Super Bowl Sunday will be a party of 1
People who know me believe that when it comes to Sunday afternoons, I have no life.
Actually, I do have a life on Sunday afternoons, but that life revolves around the New England Patriots. I mention this because the Super Bowl is today, and I am taking for granted as I write this — prior to the conference championship games — that the Patriots are one of the two teams who are playing.
If this is not the case, nothing I am about to say going forward is relevant because I will be spending the day seated in front of a dark television in a state that would make catatonic look hyperactive. But let’s not focus on the unthinkable and assume the Patriots are playing.
In the past, I have always watched the Super Bowl at some type of party. This year I am taking a different route. This year I am planning to watch the game by myself. Now, I have nothing against Super Bowl parties, as far as parties go. The respite from the gloom of deep winter is welcomed. And you certainly can’t beat the food, which is generally geared toward fare that excludes anything that has even a passing acquaintanceship with nutritional value.
My issue with Super Bowl parties, however, is not the food or the drink, it’s the guests.
Don’t get me wrong, as people go, the guests at Super Bowl parties are generally warm, friendly, interesting, funny, smart. The problem is that a significant number of them are casual NFL fans at best, and couldn’t care less about the game or who wins. This manifests itself in two main ways. One, they relentlessly engage in conversations during the game that have nothing to do with football. And two, when they do turn their attention to the game, they have no idea what is going on: “What inning is it?”
We are talking about individuals who, as incredible as this may sound, have never heard of a “dime package” or a “slot” receiver. I mean, at a Super Bowl party last year I had to explain to a woman that Patriots player Julian Edelman was a slot, not a “slut” receiver … that I know of.
There is also a third member of this genre made up of people such as my wife, who use the game to amuse themselves. Picking up the remote and asking a roomful of people watching a game if they would mind if she changed the channel is not the least bit funny.
So, what do I have planned for my solo Super Bowl Party? First off, I will not be tuning in six hours before kickoff to catch the network’s pregame buildup, particularly the jock-infested studio shows. In the history of broadcasting, if not civilization, nothing of value has ever been learned from such programs.
That noted, about a half hour before kickoff I will turn up the sound on the flat-screen TV. At the same time, I will totally disconnect from the world. The blackout will be strictly adhered to. If I were to suffer a major medical episode during the game, I would not call 911 until time (or I) had expired.
There will, of course, be lots of stuff to eat at my party, all of it coming from the three basic football-viewing food groups: sweet, salty and beer. So as to maintain focus, the beer will be nonalcoholic.
If, however, things do not go well, the nonalcoholic beer policy could be subject to review.
Jim Shea is a lifelong Connecticut resident and journalist who believes the keys to life include the avoidance of physical labor and I-95. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @jimboshea.