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 or what it meant to blitz the quarterback. I was about to sit and watch something called the Super Bowl on a day they called Super Sunday. Just as long as this game didn’t interfere with watching Bugs Bunny or The Flintstones, then I was fine with watching it. Why would I miss it considering the coffee table was filled with chips, pretzels and a lot of other stuff to eat. I also had this magazine that I got from McDonald’s that listed a few of these Super Bowl games and I was looking through it only because it had some cool color pictures in it.

My father sat in his favorite place in the living room. On the floor, with his back against the couch right next to the new coffee table that my parents bought. 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 he was watching a Giants game he got so angry that he slammed our coffee table so hard with his fist that it split the table in two pieces. Now the new coffee table sat where the old one had been. My father sat ready for the game along with one of my brother and a few of his friends. They were about to cheer for this team in orange called the Denver Broncos. Who? The Broncos were the team that was going to beat up on the other team that was playing from what they were saying. The Orange Crush is what I heard from all of them, 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 little 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. 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. 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. Now I started to pay a little more attention. I asked who the other team was and with a groan from the others watching they said “Dallas”. Hmmm. Dallas sounded nice and they had these nice blue stars to look at on their helmets. But I really didn’t get any more information out of anyone. One reason was because the game was on which meant no talking about things like blue stars. The second reason was because it was Dallas and they all hated this team called the Cowboys. Why? Why so much hate? What did this team do to be hated so much?

This Dallas team scored something called a touchdown and the moans and groans started from behind me. There were no bad words from anyone because my father would not allow it and there was no slamming of fists on the furniture because my mother would not allow it for obvious reasons. Rememeber, this was a new coffee table they were sitting in front of. OK, I was on to something now. These guys 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 uniforms on. But something told me to go against this crowd sitting in my living room. Be 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 like I knew what was going on in the game.

This Super Bowl game reached something called halftime. Neither team was on the field anymore. 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 had no points. Did Dallas win? Could I go back to playing with my Matchbox cars? My father said it wasn’t over yet and sure enough the teams started playing again. I continued with my own show of smiling every time I heard a moan and groan 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 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 for the orange soda on the new coffee table.

I was watching football and actually having fun. I never would have imagined that happening. Watching this Dallas team with the nice 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 as 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 with a hat on the shoulders of a few Dallas players. Wow, I thought to myself. How cool is it to be carried like that. This Dallas team must have done something pretty good. I also could not get out of my mind how nice those bue stars were and how shiny they were.

I had fun watching this game called the Super Bowl. I had fun being a pain in the butt nine year old who would turn my head to those seated behind me and smile every time they yelled in frustration because I knew this team called the Dallas Cowboys had just done something to make them very angry. Or was it because this Denver Broncos team did not do as well as my father, brother and his friends had hoped for? They seemed to have high hopes when the game first started hours before. But now as everyone got up to leave the living room and my brothers friends left to go home, 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 that I could never find. There was so much I just didn’t understand.

Portfolio Items