During Super Bowl LV, many across the nation tuned into a beloved American sporting event. The Super Bowl is a huge TV ratings event that showcases new TV ads that are produced at high costs to broadcast for just this game. On that front, I thought the Samuel Adams beer ad with the Clydesdales was most memorable. But the Super Bowl is also a wonderful excuse for a party, a Super Bowl party! This year, due to COVID-19, my Super Bowl was in fact a party of one.
In the past, perhaps a few Super Bowl parties come to mind immediately. The first one must be when the Giants defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. I watched most of that game at a friend’s house in Springs. Because the Giants were expected to be crushed, somehow, we ended up at the Stephen Talkhouse watching in front of the huge movie type screen placed on the iconic stage – with a full, cheerful “beverage-upped” Giants crowd cheering as if they were at the game. There was a phenomenal spread of food. It was the best Super Bowl party I have ever gone to. Most likely because the New York team won in a huge upset, defeating the 18-0 New England Patriots.
Speaking of upsets, there is only one truly great Super Bowl upset. That is without a doubt Super Bowl III that featured the then American Football League Champion New York Jets against the NFL Champion Baltimore Colts. To this day, I remember Howard Cosell standing on the old Orange Bowl roof in Miami the night before and saying on live TV: “There is no way the New York Football Jets can defeat the mighty Baltimore Colts in tomorrow’s Super Bowl!” And yet, that is exactly what happened in the Super Bowl that made the Jets’ Joe Namath a legend. If you are a sixty-something New Yorker, you remember the fanfare of that game, especially after the Jets won.
However, yesterday there I was in my basement, alone in front of my TV. I was a party of one. I had some microwaved White Castle cheeseburger sliders, some frozen deep dish Domino’s pizza, and eventually some ice cream for the halftime show.
Now about the halftime show. I usually always watch that with my wife – who works on Super Bowl Sundays, but usually is free exactly at halftime! This year she never made it down for the usually over the top halftime Super Bowl show. She didn’t miss much. Perhaps it is my sixty-something age showing its rust, or my lack of grasp of the new music culture, but I didn’t recognize one song from the performance of The Weeknd. Famed Journalist Howard Fineman, as much in the dark as me, tweeted “Is #Weekend one person?” Although a lot of time and planning obviously went into this halftime show, it wasn’t anything like Michael Jackson’s, The Rolling Stones, Madonna – or even recently Bruno Mars quality.
Before the game was even over, there I was alone in front of the TV with empty plates with crumbs from remnants of a huge piece of carrot cake, along with a big cup of all but empty coffee. The game was an upset, but I wasn’t upset. I was wondering, almost thinking out loud: Will I ever get to go to a party during a Super Bowl safely ever again? When and if that happens, I am going to host a big one at my house!
In true confessions, when the Tampa Bay Bucs had the game against the Kansas City Chiefs well in hand, I sat there alone, a party of one and it felt good. It seemed Tom Brady, the “old” guy, as in 43-years-old, defeated the young, super hyped Patrick Mahomes. There is something about being older and having experience that we sixty-something folks appreciate.