When MCBias of Moderately Cerebral Bias emailed me asking me to write my favorite Super Bowl memory, I really had to think. What should I write about? The games come and go, usually beer is consumed, food is thrown down the gullet, and commercials are watched. How different can each experience be? I had to really think back - 2007, 2006, 2000, 1994, 1991, 1987 ... all the way to the earliest Super Bowls I could remember watching. After much contemplation, one game - Super Bowl XXXVII (37) between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders - stands out above the rest.
Going to a university like Florida State, a school known more for its athletics than its academics, alumni and students love to namedrop the more famous athletes they had classes with. Some brag about sitting next to Charlie Ward, some talk about Chris Weinke's classroom habits (whatever they may be), so on and so forth.
Personally, I shared class space with a few Seminole football stars. Probably the most famous of these were current NFL players Chris Hope and Darnell Dockett. The athlete I knew the best, however, was an fourth-string linebacker who probably never once saw any action at Doak Campbell Stadium on a game day.
After knowing [name withheld] for only a few weeks, my new football-playing friend invited me to his place for his Super Bowl shindig. Not having any plans outside of the usual beer, buddies, chips and dip, I accepted his invite.
Arriving at [name withheld]'s apartment in late afternoon, I knew I was in for an interesting time. As I pulled into the parking lot, there about a dozen big dudes, all throwing the remnants of barbeque chicken bones across the road I just arrived on. I guess I was lucky they weren't done eating when I drove down the road.
As game time neared, we all hung out in the parking lot of my friend's run-down apartment (football players don't get paid, remember?). Much beer, chicken, and other assorted grilled meat were consumed, and yes, I even competed in a few chicken bone throwing contests.
Not surprisingly, my friend was completely at ease as the master of ceremonies. Apparently, what was risky and exciting to me was par for the course for him. He tossed chicken bones, drank like a champion long before Rothlisberger, bragged about the many women he slept with, and matter of factly yelled insults at two young ladies jogging down the street. I'll admit, a pillar of society he was not, but at least no one threw a chicken bone at the girls.
Of course, no interesting party around Florida State would be complete without a visit from Tallahassee's finest. When the cops eventually showed up, my friend casually told them we would calm down and be a tad less rowdy. Fortunately, the validity of his claim was never tested as the football game started shortly after the police visit.
As the Bucs and Raiders began play, my friend and I and the dozen or so others at the party all huddled into his small, barely furnished apartment to watch the game. Surprisingly, despite being in Florida, there were few, if any, Bucs fans at the party. Those who were there however might have been scared into silence after my friend claimed his admiration for the Raiders' Jerry Rice and placed his 9mm pistol on his coffee table with the declaration of "This is how I'm livin'". Who was I to argue?
During the game, the chaos, as predicted, was toned down, although most likely because the high quantities of alcohol we drank prior to kickoff were starting to sink in. Although I was quite buzzed, I was one of the lucky few not completely trashed and in a few cases, passed out.
As for the game itself, well, any sports fan can tell you former Seminole Brad Johnson led the Buc to victory and fellow former Seminole Dexter Jackson was named MVP. But few outside of the dozen or so people in attendance can tell you that former Seminole [name withheld] threw one hell of a Super Bowl party.
For more Super Bowl stories see MCBias's Moderately Cerebral Bias as he talks about rooting for the Patriots against the Rams and fellow blogger The Extrapolator shares football memories with several generations of Extrapolator kin folk. Also available is Dan from Foxborough's haunting memories of Desmond Howard and the Green Bay Packers and Signal to Noise discusses John Elway's rise to Super Bowl glory.
Take a moment and read some great bloggers and more importantly, enjoy your Super Bowl this year.