Saturday, January 31, 2004

Here's to The Super Bowl

Since when am I long-winded and nostalgic? It might very well be prudent to skip this post -- it's probably much more interesting to me than to you. Brayden King has a sociologist's salute to Super Bowl Sunday:
Americans consume more food on Super Bowl Sunday than they do on any day other than Thanksgiving (according to the American Institute of Food Distribution). The California Avocado Commission claims that Americans eat over 8 million pounds of guacamole alone on Super Bowl Sunday. The Super Bowl has become to food consumption what Christmas is to retail sales. ... The Super Bowl is a group event (unlike the NFC or AFC championship games which may be slothfully watched by a lone beer guzzler). The average number of people attending a Super Bowl party is 17 (according to Hallmark). With all of the partying and socializing going on, Super Bowl weekend also happens to be the slowest weekend for weddings. (Can you imagine the horror of the bride's father when she tells him to schedule the reception hall on Super Bowl Sunday??). For Americans the Super Bowl is a ritual of great cultural importance - a moment of collective effervescence. ... it is one of those events that more people in the U.S. take part in than not. So without overly-intellectualizing this great moment of social solidarity, find some friends, pop open a can of your favorite beverage, and enjoy the weekend's fanfare. Who's playing anyway?
I was thinking about Super Bowls today. My earliest football memory is watching Joe Montana lead the 49ers to a last minute 102-yard comeback Drive to win Super Bowl XXIII in 1989. I haven't missed a Super Bowl since -- and I've only been a serious NFL fan for two or three years. Some people find the prospects of a Patriots/Panthers matchup underwhelming. I do not. I love to watch defenses, and these are two of the best in a long time. And one must appreciate Carolina's Cinderella-status. Plus, they beat the Rams, which counts for a lot in my book. I'll be pulling for New England, because I have all season (plus hey, I live here now), but it's been a long time since the Super Bowl has had two teams, both of which I like this much. Some of my best memories are Super Bowl parties. I remember watching the Broncos beat the Packers with Ellen, my first girlfriend, in my arms my junior year of high school. I remember cheering as the Rams beat the Titans my freshmen year at Rice, because Adrian had played as the Titans in our Madden 2000 season. (I rooted for the Rams as recently as 2000!?!?) I remember the Ravens beating the Giants at Carmen's, where I watched in the company of several people who would eventually become by best friends. And of course, the Patriots and the Bucs in the WRC PDR, perhaps the most comfortable place in the world. (There are some seriously nice couches and chairs there.) Tomorrow is looking like it plans to be my first solo Super Bowl-viewing -- hopefully that'll be fun too. Someday I'll go to a Super Bowl. Not, alas, tomorrow. Here's to the Super Bowl.

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