It’s May of 1987. I’m in my mid-teens. I’m in my room. I lie in my bed. The door is shut. The lights are out. I’m not surly. I’m not dreaming of a girl. I simply want to be alone. To focus.
I can’t take my eyes off of my 13-inch t.v. On the screen is the Stanley Cup. And the Philadelphia Flyers are facing the Edmonton Oilers.
The Flyers are a talented team. They were in the Stanley Cup two years before and have won their division multiple years in a row. They have great players including Kerr (who is injured and unable to play during the Stanley Cup series), Propp, Poulin, Tocchett. Howe, Marsh, McCrimmon, Sutter (my favorite player whose jersey I’m wearing), and Hextall.
And then there’s the Oilers. They’ve won the cup two of the last three years (and will go on to win a few more). Their star players include Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Coffey, Anderson, and Fuhr. Each of these players would eventually be made a member of the NHL Hall of Fame (only Howe made it for the Flyers).
By all accounts, the Oilers are the better team and are deservedly heavy favorites. But the Flyers are gritty, well-coached, and determined.
And I can’t take my eyes off the game. I’m mesmerized by the back and forth action. Is there a way to make myself not blink? The intensity brings me to chest pains.
The Flyers would go on to lose the series in seven games. Some have called it the best series of all time. I don’t know about that. I do know that it is as passionate as I have ever felt about a sports team.
I watched every moment of the action. Some of that viewing time was with other people including family and friends. We talked a bit – about the game and other things. It was nice.
But being in my room, by myself, watching the games… It was intense.
And herein lies the dilemma.
Every serious sports fan dreams of his/her team making it to the sport’s championship round. Ahh, isn’t it great to have your team be a winner.
While I’m still passionate about sports, it’s nowhere near the same now as compared to my teen years. As I said in a Facebook post, “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize sports is merely a pleasant diversion. However, it’s pleasanter when the team(s) you root for win.”
Anyway, in case you do not know, the Philadelphia Eagles are in the Super Bowl (against the New England Patriots). To say I’m excited is an understatement.
Like the Flyers team described above, the Eagles are going against a team that has won enough to be considered a dynasty. A team that arguably features the greatest quarterback of all time. A team that is coached by arguably the greatest coach of all time.
The Eagles, on the other hand, are being led by a backup quarterback, Nick Foles (after their MVP caliber starter, Carson Wentz, was injured during the season). Foles contemplated retiring a couple of years ago due to frustration and disappointment with how his career was progressing. The Eagles have a number of players who were low draft picks and others who were free agents.
Unsurprisingly, the Eagles are underdogs in the Super Bowl and opened up as the biggest underdog since 2009. They’ve been underdogs through their first two games in the playoffs despite being at home and the number one seed in their conference. Rather than being daunted by the underdog label, they’ve embraced it and used it as inspiration. Some team members and fans have been wearing dog masks. This underdog status has the made team even more lovable.
So, how do I view the game?
The Super Bowl has become an event. It’s about the commercials. The national anthem. The halftime show. The food. etc. it’s fun.
But do I want fun? Or do I want to WATCH the game?
I mean the kind of watching where my chest might hurt? The kind of watching where I won’t get up to go to the bathroom till halftime. The kind of watching where I’ll hear every word the announcers say.
My oldest brother, HB, invited us to his house for a Super Bowl party. He invited my other siblings and other family members. Watching and hopefully, celebrating, with my family sounds pretty great.
Mrs. MMK. “So do you want to go to your brother’s to watch the game?”
“I don’t know.”
“I might want to watch it by myself.”
“You mean with us”
“No, by myself.”
“You know BR will want to watch it with you. You have to watch it with him.”
“I know. And that’s cool, but he likes to talk a lot. I wanna hear the game.”
Cold Hard Stare.
So, I’m getting off the island, leaving my room. We will go to my brother’s house to watch the game. I’ll enjoy their company.
But I’m still not missing one moment and might even feel a pain or two.
Fly Eagles Fly.
I always prefer small gatherings for big sporting events. Its nice to be around people but too many, especially too many of those just there for the party, and it gets annoying.
Totally hear that.
For the Super Bowl party I’m going to, it’s family and they are all into it.
It’s always good at a party like that to have 2 TV’s going! One in a room where those who are serious can watch, and one where talking is allowed! LOL. A party I went to for years did that – and everyone went back and forth as they needed to! 🙂
I’m struggling with who to cheer for… As a Cowboys fan, I can’t cheer on the Eagle, but there is no way I can cheer for the Patriots… so, this might be the year I cheer for the commercials!
I understand the dilemma you had Kate. I hope in the end at least a part of you was rooting for the Eagle if only for your pal, MMK. Anyway, I’m just grinning. So happy.
Btw, I thought the commercials were weak. I loved the one with Manning OBJ. Very funny.