Today is Super Bowl Sunday. I’m not particularly attached to either team playing, and frankly I haven’t been paying attention to much of football this season because I was otherwise occupied with pregnancy, birth and baby. But this Sunday reminds me of a special bond I had with my own father over football.
My dad, a former college defensive player himself, introduced me to the sport. I learned the rules by watching games him every weekend. As his intake of glass of wine increased, so too would his volume as he yelled at the television. As I got older, I learned about players he liked, and I would root for names that he rooted for. And no matter who made it to the Super Bowl, we always watched the big game together, and he always cheered for the underdog–loudly.
I had a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader outfit with matching blue and white pom poms that I would put on and run around the house in during Dallas games when I was about 4 years old. When we moved to Chicago the next year, we became Bears fans. Dad and I cheered on Walter Payton, William “Refrigerator” Perry and Mike Ditka when they won Super Bowl 20, and learned all of the words to Super Bowl Shuffle. We even bought a car at the local Chevrolet dealership so we could get copies of those Junk Yard Dog posters they were giving out with each purchase at the time.
Today, I’ll be watching the game with E and my daughter. I wish my dad were here to teach her the rules of the game and yell to loudly at the television screen with her. She would have loved fitting into her own Cowboy cheerleader outfit to watch games with Grandpa. But I can hopefully teach her the rules of the game. Or at least, which player she should pay most attention to–not for their looks, but for their playing stats.
For the big game, we’re making jerk chicken–a recipe we found while in the DR last month– and making bottles of formula (oh, that mommy life). Looking for some Super Bowl sandwich ideas? Here’s my favorites:
—Mississippi Roast Sliders: This delicious sweet beef is perfect for sliders or subs. Throw all ingredients into a slow cooker this morning, and have sandwiches ready by kickoff.
—Buffalo Chicken Sandwich–Sandwich #182 was one I made during football season, and its spice will keep guests on their toes. Make sure to hand out plenty of napkins when you serve this one–hot sauce juice can run freely!
—Turkey Lettuce Wraps–Sandwich #85 is a great healthier option for your Super Bowl bash, plus they allow your guests to assemble on their own. Set out all ingredients on a nice platter, and you can spend more time refilling drinks.
—Lamb Meatball Sandwich–Meatballs are always great for big groups. Sandwich #138, adapted from Chowhound.com, is a tangy, Middle Eastern inspired take on traditional meatballs.