I can’t remember a year of my life when, come February, I wasn’t way more excited for the Super Bowl than I was for Valentine’s Day. Including the years of my life in grade school when Valentine’s Day was actually fun and even the weird kids in your class (i.e. me) got candy and cards, instead of the adult version when you’re either single and secretly self-conscious or you and your partner feel considerable pressure to go out of your way and spend a lot of money on each other for no reason.
I don’t actually know anyone personally who says they like Valentine’s Day (so then why do we do it?!), but the way I imagine I “should” feel about Valentine’s Day as a single 20-something woman–according to Hallmark and various romantic comedies–is really encapsulated in how I feel about the Super Bowl. It’s the one day out of the entire year set aside for
somebody something I love. I love this person thing so much that I want to talk about them it all the time, but I realize that that’s not acceptable, because not everybody wants to hear about them it on any given day. But on this day, every American will be joining me in celebrating my love! Even the people who don’t care are forced to play along, or else they’ll be left out. Because as everyone knows, if you don’t watch the Super Bowl, you are a communist.
I really feel for people who have never fallen in love…with a team. We love sports because we love people. We love seeing the ones we love succeed and we love gloating when the ones we don’t fail. We love the surge of victory, the excitement that brings us to our feet, the unity that comes from the collective high-fives and hugs from anonymous fans as a whole community comes together to celebrate, their only commonality being the colors of their mock jerseys. The drama and the intrigue of sports–and anyone or anything else we love–gets us through the banality of life, really. It gives us something to look forward to every fall, something to miss every spring, something to become overly obsessed with to the annoyance of our family and friends.
And we stick with our team through losing seasons, through embarrassing losses to subpar teams, through scandals and controversies. We stick with them as our favorite players drop from the rosters due to cheating or crime or drugs or racism or violence or abuse, behavior that individuals sustained after allowing their heads to grow larger than life due to all their success. We hold on to our faith that there are other players in the sea, and that we’ll find some good guys one day as long as we don’t give up on the game.
…Now that I think about it, the SuperBowl and Valentine’s Day really are celebrating the same thing: love. Except, instead of a husband, I have two: the Green Bay Packers and the Oregon Ducks.
But if I were to have a husband, I would choose Aaron Rodgers and his good-at-football-ness and facial hair growing abilities.