SUPER BOWL SPECIAL : Super Bored With the Hype? Take Heart : Life Goes On in Balboa Park, Theaters, Restaurants, Bowling Alleys

Times Staff Writer

You could go to Butler & Mayes at La Jolla Village Square. Butler & Mayes may have the best magazine rack of any bookstore in the county--all the intellectuals say so.

You could stop there and scan the latest in French fashion or catch up on Crochet Fantasy (an actual magazine title, not to mention the adventure offered inside).

What you won't be doing is watching the Super Bowl game, because, after all, you are not a fan.

Super what ? you ask.

You know, the colossal, stupendous, outrageous event otherwise known as Super Bowl XXII, set for 3 p.m. Sunday at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.

What the National Football League and the money-mad television networks often fail to realize is that millions of good Am'urcans could care less about football and its "ultimate" game, which history shows is usually a dreadful bore. Even aficionados admit that.

Cynics' sentiments might best be expressed by an actual football player, former Dallas Cowboys halfback Duane Thomas, who once said on a beach at Miami, the day before the big deal:

"If it's the ultimate, how come they're playing it again next year?"

Exactly. So what do you do, when all about you fellow San Diegans are thrashing around trying to score tickets (at prices ranging up to $3,000 or so) or ganging up at noisy, smoke-choked bars reputed to have monstrously BIG television screens and plenty of ashtrays?

Life Goes On

Well, you could go to Balboa Park, which has a full slate of activities on Super Bowl Sunday. You could try the American Women Artists Exhibit, the last day of which is Sunday at the San Diego Museum of Art. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

You could pucker up your nose and go to the park camellia show, sponsored by the San Diego Camellia Society, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

You could dabble in irony and innocence and take a peek at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre, doing "Cheers for the Super Bowl," at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

You could go to the National History Museum, the Aerospace Museum, the San Diego Hall of Champions (yes, even the sports museum is open), the Museum of Man, the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theatre and Science Center, and Spanish Village, where the art center is featuring "Small Image XIII."

See, not even the Super Bowl has a lock on Roman numerals.

Or you could really scoff at barbaric sport and indulge yourself with a little lawn bowling.

That's right, mate.

Lawn bowling.

The San Diego Lawn Bowling Club, which bowls at the park every day except Monday, will be bowling on Super Bowl Sunday. Bowling starts at 1 p.m. and runs about 2 1/2 hours, cutting into--gasp!--Super Bowl game time.

"We'll have maybe a dozen to 18 bowlers that day," said Bill McCord, a club spokesman. "We've had the club since April of 1932. Why close down for a bloody football game?"

McCord said the club has 135 members, ranging in age from 35 to 85. Members hail from England, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, countries where the Super Bowl will be broadcast, lawn bowling notwithstanding.

How About Church?

You could even go to church. San Diego Mission de Alcala, located in the shadow of the stadium at 10818 San Diego Mission Road, offers Sunday Mass every hour on the hour, from 7 a.m. to noon. Mass is held every evening at 5:30, including Super Bowl Sunday.

Monsignor I.B. Eagen said, however, he would not be conducting that particular mass.

"I hope to have a ticket or be watching at home on television," said Eagen, who doubles as chaplain for the San Diego Chargers. "My only disappointment is that the Chargers won't be in it."

You could even tour the mission. Tours are offered every day, including Super Bowl Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bill Eaton, a spokesman for the Old Globe Theatre, said you could escape gridiron madness with a gentle afternoon at the Cassius Carter Centre Stage. Its production will be "The Voice of the Prairie," by John Olive. It debuts Saturday night. Later Sunday, at 8 p.m. (an hour later than usual because of you-know-what), the Globe will offer a preview of "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson.

Before or after lawn bowling and the theater and church, you might get hungry. Why not go all out at one of San Diego's elite restaurants? Why not Gustaf Anders, 2182 Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla? Not exactly a sweaty, stinky football kind of place.

Gustaf Anders spokeswoman Lynne Cary said yes, you can sample grav lax and beef medallions with Stilton just as well on Super Bowl Sunday--even during the game--as any other day. Cary said reservations are running "better than average" for Super Bowl Sunday.

Then if you really want a change of pace, why not real bowling at the Clairemont Bowl in Clairemont? Shirley McNea, who works the control desk, said some people are such "ultimate" bowlers that not even a football game--not even the ultimate game--could deter them from an afternoon of pin-bashing and hoping to hit the 7-10 spare.

"We expect a big crowd," she said. "We're a bowling alley, serving bowlers. The world won't stop just because of a ballgame. Life and bowling do go on."

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