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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Super Bowl XLVI: The Event Is More Than The Game

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Kevin Noonan
Kevin Noonan
Kevin Noonan has covered and commented on the Delaware sports scene for more than 30 years, everything from amateur recreation leagues and high schools to local colleges and the Philadelphia professional teams. He’s been voted Delaware Sportswriter of the Year multiple times and currently covers the Philadelphia Eagles for CBSSports.com and teaches creative writing courses at Wilmington University.

The anticipation will build as the weekend unfolds and we get closer and closer to the big game and you get more and more excited about the possibilities of a truly memorable evening.

Wings? Nachos? Meatballs? All three?

Oh, you meant the game. Who’s playing again?

Really, it doesn’t matter who is playing. What matters is what is happening. And in this case, it’s the Super Bowl party, an annual get-together of family and friends with one goal in mind – to eat and drink as much as possible without getting sick.

In other words, it’s just like any other holiday and that’s what the Super Bowl has become – America’s unofficial holiday. The game itself has become irrelevant unless you happen to be a fan of one of the two teams involved, and since most of us around here are Eagles fans, well, you know the rest.

Anyhow, the Super Bowl really has become just an excuse to have a Super Bowl party, just like the pilgrims are an excuse for everybody to get together for Thanksgiving. I mean, do we really care about Myles Standish or William Bradford or whoever that guy was that Spencer Tracy played in the movies? Heck, those first Thanksgiving celebrators we so grateful to the Native-Americans who befriended and fed them that they exterminated most of them and drove the rest away.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind doing that to a couple of Giants fans I know.

The Super Bowl certainly has the same elements that make up other holidays, whether it’s Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July: Family and friends get together and food is the real star of the show, along with the beverages of your choice.

Also, as with other holidays, a lot of people take off from work the next day so they can really enjoy themselves without thinking about that alarm clock going off at 6:30 in the morning. So have another beer and another wing and relax…

That’s why Congress should consider making Super Bowl Sunday an official national holiday, so everybody can enjoy the festivities together and then take it easy together the next day.

Sure, it sounds silly, even stupid. With everything going on in the world today, making a national holiday out of a football game isn’t exactly something the Founding Fathers envisioned when they risked their lives to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Still, I bet if it was put to a referendum across the United States – whether to make the Super Bowl a national holiday — it would pass in a landslide. And that’s because the Super Bowl cuts across all ethnic, religious, racial and gender lines. You don’t have to be a football fan in particular or even a sports fan in general to enjoy it. Even if you don’t know an X from an O or a blitz from a bomb, you can sit back and enjoy the spectacle, not to mention the commercials.

After all, we all enjoy Thanksgiving and how many of us are Puritans?

As for the game itself, I’m also willing to bet that most of you don’t care who wins, although most of you would love to see them both lose. Some hate the Giants because they’re from New York (reason enough) and play in the Eagles’ division and they just can’t root for an arch-rival. Some hate the Patriots because they’re tired of hearing how brilliant Bill Belichick is and how pretty Tom Brady is and because the Patriots keep winning Super Bowls and we never win them, so the hell with them. But the majority of us simply don’t care.

And that’s OK. It doesn’t matter if you don’t care about either team and you certainly shouldn’t let it bother you. Just pretend it’s Thanksgiving and the family is together and the Giants and Patriots are a couple of uncles you really don’t like, but can’t avoid. You don’t really hate them – not like that obnoxious uncle from Dallas – but they do get on your nerves. The key is to focus on the food and the fun and make sure those uncles don’t ruin the holiday.

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