Like many others across America, I have several year’s worth of childhood memories about the Super Bowl. Whether it was running around the room as a little kid, laughing at commercials with my grandmother or growing tired of pretending to understand the game and just watching a movie on my phone instead, those memories have stuck with me.
Though I have never been too interested in football myself, the largely televised event seems to have a little bit of something for everyone. So, even though I know nothing about the popular sport, this year I found myself missing that moment with my family.
Luckily, this year I found a way to keep myself connected to the tradition through a group of my collegiate acquaintances. In a Shippensburg University D-suite dorm, a hodge-podge group gathered 30 minutes too late to watch the game.
Yet, as a group with a myriad of interests, we still seemed to have a great time. Only two of us seemed to have a grasp on the concept of football gameplay, leaving the rest of us knitters, Slate members and Pokémon Go players to comment and ask way too many questions.
Our group still indulged in the feasting aspect that every good Super Bowl party has. At least, we did as well as any group of college students can with two boxes of Wheat Thins and hastily made chocolate-covered strawberries.
There were no complaints as we engaged in classic camaraderie. I felt it was still reminiscent of my childhood in a way, the way that we all gathered for this event of which few had any knowledge.
We, of course, all paid attention to the notorious Super Bowl commercials. Each of us waiting to comment on the odd combination of celebrities or guess what the confusing commercial was supposed to be advertising for. Each “Metaverse” commercial was met with a comment about Mark Zuckerberg.
A comment of “I can’t wait for all of the truck commercials tonight,” incited an unofficial contest for the group I was with on Sunday as we counted the number of truck commercials versus the number of crypto-currency commercials.
As the night progressed each commercial started getting analyzed in a different way whether it was about the effects of capitalism or the fact that “Megan Thee Stallion is voicing that bird there, I know.” Every conversation easily meshed everyone’s interests in some way.
As in many households around America, we turned off the lights after the second quarter and waited anxiously for the halftime show to begin. The group in the D-suite was quite a fan of the artists and I was personally excited for Mary J. Blige’s section of the performance.
The headliners — Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar —nwere joined with performances by 50 Cent and Anderson .Paak. We all seemed to thoroughly enjoy their performances while engaging in jokes about our favorite artists as they emerged on-screen and disappeared off.
We soon turned our interests elsewhere as the night went on. While some kept focused on the game, others became enthralled in playing Pokémon Go between the commercials. Still, we were all engrossed in conversations with all those in attendance.
To me, the Super Bowl is a testament to the fact that some form of family can be found anywhere. Sure, here at college I am on my own in many senses. However, moments like these can remind me that I don’t need to always recall the past because some things just get better with age.