Missed Points

Ulysses the welsh terrier yawns fiercely next to me on the couch. I'm wearing my blue Keep Calm and Billieve t-shirt.The year Whitney owned the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, my family and I attended a football party at a friend’s house. All of the kids swan together in the summers on swim team. On arrival, instant fun. Meanwhile, the adults chatted and joked around in scattered clusters. The house filled quickly with the smells of favorite snacks and the sound of laughter over the announcers on the big screen TV. My family was decked out in our red white and blue Buffalo Bills gear. My stylish sister probably wore her dangle helmet earnings. Partying in suburban PA, no one except us cared much about the outcome of the game.

My team lost. My heart would break a little bit. There’s an upside though. As a kid, staying loyal to your favorite team when they lose builds your ability to face adversity, at least on the playground. Being a Buffalo Bills fan allowed me to experience firsthand many times no matter how much you want something to happen in life, things don’t always work out.

Today, two teams face off for Super Bowl 50. In the long shadow of veteran players with suspected cases of CTE , we Americans continue to cheer on our teams in this violent yet ironically stress-relieving entertainment. We can’t look away. We can’t give up the exhilaration.

Today, I’ll be looking away from the game to fire up Netflix. I’m still not able to completely break free of football though. The 30 for 30 series is top on my list, the wave of gameday memories and the need to know how my favorite childhood players are doing propels me to watch Four Falls of Buffalo. My sister told me at one point, Bruce and Thurman sit on a couch watching a game replay together, their hearts breaking a little bit, too. I know they paid a greater price, putting their physical well-being on the line for those of us in the stands and in front of TVs. It makes me misty eyed to think about it.

It’s just a game, but when nostalgia and emotions and camaraderie combine, it’s hard to turn away. Pass the pretzels and beer cheese. This might go into overtime.


Do you watch American football? Which team do you root for? Do concussion-related health issues in sports bother you? Will you be going to a Super Bowl party? What is your favorite snack? Tell me about it.


13 Comments Add yours

  1. Megan says:

    Yes! They DO sit on the couch, watching and reliving the moment. I thought of all of you when watching the 30 for 30. Definitely worth the watch.

    1. It’s gonna be a tough one!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes, watching our beloved Bills helped us in later years to face adversity. And yes, I was sporting those oh so fashionable helmet earrings with my matching buffalo scrunchie. 😉 one day I hope we get to watch out team on the big day and celebrate with a win. Thank you for not posting one of our videos highlighting the Bills. We loved being sportscasters…those need to stay in the vault. XO

    1. There’s always next year.

  3. Jenelle says:

    I’m hosting a Super Bowl party today, Susan! Wish you and Stockton lived about 3,000 miles closer so you could join us! Enjoy your Netflix!

  4. Casee says:

    I have mixed emotions about the NFL. We didn’t know then that CTE was a thing back then but now we do. Every player that participates in the NFL now knows the risk and does so knowing the price they may ultimately face. I worry most about children that play the game because they don’t understand the long term implications of playing the game. I watch but the enjoyment is not the same and I can imagine a day when I will give it up altogether. At this point I watch for the commercials and to be able to participate in the Monday morning conversations that will surely happen at work.

  5. Susan answer me this! Why, of all the sports, does my slim athletic British grandson, in his first year at a British Unicersity, choose to play ‘concussion-related’ American football? He loves it! I really enjoyed your blog.. We suffer adversity in supporting our local Aston Villa football team, about to be relegated from the Premier League.

    1. Premier League relegation is the worst. My sympathies, Bridge. And, I’m intrigued your grandson chose American football. What position does he play? Wide receiver? I can’t imagine he’s an offensive lineman.

      1. Relegation has a lot to do with the politics of sport and money but it’s still painful! Thanks for the sympathy. No idea what position g/s plays but he’s fast and nimble. American football is getting very popular here with young people. Ouch!

  6. Hey Susan, sorry I missed this post on the day of the game. I may be putting myself at risk here being that I’m a Pittsburgher but I’ve never been a sports fan so I had reruns of Supernatural on up until my son came over and switched stations. I have to admit that I really enjoyed Bruno Mars during the halftime entertainment but then I tuned the rest out. When I was younger and would go to sporting events I only went for the socializing and always had a blast.

    1. As long as it’s a good time, the game doesn’t matter.

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