SUPER Bowl Sunday
Confession: I am not a football (gasp) or futbol (European gasp) fan. I try to jump on the bandwagon- I am a jock so I am supposed to like these things- but most of the time I would rather be playing sports than watching them unless I am trying to learn a specific skill. Plus, moving in and out of the country so much keeps us out of synch with pop culture. Some of the Americans who go abroad order special channels from the States, and have magazines delivered or downloaded. In our family, we just let most of it fade away and try to immerse ourselves in the country where we are living. It is funny though- When we do settle back here for good, I already have my teams picked out: the Charges, the Padres, and the Lakers (possibly the Suns) These loyalties have been unconsciously established from cultural relationships to places.
Anyway, the most interesting part of the Super Bowl for me has been the landmark the American holiday has been in the last couple of years and the unique experiences and memories it has provided (even if there was not a lot of football watched) For example:
Croatia 2008: Britt and I were living in Zagreb, Croatia while I was playing for the Club Mladost. Britt had joined an Ultimate Frizbi team headed up by kids from the USA (random- she met them at a lake- but their practices may have been as intense as our polo team) Anyway we headed over to meet up with our American friends and proceeded to fall asleep on the couch (it was like 4AM) but not until after halftime. Highlights: The game was broadcast live with NO commercials (a favorite part for many) so we watched a lot of down time- huddles etc. It kind of felt like we were behind the scenes. The commentators (in Croatian) were heckling the players, saying “How could he possibly be hurt with all those pads on?” (Seriously?… Let’s not talk about the soccer/futbol players rolling all over the place…) And the best: At half time, the announced they were taking a coffee break, left and it was just silent. Hilarious! After the game, the tram stopped running, we were stuck in the city center freezing (!) and I am pretty sure our friend Jon Hopkins who was visiting had shorts on.
Montenegro 2009: This year will be remembered because we were living in Herceg Novi, Montenegro while I played for the club Jadran. We decided to have a big American reunion though and headed 45 minutes up the coast and across the border to Dubrovnik, Croatia where my USA teammate Tony Azevedo and his wife Sara were living. And Merrill Moses, another USA teammate, traveled a few hours from Split in the opposite direction to meet us there. We had all kinds of American delicacies- chicken wings, 7 layer dip- and a bunch of international people (Canadians, Slovakian, Croatians) It was quite a fiesta (although this time I didn’t even make it to half time before falling asleep)
Coronado 2010: This year is notable only because we decided to stay in the States for the birth of our first son. He was only a few weeks old when the Super Bowl rolled around, and we headed over to a friends house near the end of the game. I remember Drew Brees won the game for the Saints, New Orleans was going nuts, and afterward he grabbed his young son and was talking about how special it was having him there. I don’t really know very much about the guy, but it was a very touching moment that I can relate to and Britt and I were already talking about London. I hope both my boys will be able to say they watched their dad play in the Olympic Games. I dream they will be able to show people the medal we are going to bring home.
Italy 2011: Last year we didn’t actually watch any of the game at all- we all got together for a HUGE Super Bowl weekend- but Britt, Brooks and I made it out the first night and went home the next day. It was notable though because in the spirit of the Super Bowl we had a giant reunion in Recco, Italy (a water polo mecca city) It was quite a group: Merrill lived there, Cassie Azevedo, Jeff Tyrrell and JP MacDonell came from neighboring towns, Tony and Sara flew in from Montenegro, Shea Buckner came up from Rome, Andy Stevens was roaming around, and there were many more. There was a lot of catching up which led to a late night (canceling the next day activities for newbie parents) but awesome none the less.
This year may have been the best yet though. Coming up tomorrow….
What is your best Superbowl party story?