What is this game they call the Super Bowl?

The date was January 15, 1978. I was only nine years old and could not tell you what a third down conversion was, what it meant to blitz the quarterback or even what a quarterback was. I was about to sit and watch something called the Super Bowl on a day they called Super Sunday. As long as this game didn’t interfere with me watching Bugs Bunny or The Flintstones, then I was fine with watching it. Why would I miss this Super Bowl thing considering the brand new coffee table in the living room was filled with chips, pretzels and a lot of other stuff to eat and drink? I also had this magazine my Mother got from McDonald’s that listed a few of these Super Bowl games and I was looking through it only because it had some really cool color pictures in it.

My father sat in his favorite place in the living room, which was on the floor, with his back against the couch right next to the new coffee table that my parents just bought. I will tell you that they didn’t want to buy a new table; they needed to buy the new coffee table due to a little accident, which did not involve me. You see, my father was a huge Giants fan and later in life after I became a football fan I found out that the Giants weren’t very good in the 1970s. While my father was watching a Giants game one Sunday he got so angry that he slammed the coffee table with such force with his fist that he split the table in two pieces. To say that my Mother wasn’t happy with what happened is an understatement. Now the new coffee table sat where the old one had been. My father sat ready for the game along with one of my brothers and a few of his friends. They were about to cheer for this team dressed in orange shirts called the Denver Broncos. Who? From what my family was saying these Broncos were the team that was going to beat up on the other team that was playing. The Orange Crush is what I heard them all yell as they sat on the couch, but as I looked over at the new coffee table I saw none of that orange soda anywhere and I really wanted some. What were they talking about? I was a very confused, but I sat down in front of the television and started to watch.

I will be honest and tell you that I had no idea what was happening during the game. Yes, my father was a lifelong Giants fan as well as my brothers, but I never had any interest in football up to that point. All I cared about were my Matchbox cars and cartoons. To take me away from those things was very difficult. As I sat there watching this game I noticed something that I thought was really cool. There were these bright and beautiful blue stars on the helmets of the other team. These stars were like bright lights that I couldn’t look away from. Now I started to pay a little more attention to what was going on. I asked who the other team was with the stars on their helmets and with a groan from the others watching they said “Dallas”. Hmmm. Dallas sounded nice, so I decided to stick around to see what these blue stars were all about. I really didn’t get any more information out of anyone, so I decided to just sit and watch as I kept reaching for the chips. One reason for the lack of information to my questions was because the game was on, which meant talking to the TV was more important than talking to me. The second reason was because there seemed to be an overwhelming hatred towards this Dallas team called the Cowboys. Why? Why so much hate? What did this team do to be hated so much? Due to the fact my questions were being ignored and most of the chips were being inhaled by these people, I wanted very much for these guys with the blue stars on the helmets to do something good, whatever that was.

As the game was being played this Dallas team scored something called a touchdown. The moans and groans started from behind me, which told me that a touchdown was something good. There were no curse words from anyone because my father would never allow it and there was no slamming of fists on the coffee table because my mother would not allow it, for obvious reasons. OK, I was on to something now with this Super Bowl game. My father, brother and his friends hated when the Dallas team did something good. I could have joined in with them and cheered for this Denver team who had really ugly orange shirts on. But like I said before, being ignored didn’t sit well with me. I had questions and wanted answers, especially when it came to those guys with the blue stars on their helmets. So I decided to go against this crowd sitting in my living room as they continued to eat all the chips and pretzels. I became a pain in the butt nine year old and every time I heard moans and groans from those cheering for Denver, I would just turn around and smile at everyone. Almost as if I knew what was going on in the game.

This Super Bowl game reached something called halftime and both teams left the field. Was the game over? If it was then the Dallas team with the nice blue stars on their helmets had 13 points and the Denver team with the ugly orange shirts had no points. I guess that was a good thing, but I wasn’t sure if everything was over. Could I go back to playing with my Matchbox cars now? My father said it wasn’t over yet and sure enough the teams started playing again soon after that. I continued with my own little show of smiling every time I heard the moans and groans from the crowd behind me. As the game played on and the yelling started to increase, my smiles became larger because I knew Dallas was doing well. I also found it funny that everyone was yelling at the television almost as if those guys playing the game could hear them. My father and my brother along with his friends were not happy as they talked about what a joke this Orange Crush was. Again, I looked over at the new coffee table for that orange soda that I really wanted, but still didn’t see any.

I found it amazing that I was doing something other than playing with my Matchbox cars or watching cartoons and I was actually having fun. I never would have imagined that happening. Watching this Dallas team with the bright blue stars on their helmets was very addicting after a while. I kept looking through my McDonald’s magazine hoping to see a few pictures of players with stars on their helmets, while I continued to glance up at the television to see what was happening.

At one point there seemed to be a lot more people on the field and not all of them had uniforms on. Now what was happening? Then I looked behind me and my brother and his friends had finally removed themselves from my couch. The same couch that no one offered me to sit on in my own house, which was why I was on the floor. My father told me that the game was over which would explain why all those people were now on the field. Then I noticed a man wearing a hat on the shoulders of a few Dallas players. Wow, I thought to myself. How cool is it to be carried like that and who was this guy? This Dallas team must have done something pretty good considering all the attention they were getting. I also could not get out of my mind how nice those blue stars were and how shiny they were.

I had fun watching this game called the Super Bowl. I also had fun being a pain in the butt nine year old to these guys sitting behind me as they moaned and groaned in frustration as the Cowboys did something great, I think! Or was it because this Denver Broncos team did not do as well as my family had hoped for? They seemed to have high hopes when the game first started just hours before. But now as everyone got up to leave the living room, all I heard was grumbling about how Denver messed everything up and that the Orange Crush was a big joke. Well, it must have been a joke because once again I looked over at the new coffee table for the orange soda that everyone kept talking about, but I could never find. There was so much I just didn’t understand.

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