I was never into sports, I played on the Manhattan Day School basketball team in 6th and 7th grade but if I was called into the game I would nearly pee in my pants, I was also a part of the Sunday softball league which is the upper west side Jewish communities answer to little league, it was lame but it was the only trophy I ever got. Then in high school I played a little ice hockey on this local lake that would freeze solid in the winter, but really I just enjoyed skating around on a frozen lake in the middle of the night after shoveling tons of snow to the sides of it – I never was much a sports player nor was I a fan, and until tonight I never actually watched the Superbowl, or any football game in its entirety before.
Tonight was the first time I actually watched the Superbowl, I usually watch the commercials, get called in if they show one of those split second shots of the cheerleaders lifting their legs and check out the half time show, but this year was different.
I was invited to a party last night, and I never refuse an invitation to a superbowl party – because as always I cannot refuse free food and some interesting conversation. I also knew the food would be amazing because the people hosting have proved themselves to have the best food in I have sampled in the Dallas Jewish community as of yet.
Immediately upon entering the house I could smell the grill, I headed right for the back yard where some kids were throwing a football over the pool. Skirt steak marinated in some sort of wood chip sauce was frying up on the grill and like always I started to salivate and thank the Lord that my stomach had been relatively empty all day. In fact all I had eaten was two whole wheat rolls with butter, a banana and a whole bunch of water – I also rode my bike twice, once in the woods and once around downtown Dallas each time for about an hour and a half.
This wasn’t any old superbowl party I was informed by the hosts son, this was a Texas superbowl party, people in Texas are so proud to be Texans you would think it was its own country. I met some new folks I had seen in shul but have never been introduced to, I am kind of odd at certain introduction in that if I sense the person is relaxed I will something along the lines of this. Hand is thrust into mine and as I am shaking I say “I seen ya around, in fact I heard you’re a professor and a really interesting character and that your wife makes great food” there was a guy I said that to and he gave me an entertained yet quizzical look, as if to say, I wonder if that guys stalking me.
I saw the maid frying up some soft shell tortillas and wondered what they were for, as I dipped some mighty tasty corn chips into some salsa, all of the sudden I felt like I was at some wedding in Brooklyn the eat in kitchen was turned into a mincha minyan. The few women huddled in the kitchen trading recipes and talking about the men. The line of soda bottles on the counter acted as a mechitza, although it was a bit low for the predominantly black velvet yarmulke crowd in attendance, luckily the head of the Dallas Vaad hadn’t shown up yet or else he may have had to shut down the party in fear of tznius violations.
After ashrei a little tumult started about whether they should do heicha kedusha, which is one of my absolute favorite short cuts in Judaism. Heicha kedusha one of those things you cross your finger on, praying they will rock it, but they usually don’t, in this case risk of missing the kickoff was good enough to skip out on a couple of amens and modiim.
Why is it that no one ever knows who is going to play the half time show? I asked around and no one seemed to know, finally someone said Bruce would be rocking it old school and I was satisfied. Its quite interesting to note that the last half time show I remember vividly is when Michael Jackson played it in 1994 I think. Then someone went into a short tirade on how Bruce Springstein is a self hating Jew that is a Hamas sympathizer, which kind of made me wonder how little music and movies we Jews would watch or listen to if we didn’t support those that hate us. Pretty much all of Hollywood and the entertainment industry is made up of extreme left wing anti-Israel folks, so we might as well ignore them and keep our music and movies.
As I was wondering when the steak was going to be ready I noticed someone with some curly fries on their plate. I went into the dining room and laid my eyes on the beginnings of what would be a Texas superbowl party. Chicken wings, curly fries and salad. Eventually Skirt steak marinated in wood chips, grilled and marinated peppers and onions would also arrive to fill my stomach and knock me out on the couch. I sampled the beer selection and sat down on a soft leather couch in the kids section with my heaping plate of food just in time for the first commercial break.
Does anyone remember the commercials from years past, because I sure as hell don’t, I am trying to remember the commercials from tonight. I do remember one that stuck in my head purely because it acknowledged our looming depression and it was for the Huyndai financing plan that will not mess up your credit if you lose your job or cannot make payments on your car – talk about being blunt on the economy. I also remember the commercial for Go-Daddy with all the girls with big boobs talking about enhancement – see, sex sells, but I mostly remember it because the frummy of the room kept bugging out, reminding me of high school.
When I was in yeshiva they would show the superbowl, this was huge because our yeshiva was very anti television, but of course they would cover up the TV with a sheet during the commercial breaks and halftime show which made the whole game pointless. In order to watch the whole thing you would have to get yourself invited to a party in town and the only way to do that was to be chummy with one of the in towners, not always an easy feat.
The half time show was decent Bruce is a rockin dude even though he is clearly aging, the makeup job was good on him. I do wonder how people get onto the field for the show. Do they have special tickets? Or are they just a bunch of people that won something from the bottom of a coke cap?
I was also wondering how those little electric signs on the field worked, the ones that said 1st and 10 in the little pennants that changed every couple of minutes, I was boggling my mind during the entire game to figure it out. I was also trying to figure out what a sack, safety, 10 and 1 or 3rd and ten and a bunch of other football terms meant, for all I know is a blitz, field goal and a touchdown. I also took pride in the fact I had no idea it was the superbowl today until I was invited to the party last night and I had no idea who was in the superbowl until this little kid playing bookie asked me who I wanted to put money on. I didn’t even know Arizona had a football team.
Oh and before I forget, the pecan pie for desert was phenomenal, especially with the loads of parve ice cream. The only thing missing at the football party were single girls, otherwise it rocked and I actually enjoyed watching my first football game.