interview later gets into the merits of hard cider, and Parla’s general preference for “the original football” (that’s soccer, you clods). The three minute clip is a tour de force of every tired cliche people assign to public radio and out-of-touch liberals or whatever, all the things I usually roll my eyes at and wave away as fantasy. And look, I’m not offended if anyone opts out of watching the Super Bowl altogether—the NFL is a deeply questionable organization, and football’s not all that interesting—or if they just happen to not like beer. We’re all free to be you and me here, and mostly, this is just sort of hilarious and endearing. But on the off-chance this whole interview was really an elaborate, self-aware parody, it’s a very well-executed one.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.