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Something special about Super Bowl Sunday

| Monday, February 13, 2023

Growing up, if you asked me what my favorite day of the year was, I would always say the Super Bowl. Don’t get me wrong — I loved waking up Christmas morning to dozens of presents. I would always be the first to wake up for the yearly Easter egg hunt. But as much as I absolutely love spending time with my extended family, there was something special about the Super Bowl.

My parents are still friends with their friends from high school, and as they had children, they all happened to move to the same school district, where their kids would also become friends. While we didn’t spend holidays together, we grew up going on vacations together and having numerous backyard barbeques. The Super Bowl, for us, was a time that everyone would get together. We would have candy bets for the younglings, and an array of different desserts throughout the house. On the morning of the game, I would pester my parents, asking how long until we could see everyone.

Most of the time, I wouldn’t even watch the game. I and a group of kids would gather and just play air hockey or watch the puppy bowl. We would then all rush into the living room and gather on the floor for whatever the halftime show was. High on sugar, it was a night we could all stay up late on a school night, forcing our parents to drag us out of bed the next morning.

Now, almost all of those kids are in college or moved out. We still get together for barbecues over the summer. And the adults still gather for Super Bowl Sunday. But the kids are scattered throughout the country.

I never watched football growing up, yet the Super Bowl was my favorite event of the year. My experience is not unique. With over 100 million people tuning in, there are countless families and friends who gather together to watch the biggest game of the year.

I don’t remember the last time we all had a Super Bowl together. And I don’t know if we ever will again. But every Super Bowl Sunday, I text those friends to tell them I miss them and I’m thinking of them.

With over $16 billion bet on Super Bowl Sunday, over 1.45 billion chicken wings consumed and close to 100 “Super Bowl commercials” being aired, there are tons of other things to be thinking about than the memories being made. But, not to be cliche, you don’t know it’s over until it’s over. One day in the future, that friend will be too busy to make the journey for the game. Your brother or sister will move two states away. When you are reading this, your team has either won or lost (or not made the Super Bowl at all — Go Jags!). Philly might be on fire. You might have lost hundreds of dollars in betting. But, you also had spent a night filled with laughter, and sometimes rage, that you will never get back.

So yes, I don’t know anything about football. Despite going to Notre Dame football games on a consistent basis the last four years and working as an Associate Sports Editor at The Observer, I still have to ask my dad what is going on several times a game. But, there is undeniably something special about Super Bowl Sunday.

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