Monday, February 2, 2009

When I Played In The Super Bowl

Seeing as this years Super Bowl didn't exactly end how I wanted it to, I've decided to reminisce my way back to the most memorable Super Bowl I've had in my life: Super Bowl XXXVII.

I had been awake all night as it had been a rough Saturday for the entire fraternity. I elegantly stumbled my way into Denny's somewhere in Southern California and began to browse the menu. Two brothers had followed me in and went straight for the bathroom, and while I couldn't recall what we had eaten the night before, upon their return to the booth I could smell the remnants of what can only be described as bacon and vinegar. The menu was unique, almost avant garde; I dare say it was the Jackson Pollock of entre literature; until I turned it right side up. After ordering an array of transfats, MSG, and regret, I proceeded to lay back in the booth, stare at the ceiling, and imagine how one person's brain could withstand the amount of pressure produced by alcohol. My eyes burned, my stomach wrenched, and the smell of the two men sitting across from me was so offensive I debated suffocating myself with the 47 year old dessert menu sitting on the table by my face. Ignoring my senses and going into a primal state of recuperation, I began to close my eyes. At that very moment Darrick busted into the Denny's, stormed up to the booth, slammed his hands onto the table, looked the three of us in the eye and said, "Get up bitches, it's time to go."

The van seated 7 comfortably, and 13 awkwardly, but as we bombed down the California coast I couldn't help but feel uplifted by the camaraderie of the crew; the unification of our squad, bonded by a collective blood alcohol level that would rival a Nick Nolte sneeze. We were the Dirty Baker's Dozen. We stopped about an hour outside of Santa Barbara for a bite and beer only to see that the Super Bowl XXXVII pre-game show was on, which meant we only had a few hours left. After a handful of Bloody Marys, Boilermakers, and Fancy Kathys, we were back on the road, packed shoulder to shoulder blasting the only tape Russel thought to bring. The haze of the night and the snicker of morning combined into a blissful daydream that made ever the worst mix tape bearable.

I awoke an hour later, sprawled across the bench seat, soaked to the bone. I couldn't tell if someone had doused me with water or if my wardrobe has somehow procured tear ducts and was reacting to my body odor. I had no idea where I was, the van had stopped, and the only comfort I found was seeing Fish Sticks sleeping on the bench seat in front of me. He looked about like I did: bloodshot eyes, shoes off, and he had apparently slept through the same hurricane I had as his one remaining sock was still dripping a mysterious fluid. I stepped out the open door of the van onto a dirt field that seemed suspiciously dry for February. It looked as if Mother Nature had tried watering the soil in an effort to spring life but had simply been shot down like a peg legged fat girl at cheer leading tryouts. As my eye lids peeled apart, I could see the outlines of 11 men running through the dust, a familiar pattern being formed in the sunlight, and it was only then I realized what this was. This was the Super Bowl. Our Super Bowl. My attention was rederected as Fish Sticks tripped on the freshly emptied bucket of water lying next to the front right tire of the rented green van. He gazed at the 12 of us and with a smirk on his face and shouted, "I've gotta shit, then it's on fuckers!!". I turned back to the group of men standing before me in the afternoon sun, pulled my shirt off, cracked a beer, and proceeded to be pummeled to death for the next 3 hours by a bunch of men I had met the night before.

The drive home was an epic masterpiece of karaoke, debauchery, and wound cleansing. And though I didn't end up joining that fraternity, I always looked back on that day as a day of brotherhood, acceptance, and bonding; the way a really Super Bowl Sunday should be.

I later found out the Patriots had also won that day.