Nothing super about this Sunday

I’ve barely even NOTICED the run up to the Superbowl this year.

I’ve never been much of a football person; even with 3 years of going to just about all of the high school games–home AND away–sophomore through senior years. THOSE were because of being in the marching band. What games I went to DURING college were basically strictly TO see the marching band, or just to spend time with friends.

I remember going to one game in the fall after I’d graduated from BG; I’d been to a comic shop before meeting up with friends; and wound up reading a few comics, not even caring for the game. Another game, visited a friend and saw the game with her on TV.

At least a handful of times in grad school, went to game-watching gatherings; for the big rivalry games and at least a couple of Superbowl parties.

WHICH leads to a newly re-found regret is that I never made the time or effort to go to a college game with Dad. He’d talked about wanting to; strongly hinted, and at one point in grad school I think I’d even actually gotten tickets for a BASKETBALL game…but I was so disinterested in the idea of attending a live sporting event like that that we never ended up going.

(For that matter, he never got to SEE me graduate from college OR grad school…I was so uninterested in the ceremony of it all that I just wanted nothing to do with either graduation. But that’s maybe a subject for another post sometime).

Even into recent years, though, Dad was the football fan. Far from “die-hard” and such, but he would frequently watch the OSU games on Saturdays or the Browns on Sundays…or whatever day their game(s) would be on. He’d watch (or at least have on) the Cleveland baseball and basketball games as well; though I’d usually do the best I could to “ignore” the games (if I have a superstition, it’s that Cleveland ALWAYS LOSES if I happen to be consciously aware of the score at any point DURING the game).

I do remember some baseball games with Dad; going to downtown Cleveland and the stadium there. I remember frustrating him once with my rooting for the opposing team because I was bored/uninterested in the game in front of me. Another time I had a book with me and read during most of the game. I do remember one time with Cub Scouts or early Boy Scouts, someone had provided tickets and Dad took a bunch of us to a game where we got to watch from a Lodge. Dad had bought a “team set” of one of the trading card series for that year.

(I also remember him buying some of the sports cards other times…other than a very BRIEF, only-remembered-just-now-while-I’m-typing-this stint with baseball cards and (Ozzie Smith? Being my favorite player for a bit just because I recognized him from his card), I never really cared for or stuck with sports cards. My thing was non-sports trading cards (Superman: Doomsday, Marvel Series IV, Marvel Masterworks, X-Men Fleer Ultra, Marvel Fleer Flair, Return of Superman, some Spider-Man set, Ultraverse, etc)

But just as he almost always wanted to get “party appetizers” and such for New Year’s Eve…he was also big on doing stuff like that for Superbowl Sundays. If not some big thing, then at LEAST this chips-and-dip with spicy sausage and melted Velveeta.

I remember a number of times going to Sam’s or BJ’s with him and getting a bunch of finger foods…often way more than we’d actually eat, or even prepare…because he was always so enthusiastic about the IDEA of it all.

I do recall a scant handful of Superbowls; I’d watch “for the commercials” and such; maybe the halftime show. I know Mom watched more of those with him than I ever did. I actually sat through the game itself the year of the Janet Jackson thing, but had been out of the room and never saw the so-called “malfunction.”

And while I’ve not been a particular sports person, we do have this Browns blanket that’s been around since at least the early 1990s; I think I even wound up taking it to college with me at one point and might have absconded with it for one of the apartments I lived in; but he’d made some use of it in the past year or so, I think. He also had this other one that I think was essentially just a length of Browns-patterned material that served as a good blanket.

So this is the first Superbowl I’ve been aware of, that Dad’s not here to even talk about watching it. If not Saturday, then today I should’ve been out getting stuff for him–whether some kind of wings, or stuff for a dip, making sure there were chips; etc.

He’d be talking about trying to have a bunch of people over for the game; something I ALSO always resisted (because I’d have to work Monday morning, among other things). But whether or not he’d get to have people over, HE would have the game on.

Now it’s another bittersweet (if that’s even the word I want…I don’t think it is, but it’ll have to do) milestone here learning what life is without him. It’s an event I’ve only been VAGUELY aware of approaching, and in part FOR not having him, it’s all the more something I want little to nothing to do with. I have no intention of watching the game, or the commercials. No intention of any of that.

But I miss him, and his enthusiasm for it, and THAT he’d be gearing up for the thing.

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