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Watching the Super Bowl (Between Innings)

Super Bowl Sunday is a very exciting time for people who actually understand football; all of the macho men wearing tights and slapping each other’s rear ends cater true delight to the big fans. But for those of us who don’t understand exactly why the ballet of the pigskin is so exciting, we have an evening of delicious snacks, a halftime show and funny commercials to look forward to.

I am Ellen Ring and this is my Super Bowl story.

I have eight awesome gal pals, two and a half of whom actually enjoy the fine American sport of football. We decided, due to the split in our interests, that we would have two separate Super Bowl parties this year, but in the same building for ease of visiting.

The first one was in the upstairs apartment, where the serious fans convened. There was pizza, beer and complete and utter silence between plays. They invited some other avid viewers to join them in the land of “Don’t Walk in Front of the TV,” and truthfully, I was frightened to visit because the one time I did, I whispered and tip-toed and potentially got acid reflux from setting foot in such a high-stress environment. You just don’t want to get between some people and their football, and I can respect that now.

The other apartment was full of the folks who were in it more for the snacks and commercials—I am proud to say that I spent most of my time there. Furthermore, I am proud that I was able to eat five of the world’s spiciest hot wings (not empirically proven, but likely contenders) before having to lie on the floor in a pool of my own sweat. We also ate bagel bites, mozzarella sticks, more pizza, chips, dips, salsa, guacamole and champagne punch. Take a moment to envision the scene. Hint: So much excitement, so much guilt -- so many calories.

One of the many perks of this party layout was that I always knew when to cheer. The folks upstairs were mainly fans of the same team that I was pretending to favor, so whenever I heard stomping and yelling above my head, I would immediately start to cheer, too. When people in the room asked me what happened, I had a few stock responses:

  1. Ah! Fumble! And sack! (Nobody else knew what those terms meant, anyway.)
  2. Success! (Cue the drinking of beers.)
  3. Just stuff bagel bites in my mouth and gesture insanely with my hands.

All of those strategies worked really well and I encourage all you confused soccer moms (including my own) out there to give them a try sometime.

The halftime show was the most exciting part of the evening for my group of friends because it gave us something to watch that we actually cared about—Madonna. There has been a lot of discourse about the quality of her performance as well as the sound quality of her voice after all these years of fame. I wish I could participate in the banter, but I mainly saw the event and heard the following: “OH MY GOSHHHH I LOVE THIS SONGGG!” “Lady Gaga is the Madonna of our generation…” “JUST LIKE A PRAYERRR YOU TAKE ME THEREEEE…” “I love that outfit…” and “M.I.A JUST… OH MY GOSHHHHH AHHHHH!” A girly stereotype, yes, but I’m here to report the facts. The only way I would have noticed a misstep in the Material Girl’s performance was if she also started stuffing bagel bites in her mouth and waving her arms around, but that was a move I invented in the second half so it wasn’t even an option for her.

As I sat there listening to my friend asking what inning we were in, I realized how much I cherish my time with friends from college, as silly as it always turns out. When it comes down to it, I will remember this Super Bowl in a particularly special way-- not by the teams that played, the snacks, the halftime show or even the winner -- but by who I spent the evening with.

In the Super Bowl of college, friends are the real touchdowns and I am lucky enough to be winning the game. In closing, all in can say is, “Go, Yankees! I knew you could do it.”

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