A Doug's Life: Upholding a Super Tradition

Just finished up another Super Bowl Sunday, and boy, am I tired.

I don't know how the players do it. They have to actually run, pass and tackle for about four hours. It must be exhausting. After all, what else would explain Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw stopping just short of the goal line and falling untouched into the end zone like he'd just passed out?

(Oh yeah, strategy, right? He was supposed to take a knee at the 1-yard line to use up a little more time before scoring. See, it's mentally draining, too).

Yet as physically and emotionally exhausting as the Super Bowl was for the victorious New York Giants and the New England Patriots, one has to admit it takes a lot out of the fans as well.

Wherever you were in and around Menifee on Sunday afternoon, chances are you saw at least part of the game. Whether you were part of the packed house at the Beer Hunter, attended a Super Bowl party at a friend's house or simply kicked back in front of the flat screen at home, you got in your own personal workout.

At least if you're like me. Hey, it's tradition.

First, you've got to have the snacks. A full meal always is appreciated, but snacks are a must. This always was a necessity on New Year's Day, at least back when they played all the best college bowl games that day. But now the best college games are spread out over weeks. Who wants to celebrate New Year's Day with chips and dip while you're watching the Capital One Bowl?

No, there really is only one true pig-out day now for Americans, and we're not talking about Thanksgiving. That meal is justified. Super Bowl Sunday really is celebrated for no good reason other than to convince our "significant other" we are legally required to stuff ourselves with junk food and beverages while watching a sports event at least once a year.

Take me, for instance. I knew darn well that unlike other years, this Super Bowl Sunday I would be watching the game virtually alone at home. My son-in-law the Patriots fan (sorry, Jeff) and his family were at another party. My wife and I are still relative newcomers here and we aren't exactly party animals, so the plan was to kick back on the sofa, watch some football and stuff myself.

I no longer try to convince my wife about the legal requirement to celebrate Super Sunday. She doesn't buy it. Even when I tell her that, as a former sports writer, I am simply continuing my research, she gives me the evil eye. But hey, she did sit there and watch for a while, managing to stay awake for most of the first half.

Kristen even fed my Super Bowl "habit" by helping in the preparations for my little party, ignoring the fact that the crowd would basically be one. She accompanied me to the market as a consultant on which chips to buy, made sure we had cheese slices in several varieties, and even found the one remaining box of chocolate chip cookies -- a must at such events.

As kickoff approached, I sat down by myself in front of the big screen -- and a spread that could've fed 10. For a brief moment, I remembered my New Year's Resolution to eat healthy and get more exercise. OK, I decided. I would stand up at least twice a quarter and do a set of bicep curls with some soda cans. And this time, a dozen cookies would be my limit.

Before long, my soon to be 4-year-old granddaughter Riley joined me on the couch. Said she was rooting for the Giants -- basically because she doesn't know what a Patriot is (who does these days?). By the time she'd had a couple cookies and more than a few chips, she was bouncing off the walls in her little cheerleader outfit, waving Giants blue pom poms.

Yeah, the party was getting out of hand.

Halftime with Madonna on stage was kind of a blur. Maybe it was all the soda, chips, salsa, cheese and cookies. Or perhaps it was the difficulty I had following the antics of a 50-something entertainer leading high school cheers.

At least the second half was entertaining enough to hold my interest as I headed to the kitchen for some bottled water. Having polished off most of the snack tray with the help of the little cheerleader, I was feeling mighty proud of myself -- and also a bit sick. Having a wild fourth quarter to watch overshadowed the stomach rumblings that too often took precedence in past years.

The commercials? Oh, they were OK. I've seen better. The game? The finish definitely was more entertaining than most years.

The spectacle itself? It's Super Bowl Sunday, and tradition must be observed. Tomorrow, the gym awaits. For this one day, being a well-fed couch potato is cool.


  1. Doug -- Not only was your article entertaining, it was technically flawless. You don't know how refreshing it is to read something online that isn't filled with errors. Yes, I'm one of the few remaining grammar-spelling-punctuation freaks out there. While most people do not appreciate a writer who actually earns his title these days, please know that you have at least one fan who appreciates your unique talent.

  2. Janet,

    That is great to hear. As a journalism teacher, I am a stickler for grammar and punctuation. Sometimes I feel like it's a lost art. I appreciate your comments.