[Updated with photos! Scroll down.]
The Super Bowl has been a part of my life since I started playing organized sports. I missed the first two editions of the game because I didn’t know much about it. I do, however, remember my Dad delaying going out with my mother for New Year’s Eve in order to watch the end of the famous Packers “Ice Bowl” NFL Championship game against Dallas in ’67 prior to Super Bowl II. The next year I was playing youth football in the local Optimists’ league – for a team named the mini-Packers.
I watched in dismay that year as Joe Namath and the Jets dismantled the Colts in III, and lost my first sports wager the next year when my Uncle Carl bet me the Vikings wouldn’t beat the Chiefs. Since then I’ve missed watching only two Super Bowls: 1971 when my parents made me go with a church group to tour the local police stations (I was plenty upset, but it turned out to be no great loss as it was the awful Baltimore 16, Dallas 13 game) and 1979 when I was in England (even if there had been something called a “sports bar” back then they wouldn’t have been open at that hour). I also remember having friends sleeping over before VI and us calling a late-night talk show to confidently predict Dallas crushing the Dolphins (correct) — and then laughing our adolescent butts off when a later caller angrily suggested that kids shouldn’t be up at that hour calling radio programs.
I’m sure there are other memories I could dig up with a little more thought, but most of the games kind of slide through my mind in a slurry. The last 10 years or so, while I love the game, it’s been more about the people I spend it with than the teams that are playing — especially if it’s with a group of fans who know when to pay attention. Yesterday we were pleased to have a convivial and well-trained bunch over, consisting of a few friends from church and some new friends from the blogging world who I never knew existed at this time last year.
I moved the TV into the living room because it had the most sitting space and because it was handy to the kitchen and dining room where the food was laid out and the people who only wanted to see the commercials hung out. It was easy for us veteran football watchers to alert the other group to impending commercial breaks, usually setting off a mini-stampede that turned into a threat to smaller and larger children also on the premises. It was a rowdy time that left me feeling a little hungover this morning, and I wasn’t even drinking yesterday (except for about a liter and a half of Coke to chase Kevin’s salsa).
Steeler fans Policy Guy and Gal were there to discuss a fisking of Sid Hartman’s column about the wonders of all the new stadiums Michigan has paid for. I fixed a smoked brisket, while Surly and Sweeter brought a salmon log and a blue cheese mousse. There was also an abundance of bruschetta, brownies, taquitos and all manner of chips and some guacamole. (Speaking of guac, wouldn’t it have been fun if Kermit, riding his bike down the road to promote Ford’s hybrid SUV, had been run over by the Hummer H3 from the monsters-in-love commercial?)
Oh, and Uncle Ben dutifully brought his behind (and salsa) over so it could be stomped by the Mall Diva at Dance Dance Revolution. At least he did get a free haircut for his pain (from the dancing, not the haircut, that is).
|First, the haircut. No blood or brain damage was seen.|
|Then, on to the Dance Dance showdown. At no time did their toes ever leave their feet, but the Mall Diva had an extra leg available as a back-up (one of the advantages of being the “home team”).||
By the way, the Steelers won.