Editor’s Note: Football is Football

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

January 29, 2015


DinaPhotoSunday marks the end of a season for many folks in the Valley. With much fanfare, food, friends and family, folks will gather around their TV screens as the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots square off against each other in the NFL’s ultimate game of the year, Super Bowl XLIX.

The Seahawks—having roundly defeated the Denver Broncos in last year’s Super Bowl—are looking to defend their title and join the Pats as one of only a handful of franchises to win back-to-back championships. And while I do have some small preference as to who I think should win the game, I really don’t have any particular stake in it. My team will be watching from home, just like me. So will my dad’s team.

See, my dad and I are fans of different teams, but despite that, football is something that brings us together. Whether it’s my team on the gridiron or his, we still get together on game days, yelling incredulously when the referees botch calls or the offense misses a read. We josh each other a little, but not too much. Game days are a little easier during college football season because then at least we’re rooting for the same team. Regardless, though, football is football, and watching the games is our tradition.

Like many traditions, we have rituals we follow. We wear team shirts. I’ve got a few t-shirts in several colors, and even a jersey. My dad will wear a baseball cap emblazoned with a team logo. We high five and yell a cheer whenever our team(s) score a touchdown. We eat pizza and chicken wings. The one time we didn’t eat any pizza, during one of my alma mater’s games, they lost. It was their only regular season loss all year. Rituals are important; the pizza proved it. Like the commercial says, “it’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”

My mom will look at the two of us and shake her head, not really understanding the obsession. My parents have been married for a pretty long time, so where my dad goes, so does she. But still, sometime just before halftime, she’ll ask if it’s over yet.

So Super Bowl Sunday will be a little bittersweet. Once the confetti has fallen and the smoke from the celebratory fireworks has cleared we’ll have to put aside our tradition until next August. In fact, it’ll end a little sooner than that. My dad and I won’t actually be able to watch together this year. Instead, I’ll be sending him play-by-plays via text message.

That’s something else we do. If one of us can’t make a game, the other will send text updates. I remember my phone buzzed once with a message. I unlocked it only to see a blurry photo of a TV screen. Captured on it was the backside of a player, frozen mid-tumble. Laughing, I sent my dad a message asking him what the photo was about, to which he replied “that’s the guy who just scored the winning touchdown.” He then pointed out how the goal line could just barely be seen in the image.

I don’t really have an opinion either way on Tom Brady or Russell Wilson. The media-avoiding antics of Marshawn Lynch and the controversy surrounding Deflate-gate don’t really interest me. But I’ll be sitting on the couch with a slice of pizza at 5:30 on Sunday nonetheless. Football is football, after all.

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