JJ Vincent is feeling nostalgic about the hyperactive awesome crazy family-and-friend-fest Super Bowl parties of yesteryear.
There’s a lot of discussion around the Super Bowl. The ads, the stadium, the prices, the weather, the ads, the players, the coaches, the over-indulgence it encourages, the spending, the puffed-up manliness of the day, the ads, the economy, the armchair quarterbacking. Oh and also the ads. I think there’s a game somewhere in there.
There’s also the parties. The food, the beer, the noise, the mess, the too-many people packed into a too-small space!
But it’s been years since I’ve been to a Super Bowl Party. And I miss this.
I don’t care much about the game. I don’t follow the NFL, so I don’t have a stake in who’s playing. I don’t gamble, so there’s no money on the line.
I miss the camaraderie of hanging out with a bunch of friends at someone’s house, some of whom you only see once or twice a year, eating food and talking, and leaving at the end of the night hoarse from screaming. I miss knowing that whatever else was going on in our lives or with each other, we put it aside because dude, it’s the Big Game!
When I lived in California, every year, there was a Party, exactly the sort you’d expect. Chips, dips, wings, drummies, veggie tray, M&Ms, soda, beer, weenies-in-sauce, nachos, whatever anyone brought. If it was at Mama’s house, we might get an extra dish of tamales or whatever else she conjured up, and her youngest son was on grill duty, turning out steaks and brats. Everyone piled on whatever furniture was handy, balancing plates and red solo cups while the kids ran around, heedless of our legs or their heads. The party started hours before the game, the TV alternating between pre-game and the video game of the season.
When the game came on, you could stand outside and tell what was happening. Good play, big noise. Bad play, big noise. Bad call, bigger noise. Injury, man down, big OW, collective quiet. Good commercial, big laugh. Quarter breaks, half-time, the front yard or back deck was swarmed with the smokers, usually running extended replays of something in the first half, what you couldn’t finish during the game. Most of the time. More that a few big plays got missed because three of us would be blocking the TV arguing about whether he had control of the ball or not before Mama’s voice settled us down. She had five kids, all grown, and eight grandkids. I think she got bonus volume with each one.
If anyone had been fighting the day before, it got parked until Monday. If someone had just lost a job, broken up, blown a test, it was tabled. Kid grounded, on restriction, punishments got put on pause. It might have been called Super Amnesty Day, And this held no matter where the party was or how long it lasted.
Now Super Bowl Sunday means the Puppy Bowl (OMG the cute!) with his mom and watching the commercials on Youtube. None of my friends now have parties, and I have zero tolerance for drunk people in bars.
So when I say that the Super Bowl is good, and I miss it, it’s not necessarily The Big Game. That happens every year. I miss what it represented, a sort of hyperactive family reunion stretched over several hours of awesome crazy.
Editors Note: If you happen to be hosting an awesome crazy Super Bowl party today, please invite JJ Vincent.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/mariab3bx