Super Bowl IV (when the Kansas City Chiefs upset the Minnesota Vikings) was the first Super Bowl I ever watched and I’ve watched every Super Bowl since then. Until the game last Sunday, I watched in the company of friends or family, or both. Getting together on Super Bowl Sunday, scarfing down fried chicken , chicken wings, chili and other typical Super Bowl fare and washing it down with beer and other drinks became a tradition with me as it does with so many others. There is fun in getting together and watching a game, having friendly wagers and vicariously experiencing ” the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat”. Sometimes we hosted the party; at other times we got together at the homes of friends and it was always fun. There was one time, however, when we were invited to dinner on Super Bowl Sunday along with another couple and found out that the hosts were oblivious to the fact the Super Bowl was being played that day.( Believe it. There are actually a few people like that) They didn’t know what the Super Bowl was and they didn’t know football. I had been looking forward to watching the Colts and the Saints go at it ( even if I had to watch it alone) and I just couldn’t let it pass. I asked if we could put on the TV and keep the volume low; they assented and I watched the first half while keeping one eye on the TV and trying to carry on a conversation. Then I felt guilty and switched off the TV. Just as well because I found out later Peyton didn’t get his second ring ( something that seems more and more unlikely now) and the Saints defeated the Colts.
Last Sunday, my wife and I watched the game at home by ourselves. Everyone of our friends was unavailable. Either they were on a business trip or away for the winter in Florida or elsewhere. We bought some takeout pizza ( jalapeño and onion), cracked open some beer and settled down to watch the game. You know what… it was fun! When you are by yourselves, you can focus on the game and not be distracted by chit-chat. You don’t have to explain to someone why something happened or what offensive pass interference is. You don’t have to be the gracious host and keep an eye out to see who could use another beer or whether more appetizers are needed. And if your team is headed for defeat, you can take a bathroom break. And, finally: if your team is losing, there isn’t anybody that is going to rub it in.( Football fans can be cruel sometimes).
Does this mean that next year, We will be again watching the Super Bowl by ourselves. Probably not. Super Bowl Sunday has become too much of a tradition and it is going to be a mob scene once again, either at my house or someone else’s.
P,s As much as I enjoy the Super Bowl, I can’t imagine watching it live. The expense( airplane tickets, hotel, game tickets, parking etc.) would probably set us back three thousand dollars even if we were able to get the tickets at cost. I would feel that I was getting ripped off having to pay $ 9 for a soda or $15 for a beer or $ 6 for a bottle of water. And most of the time, I’d be watching the game on the jumbotron, anyway. You can’t really follow the action on the field particularly when the action is at the other end. Even when the action is at your end, you don’t have the sense of what is happening. It’s happening too fast, it’s all a confused mass of jerseys and there is no instant replay. Why should I spend thousands to go to the game and then watch it on a giant TV? I’m surprised so many people don’t realize this, and thirst to watch the Super Bowl live.