Football reigns in our home during the cold months. My husband Colin is a devout New York Giants fan making me, the occasional viewer, a Giants fan by marriage.
After we had been married for some years, I decided I should at least learn the basics of the game. Maybe then I would understand the hype.
Equipped with YouTube and some hand drawn charts, Colin taught me all I’d need to know to get by. After that, I diligently watched the Giants games with him.
After their fourth Super Bowl win, and the first I truly cared about, I decided it was time for me to retire. I ended on a high note, not unlike Michael Strahan circa 2007. I recognized football as infinitely more important to my husband than it was to me and I went back to my days of writing, reading, and just overall relaxing (see also: napping).
To this day we both love our autumn to winter Sundays though we observe them differently. We also both look to the end of football season with the same sense of dread. Soon our fantastic Sundays will come to an end, but not before THE PARTY – the abominable Super Bowl party… Oh, you don’t dread it? Well, you might after reading this.
Sorry in advance, xoxo.
Super Bowl Parties Aren’t for Fans
Granted, I don’t have much room to talk. I’ve already admitted to you that I’m not a regular watcher, but hear me out. Everyone goes to super bowl parties. Everyone includes people like my husband who hold football in high esteem. Everyone includes people like me who enjoy the game but not excessively. And everyone also includes those who know zero things about the the sport. You know the sort – the ones who pick who to root for based on uniform colors…
With professional football being the most watched sport in the United States, we can assume that at least once a year, the families of those watchers will be in tow for the yearend party.
And where there are families, there are children. Bringing me to the first reason why super bowl parties are the worst.
1. Children, Children, Everywhere
I have been attending super bowl parties since I was very little. At first, it was exciting. I got to stay up late and eat my weight in refried beans and guacamole. When I got a little older, it started to become boring. I wasn’t old enough to join the women drinking wine and playing cards and I didn’t understand the game enough to follow the intermittent shouting and shushing.
The Super Bowl parties I attended always included other children, but we didn’t have anything to do but whisper back and forth and try to avoid standing in front of the television.
My point is this: Super Bowl parties are not child-friendly. On the east coast where I live, the game doesn’t end until close to midnight. The commercials are geared toward adults, the half-time show constantly pushes the boundaries of the FCC rules (i.e. wardrobe malfunction), and the game itself is both aggressive and just flat out hard to understand for a 7-year-old.
So, am I saying we fight for these events to become more family oriented? No, not at all.
Okay then. Am I then saying you should have childfree super bowl parties? Well, you can, but I’m actually suggesting that you exclude yourself from the party altogether.
Am I crazy? Keep reading.
2. A Party Within a Party
Even if the majority of the party-goers do not have or do not bring children, you’re still bound to be sucked into a party within the party. While it sounds a little Inceptionesque, I promise you it isn’t nearly that exciting. At the last Super Bowl party you attended, you probably saw groups begin to form based on common interest, right? Of course that in itself isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a little counterproductive for a party geared around one thing: the Super Bowl.
My least favorite party within a party is commonly known as The Ladies Table. While I’ve already mentioned I’m by no means an avid watcher like Colin, I do enjoy watching the Super Bowl in its entirety. However, this really strange thing happens when I attend a Super Bowl party with him.
Within moments of kick-off, I am sequestered to a card table with other women where I spend the next several hours playing Rummy (I hate Rummy). Meanwhile, I stew in my seat looking longingly at the television and try to decipher the plays by the booing and cheering of our husbands.
This is the worst idea for a party, people!
3. Everyone Talking Over Everyone Else
One time, I managed to break free of the Ladies Table. It went something like this:
Me: I’m going to go watch the game for a little bit.
Ah, being judged for watching football at a football party.
Sitting with the men and the occasional lady stragglers, I noticed even more groupings. There were the men who were actual fans. They were generally quiet, watching the game in silence until something significant happened on the screen that propelled them into making noise. Then there were men who thought they should be watching the game but weren’t actually paying attention. They tend to be the ones who spontaneously remember something they’d like to share. And so they do, during a 55-yard field goal attempt or while a Hail Mary is sailing through the air. This relegates them to the same position as the 7-year olds who accidentally step between you and the TV, causing the real fans to widen their eyes and yell “Move!”
At this point, no one is having fun. The talkers just want to talk and get frustrated when others are only half-listening to them. The football fans are annoyed that the talkers won’t just shut up. The women at the card table are irritated with how loud their husbands are. The kids are starting to whine and/or throw tantrums because they’re tired of getting yelled at for being in the way when they don’t even know what in the way means. And so on and so forth.
What to Do Instead
After reading this post, I think it will come to no surprise to you that I am an introvert through and through. Then again, 50-74% of the population is made up of introverts (yay!). I’d venture to guess that a good lot of you would like to stay home this Sunday, so do it! You’ll be happy you did.
This doesn’t mean you have to stay in your PJ’s all day, but I won’t judge you if you do. This also doesn’t make you antisocial or selfish. Throw a party the next weekend if you want to prove to yourself you’re not a hermit. If you really want to invite people to your home to watch the game, avoid inviting such a broad audience. It’s okay to only invite two other couples, it’s okay to make it adults-only, and most important, it’s okay to not to have one at all.
You can whip up some dips for you and your significant other, buy a six-pack of your favorite beer, and watch the game uninterrupted. Even if all you care about are the commercials, you’ll at least be able to hear them.
Agree or disagree with my Super Bowl plans? Tell me why.
This article was mentioned on Married Without Children. Click here to listen.