The Prehistoric Super Bowl

Long before the Super Bowl we know, there was a great annual sporting event of which our Super Bowl is just the faintest echo.

Archeologists have discovered the remains of the original three-sided field where they played for the hai-baba-rebab championship of the entire Wadja-Noh civilization. As this encompassed all the lands and cities between the Oxus and the Amu Darya rivers, in the vast reaches of central Asia, you can imagine the title game was a major event.

Scholars have not yet deciphered all the rules of the game, but we know enough to say it was very similar to football: except that instead of an air-inflated football, a 35-pound granite cube was used. This militated against punt plays; but a successful field goal meant an instant, automatic victory.

In those barbaric days, the losing team was beheaded and the heads auctioned off to the fans. These were collectible.

The recently-translated Epic of Hai de Ho, Big Man of Touchdowns tells us that the championship game was called the Ho Khum, and was preceded, and frequently interrupted, by short dramas of a religious nature. These often attracted more attention than the game itself. There were also contests among the fans to see who could perform the most prodigious acts of gluttony while watching the game–which usually took up 12 hours, or even more. The epic claims that Hai’s number one fan, Tubbo Gutz, finally burst open and died as a result of overeating.

When the Proto-Sumerians conquered Wadja-Noh, circa 7,000 B.C., they abolished the game of hai-babba-rebab in favor of gladiatorial combats, which they said were much nicer and more conducive to the progress of civilization. The final championship game was played between the cities of Ay-dunno and Ay-dunkayr, to a scoreless tie whose monotony was alleviated by several choking deaths among the fans and a memorable series of religious playlets during the game.

These little shreds of information are all that remain of a once-great nation.

14 comments on “The Prehistoric Super Bowl

  1. I get the feeling that football itself will be just as obsolete in 20 years or so. Parents are becoming reluctant to sign slips permitting their kids to have their brains scrambled on the football field. The whole facade could collapse.

    1. My father played high school football, and I played a lot of sandlot football, and neither he nor I ever saw a serious injury–which I think is the result of players wearing primitive equipment or no equipment at all. The modern football gear encourages players to use their heads as battering rams. Plus they have the steroids to make them bigger and give them the ability to hit much harder.

      But on the whole it’s probably something we can do without.

  2. I have great memories of playing football at our local park with my buddies. Sometime we fielded up to 20 players. No one got hurt and there was not a chaperone adult anywhere to be seen (we settled fight our own way).
    I was so interested in Tubbo Gutz I Googled him, but all that came up was this article by Lee Duigon.

  3. Your prehistoric football reminded me of a scene in the movie (I think from the late ’70s) – “The Man Who Would Be King”, starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine, where they were playing some sort of a ball game, rather like desert polo using heads as the ball.

    1. I’m very fond of that movie. Yes, they were playing polo with some guy’s head. You have to expect to see such things when you visit barbarous countries.

    2. I appreciated that movie too, or I doubt very much I would have remembered the scene 🙂

    3. We still allude to it: when Peep bugs out of bed in the middle of the night, one or the other of us is bound to say, “She had to see a man in Marwar Junction.”

    4. The days when Hollywood actually produced movies worth watching are long gone. Unfortunately, movies today leave much to be desired. I rarely watch any recent stuff – it’s mostly junk as far as I’m concerned. Even much of the acting is so bad it can make you grit your teeth and cringe.

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