There’s one game left to be played in the NFL this season, and it’s quite possibly the most celebrated and looked-forward to date early in the calendar year for the majority of football fans across the country.
When the clock strikes 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, it will mark the beginning of the end to the football season. The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers kick off Super Bowl XLVII.
Whether you’re a fan of either team doesn’t matter at this point, as only a celebrated few (hundred thousand or so) fans will get to watch their favorite teams fight for the Lombardi Trophy in the stadium.
But the Super Bowl is more than just a football game. It’s essentially an unofficial holiday.
It’s also the final game of the season. That means something to the winner and loser of the game, unlike the Pro Bowl, which is essentially a free trip to Hawaii for those lucky enough to be selected by the fans.
The Super Bowl is something that’s been more celebrated in my family ever since it started expanding. My sister, who married a Broncos fan, has served as one of several helping hands during the Super Bowl, caring more about whether we’re comfortable than what’s actually happening in the game itself.
The same can be said for my wife and mom. Both “like” football by proxy, as my dad and I both have respective teams that we follow all season long.
As neither my wife nor my mom have had the need to care about watching the game for quite a few years, they too take it upon themselves to make sure my dad and I are having a good time.
And that’s typically how the Super Bowl goes in my family. All the guys get together to watch the game while the girls, by choice, are setting up appetizers and coming up with after-football dinner ideas.
This year’s game will be a change from year’s past, however,. My dad will be at work for the big game and, for obvious reasons, couldn’t get someone else to fill in for him.
So this year the plan is this: my son and I get to watch the big game by ourselves while my wife, again by choice, will be doing other things around the house to keep busy for up to four hours or more.
Not exactly what I had in mind, but I get to be with my family and that’s good enough for me.
And that’s the way Super Bowl’s are for almost everybody who loves football. Parties are planned, people get together, socialize and watch the game for whatever reason they can think of. Much like Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s a chance for family and friends to gather together, stuff their faces with food and watch hours and hours of football action.
But Sunday’s game will be the last meaningful game for the next six months.
Sure there are spring practices and scrimmages in college and the NFL Draft in April, but the actual games don’t start to count again until at least August for most teams, which is why the Super Bowl is the most watched game of the year, every year.
Because no matter who wins this Sunday, we as football fans all lose starting Monday.