Game Day in America

So yesterday “president game show host” said politics has become more important than football. Specifically he said: “One of the things that I heard this morning … watching the news was that — amazingly, it’s never happened before — that politics has become a much bigger subject than the Super Bowl,”. Translation: “People are talking about/more interested in ME than the Super Bowl”. Seriously?

I don’t think so buddy! This is still America, and Americans LOVE their football! The first Super Bowl was played in 1967 and the origins of football in America date back to 1892.

I was doing a little research for this blog about football and stumbled on a top ten list of reasons Americans love football. These 10 are from an article by Stacey Mickles:

10. The game is fast-faster than baseball
9. Football has cheerleaders-(eye roll here).
8. Violence-(don’t get me started).
7. More Scoring-say, more than soccer
6.Every game counts-unlike the world series where you can lose game 1, football is win or lose.
5. Tailgating-no need to explain this one.
4. Hail Mary-you can win a game on a wing and a prayer in the last second-yay!
3. Best Rivalries- Think Cowboys V Redskins, Bears V Packers, Giants V Jets, so on.
2. Fantasy Leagues-not into this one at all, but hey…
1. Football has the Super Bowl!

Let’s focus on that #1 for a moment. For a lot of Americans, (114 million), even when their team is not playing in the big game, they sit down and watch it. They watch it in a bar or with family and friends or at a fabulous party. The die hard fan springs for tickets and watches live! We talk about it at work, online-social media and some folks even bet on the game.

I grew up in a football family. My Father is from the great state of Texas. He is a graduate of Texas A & M as well as Texas University Graduate School-so ANY Texas team has his unwavering loyalty. I’m the youngest in my family, and only girl. Between my dad and three older brothers, there was no Wonderful World of Disney for me on a Sunday afternoon-it was football. We had Cowboys fans and one dedicated Packers fan in my house. Even my mom enjoyed the game and understood the rules and strategies, which always impressed me.

Game day meant everyone was in the living room together watching the game, cheering for their team. I can still hear my dads cheer-“Go Baby!”, (more like a demand than a cheer). I would often fall asleep during the late afternoon games. The sounds of the announcer and the fans would muffle together into a kind of white noise for me. I’ve come to realize that I felt warm and safe with my family all together in one space.

While I agree with the ten reasons listed above, I believe there are some other reasons Americans love football. There’s something unifying about “having a team”. You’re automatically part of a family if you love the Carolina Panthers. (Insert your team here). I’ve watched for years as my dad, my brothers and now my sons engage with others over football. My son and his friends often have spirited “smack talk” about their teams and whose team is better, whose team is going to win the game, etc.

It’s a family thing. Generation after generation will be loyal to Their Team. For my immediate family, its the Philadelphia Eagles. My boys are passionate fans because their father is. I imagine if they have kids, they will be Eagles fans also. Fly Eagles, Fly!

Let us not forget the half-time show! (Which could be another blog in and of itself). Lady Gaga promises an inclusive show and no wardrobe malfunctions! I’m really starting to dig her more and more so this show should be one of the better ones!

So I must disagree with the assumption that people are more interested in politics than football-people are being called to action for the sake of our Democracy-and that’s awesome! My hope for tomorrow is that all of you amazing activists out there will take a break. Take a few hours to enjoy the game. Enjoy the commercials if you’re not into football. Make that chili, wings, nachos, chips-n-dip-or veggie tray-(if you must). Drink a beer with a friend and talk about sports, food, your favorite advertisements-or just snuggle with your honey. We cannot allow what’s happening in the country to take away some of our favorite pastimes and we must re-charge when we can. There will be plenty of work to do next week and in the weeks to come.

I say we ignore l’orange for a day and celebrate OUR America. Nourish yourselves on game day food and beer, for tomorrow we ride!

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