|In Arizona (the site of tonight's Super Bowl)|
with my partners in crime -- Tara and Gavin -- in 2012.
I have made pizzas at Hungry Howie's (2005), worked in auxiliary media at the Super Bowl itself (2006), been the most hated person at the Super Bowl party was I at (2008), suspected (correctly) I was pregnant with my first baby (2010), been on the verge of making a major career transition away from football (2014) and -- now -- a PR/marketing rep for a current NFL player (Lions' Tahir Whitehead) and a mother of three.
This year, I have a set of expectations for the day that includes visiting my family for the game. I fully expect to be met with a group of people that resemble Gisele Bündchen.
Why do you ask? Because my family loves (loves) Tom Brady. During the game, he is affectionately referred to as simply "Tom" or "Brady". If there is a controversial call, it will undoubtedly not be Tom's fault. Instead, it will be the result of poor play by his teammates, an awful call by an official, or -- if all else fails -- an act of God.
My family and close friends (who are also considered family) are die-hard Michigan fans, which means they cheer for the New England Patriots by default because of Tom. I honestly wonder which team they would cheer for if it were Tom vs. the Detroit Lions (I will probably get yelled at later for this statement).
Tom was actually the reason I was the most hated person at our 2008 Super Bowl party. If you recall, it was the year the New England Patriots entered the game undefeated and were pitted against the unlikely contender, the New York Giants.
As a (self proclaimed) football guru thanks to my job of writing for an NFL team, my prediction was that the Giants would at the very least give the Patriots a run for their money considering their elite defensive line. I thought poor Tom would be running for his life.
The moment of truth -- when everyone really wanted to throw cocktail wieners at me -- was that David Tyree catch.
I'm pretty sure I stood up in all of my Lions-gear glory and did an Apache-style (a la Sugarhill Gang) dance.
This year I don't think I'll care much whether Tom wins or loses, but I have always been tempted to root for the "underdog" amongst the group of people I'm with.
We shall see if the Seahawks repeat or Tom will get his one shining moment.
Another thought for today: after the AFC Championship Game, there will undoubtedly be talk within the broadcast surrounding the (foot)balls in play. In addition to playing a drinking game in which everyone takes a drink when someone in the broadcast says "balls", it would also be fun to play "balls Bingo", filling out the card with statements such as the following:
- "... how Tom likes his balls"
- "... Brady said he even likes old balls"
- "... officials had to check for deflated balls"
- "... the Seahawks checked the Patriots balls"
- ... etc.
Please play and report back -- happy Super Bowl Sunday!