Sunday, February 5, 2012


Super Bowl Sunday is a de facto national holiday. I'm of the decided opinion that it should become a de jure holiday, but Americans don't really need our elected officials to make it official to make it so. The true measure of an American holiday is how much money is spent and not tiny black print on a calendar. (Just ask National Boss Day, Oct. 16th) The market has declared today a holiday, and the good people of our fair land have responded with a hearty cheer of approval and with an opening of their wallets. Super Bowl parties are a hot or not sort of affair. "Are you watching the game today?," people will ask, and many who have zero interest in football will answer in the affirmative. Even people who have not watched a single football game all year, and frankly think football is boring and ridiculous, will find themselves attending a Super Bowl Party today.

I'll be attending a Super Bowl Party today as well. A bunch of folks from my fantasy football league are gonna get together at my friend's house. However, there is an inherent problem with every Super Bowl party I have ever attended. Watching football and socializing are an awkward pairing at best. I think it is basically impossible to do both at the same time. I attended one party where they put the game on mute, and another where they kept turning up the volume higher and higher to compete with all of the talking and laughing. I've also seen football fans and party fans separate like water and oil into separate rooms once the game starts only to be rejoined at halftime. At some point during every Super Bowl I have ever attended I find myself wishing that I was back home on my couch watching the game in peace and at a normal volume. I like getting together with people and I like watching football, but I don't like trying to do both. I think you have to go into the annual Super Bowl party with your priorities in line. Choose either  football or socializing and stay the course. I typically choose being a good guest and socializing, good manners require that to some extent.

However, next year, when the Redskins are in the Super Bowl, I will neither attend or host any sort of Super Bowl gathering. Most people think that if the Redskins were in the game I would throw a big bash, but quite the opposite is true. That day will find me in front of my own TV, on my own couch, within walking distance of my own refrigerator watching the game with a grim, respectful silence that will undoubtedly be punctuated at intervals by groans of despair and shouts of triumph. Today's Super Bowl is just another game, but next year it will be serious business. I will want to be alone.


Maxon said...

I agree with your general party point. Today, for the first time in 22 years, I'm watching outside a group get-together and it seems odd. Shouldn't I be at Matt Stroud's parents' house?


I loved going to the ancestral Stroud Manse. Were you there the year we went out on snowmobiles at halftime? I wish I could have gone to the Strouds yesterday. I actually ended up having a great time at the Super Bowl Party I attended. They were all football people so the game had center stage. What a geat game, by the way! Still, next year it'll be different.