Cleveland – Local man Brett Erlander's favorite time of the year is here: Superbowl Sunday.
But it's not for the reasons you think. Erlander doesn't care about the Bengals' defense rushing toward the LA Rams for a dominant, shutdown performance against gunslinger quarterback Matthew Stafford; no, it's precisely the opposite. Mr. Erlander hates all sports.
"Every year, I crack open a Twisted Tea come to Super Bowl Sunday," Erlander makes air quotes, "or The Big Game' and let people know how stupid I think all of it is." Erlander, 43, lives alone in his Cleveland apartment. He shows off his collection of gas station knives, swords, and Marvel comics memorabilia, all of which pre-date the movies, "real Marvel fans know the Stan Lee golden age was the real Marvel, not contrived movies with explosions and bodysuits," Erlander says.
Walking through Erlander's apartment, we stop at his hat rack filled with capes, scarves, steampunk goggles, and other non-ballcap varieties of headgear.
Adjusting his kilt, he points to a framed poster of him and some friends dressed as a coven of male witches, "warlocks" he corrects me, at the most recent Renaissance Fair, "we drank mead, flirted with wenches, it was incredible," Erlander says.
I asked, did you exchange phone numbers with any of the wenches? "No, you're not allowed to use phones, we're all in character. So, no technology. I had to keep it legit, you know?"
I could sense the loneliness in Erland’s voice, yet moved on, past a life size replica of Darth Vader, “Hollywood authentic” he points out, after curling the tips of his mustache.
When asked about the Superbowl and his disliking of sports, Erlander gestured before adjusting his glasses, "sports make so much money! It's a child's pastime. Why do we care so much about millionaires getting paid to play a game! It's silly."
When asked what his tradition for the day is, he replies, "Every year, same thing, jump on Facebook and post my favorite saying: is there some kind of big game today? Yay for sportsball! It confirms my outsider status and I'm ok with that. While everyone I know is at a lame social gathering, I have easy traffic to go grocery shopping or go see a movie with no crowds."
Even still, the prospect of missing his friends doesn't seem to bother Erlander, "I don't care. I don't want any of your chips and queso or to talk to your brother-in-law, Phil."
There's no accounting for taste, but Erlander doesn't mind, "Go team!" Erlander yells as I exit his apartment; he says he is excited for Papa John's Meat lover's pizza special this weekend, though.