Yesterday’s Super Bowl XLVIII, played just a few miles from us at MetLife Stadium, was a dud. It was a throwback to the Super Bowls of my teen years, when the Broncos or the Bills or some other hapless AFC opponent was seemingly getting trounced every year.
The Seahawks led, 2-0, after 12 seconds. Any hope of a Denver second-half comeback was snuffed out when Seattle returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown. Lots of people, no doubt turned the game off at that point.
We hung in until the very last play of Seattle’s 43-8 win. And with good reason — it was the first time all four of us watched the entire game together from start to finish.
At Ryan’s social-skills group last week, the kids discussed how watching and knowing something about the Super Bowl presented a good opportunity for social interaction at school on Monday. Ryan embraced the concept. He didn’t need encouragement to care about a sporting event, at least not this year, not after he’s taken an interest in sports beyond hockey. In the past, a combination of lack of interest in football and an unwillingness to stay up past his usual bed time on a school night prevented him from watching the game.
There was another reason Ryan found to take an interest in the game: Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman.
You might have heard a bit about Mr. Sherman in the two weeks since this postgame, on-field interview after the AFC Championship:
Ryan loves when players talk trash. He thinks it’s hilarious. If I had any concerns about him imitating these behaviors when he plays sports, I’d discourage them. But he’s able to compartmentalize them. He confines his trash talk to our backyard games.
I have a bit of a Super Bowl obsession. I remember the first one I watched (XIII, when I was six). I haven’t missed one since, except for the first half one year when we were driving back from a hockey trip to Washington. It saddened me that Ryan had no interest at that age.
But once again, he has just proven that his timelines are his own. I expect that now that we’ve watched together as a family, we will do so every year. And it’s wonderful. Even if the game wasn’t.