Confetti falling, tears running down my face, my legs and arms tired from the jumping and yellow towel waving.
That’s the memory. That’s the memory I tell people about when they ask what was the most significant moment of my life in tedious ice-breakers and boring interviews. The memory of the day that was the best I have ever had.
For football fans, the Super Bowl can mean many things. It can mean watching your team play in the biggest game of the year and walking away from the empty dip bowl and flipped over table with tear stains on your jersey, the most disappointed person in the world. It can also mean getting to celebrate because all the hours and dedication brought your team home a Lombardi Trophy.
Or for most fans, it simply means being left to watch a spectacle and join the other mortals in choosing the best ad and taking bets on just how long Lady Gaga will take to the sing the National Anthem.
This year, I will be the latter.
The lack of local excitement surrounding this year’s game has been troubling as I have realized that many people don’t understand the full extent of what the Super Bowl means. Hearing people preparing to sit and watch solely for Coldplay and the tremendously expensive ads is not what this game should be known for.
It’s just not.
So instead, I’ll think about the memories and try to share them with anyone who will listen. Because the day that changed my life was Feb. 1, 2009, and don’t you know I’ll never forget it.
My parents had surprised us, announcing in the kitchen that my dad had acquired tickets to the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, Florida.
So, off we went, to watch the team that has won the most number of Super Bowls in the NFL — that’s six for those keeping track and nobody’s going to touch it — play in the biggest game. I remember walking over to the stadium, seeing the looming Buccaneers’ ship alongside large posters of Santonio Holmes and Ben Roethlisberger. I remember seeing Jerome Bettis only a few feet away and shopping for Steelers merchandise in the biggest NFL store I had ever been in.
I can remember the exact outfit I wore as it is the same one I wear every gameday — that’s seven years for those counting.
Walking into the stands, I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing so many people in black and gold. All standing together when the team was announced, it sent chills down my spine.
For details on the game, go to the highlight reel (trust me it’s worth it), but all I can say is as soon as Holmes tapped his two feet down and Mr. Rooney lifted the trophy in the air, well there just isn’t a word for it. Going from feeling like all was lost to the belief that nothing can go wrong is the most magical.
I hugged so many people. And that’s the magic of the Super Bowl. The entire NFL world comes together and everyone parks in front of a TV for four hours.
So enjoy. Enjoy the snacks, commercials and… Coldplay? But don’t forget what this game means.
It’s all about the football.