Super Bowl Sunday is my favorite holiday.
Yes, I'm serious, and yes, for me it's a holiday.
I can't pinpoint exactly when my love affair with the NFL began, but I certainly remember why it did. Growing up in the suburbs outside of Kansas City, my sister and I were the only children in my family -- we didn't have a brother. Early on, I started watching every Chiefs game with my Dad. While we viewed countless other sporting events together, the Chiefs were always the main event. During halftime we would run plays with a little foam football, scurrying around the furniture in our basement to avoid tackles. When I was six, I completed my first work of art -- a picture of Joe Montana, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who was traded to the Chiefs for the 1993 season. I loved the game and, more importantly, I loved sharing it with my dad.
Not surprisingly, the Super Bowl, the culmination of the NFL season, has been a must-watch event for as long as I can remember. Every year my Mom made chili, we'd nosh on chips and seven-layer dip, and even my sister Christina would join in on the festivities. My grandparents would occasionally make the drive down from Minnesota, and they'd engage my parents, my sister and myself, in a game of Squares.
Now let's be clear, the last time my Kansas City Chiefs made a Super Bowl appearance was Super Bowl IV -- at the end of the 1969 season. They haven't even had a playoff win since the 1993 season -- the Joe Montana glory days. Basically, as long as I've been alive, we've never been close to reaching a Super Bowl. So should I be bitter? Should I be bitter that teams like the Patriots and Giants have made multiple Super Bowl appearances since 1993? Should I boycott the Super Bowl? It depends who you ask. For me, the showmanship, the pageantry, and general hoopla that surround the Super Bowl make it not just a game but a national - and international - event. It's impossible not to celebrate.
The other beauty of the Super Bowl is that almost everyone watches it, and you can watch it anywhere. It's one of the only weekends of the year that I know my girlfriends will watch the game with me -- that's a reason to celebrate in itself. My cousin Andrew watched Super Bowl XLII from a bar in Latvia while he was studying abroad. And hey, even if you don't like the action on the field, there are always the commercials.
In my 23 years of life I've watched countless games, hosted football watching parties, dated football players, played football with my friends -- both real-life and fantasy -- and read hundreds of articles, blogs, columns and features, but spending Super Bowl Sunday enjoying the game, the commercials, and the halftime show is the best way to celebrate my love for the NFL.
My football love affair may have started in a basement in suburban Kansas but it has survived my move to New York City (where I have to spend my Sunday's in a crowded bar if I want to watch my Chiefs) and the distance between my family and me. Super Bowl Sunday is not only a way to honor my long time passion for football, but also to celebrate one last time before the season is officially over.
As far as I'm concerned, the only bad thing about the Super Bowl is that it has to end. Come February 6th, I'll be counting the days until the combine.