My wife, who is an American from New York, is into sports, which is great. Especially as I knew f*** all about American Football.
A couple of years back I thought we needed to pay homage to the biggest sporting event of her country and watch the Super Bowl. I took it seriously and researched all which is involved in that tradition (the ads, the half time show, the team and their history, the rules…). I wanted also to figure out which team I should support in the regular season. I do not think that sports are fun to watch if you do not support a team.
My wife used to support the Buffalo Bills and had stories about 4 agonising years between 1990 and 1993 when the Bills were a great team, the best team my wife says. I wasn’t there, so I believe her obviously, she is my wife, and would not lie to me after all. But even though they were this great team they kept on losing in the Super Bowl final, to the dismay of my future wife. Sport is cruel for its followers.
I could, you would think, have decided to support the Buffalo Bills, they have good chicken wings, and my wife supported them. But no!!! My wife thinks I am bad luck for any team I support. Which is obviously ridiculous, and an outrageous thing to say. It’s not my fault that after having lived 5 years in the UK I decided to start supporting a Football team (that is soccer for some people) and liked the look of Derby… well to make it short, Derby ended up having the most losses and the worst season of any team in the history of the English Premier League and left me in despair. So my wife does not want me to support any of her teams: I have been branded bad luck. A lot of supporters are like that: they believe that something they do or don’t do, will make their team win or lose. We can immerse ourselves so deeply in the game, that we think we can influence it, apparently my wife can influence games by forbidding me to support her teams.
It’s an exhausting exercise to be so involved, so us supporters need food and drink to help us get through the trauma of supporting a team. Whereas in England crisps and beer suffice, the Americans are doing it big and in style: it’s Super Bowl Tailgating party time!!! And it involves mainly melted cheese, grilled meat, all kinds of nice comfort food, and beer. What is there not to love about that?
After listening to a BBC documentary I realised that the New Orleans Saints supporters had the best food in tailgating parties, so that was it, I had no choice but to support them. Turns out they also won the Super Bowl after I decided to support them, so it was a good decision, so much for my bad luck.
So now watching the Super Bowl is just a matter of trying to understand what a Hail Mary is, eating loads of chilli with melted cheese, Buffalo style chicken wings, Jambalaya, and other stuff that my wife thinks will be suitable for a Super Bowl night. I have to add that I am not allowed to cook on that day. And it also mainly involves staying up late, I mean very late as the game finishes around 4 in the morning here.
Going to France from the UK (where the BBC is broadcasting the game) I was a bit worried that we would not be able to watch the game. But it turns out a small TV channel (W9 if you live in France) is showing it. So even though the Saints are not playing in the final this year, we can still eat loads of good comfort food, and I can pretend to be an American for one night and not some frog eating surrendering monkey.