I’m not anti-social. Maybe a bit on the quiet side at times in a crowd, but not anti-social. We were invited to a Super Bowl party today with lots of people and small children running around, but that’s not how I prefer to watch a Super Bowl.
For me, the Super Bowl isn’t a time for a pro football fanatic to get together with more casual fans chattering away about so many other things other than the game itself, or having to press my ear closer to a TV screen to hear an explanation of a crucial call during the game because the youngsters are running around playing games.
Don’t get me wrong — I love socializing, I love children. But this is the Super Bowl. My biggest enjoyment comes in immersing myself in the game, either with my own little family or with someone who’s as focused on the game as I am, if not more so.
Phyllis and Andy Kotowski with their son Bill in football gear from 1999 in Pocatello, Idaho. (Photo courtesy Bill Kotowski via Facebook)
This Super Bowl in particular, my memories take me back to 25 years ago, to the day when San Francisco faced Cincinnati in Super Bowl XXIII, sitting in the living room of my friends Andy and Phyllis Kotowski in Blackfoot, Idaho, along with their four small children. Andy played semi-pro ball in California himself. We coached football together from Little League through junior high school ages. He was into every play, and his wife knew a lot about the game herself so she contributed to the football-rich atmosphere that made watching the game so enjoyable. Even the children were into it.
I remember that game 25 years ago very well to this day. I remember the collective groan when Cincinnati nose tackle Tim Krumrie broke his leg, and the sight of that lower leg flopping around being shown on the giant screens at Miami’s Joe Robbie Stadium. I remember the classic come-from-behind finish with Joe Montana throwing a last-minute touchdown pass to John Taylor in the back of the end zone. Classic finish.
My friend Andy and his wife Phyllis were the ones who helped introduce me to my lovely wife Amy. Andy was best man at my wedding. He died all too young. The last time I saw Phyllis and the children was early last decade after I’d found out that Andy had passed away. We stayed in touch through email for a while after that, but then lost touch again for too many years. I finally caught up with their children on Facebook a couple of weeks ago after the NFC Championship game, sadly to find out that Phyllis, that sweet football fanatic herself, died last August, all too soon.
I’m watching this Super Bowl with Andy and Phyllis and their children in mind. I can still hear Andy growling and shouting over big plays, Phyllis cheering. I’m reliving those memories with my own family around me, reminded of Andy and Phyllis when I look at my wife’s lovely face as she watches for every Budweiser ad that involves the Clydesdales. If it weren’t for Andy and Phyllis, my happiness wouldn’t be complete.
Tune in for my updates on the game and the commercial starting around kickoff time, and you can hit refresh on your browser to see the latest thoughts on the game action and the ads to see the latest thoughts. All times MST.
4:20 p.m. – Renee Fleming singing the National Anthem. Yeah, that’s the way it ought to be sung!
4:28 p.m. – The coin flip and Joe Namath gets a little ahead of himself. Denver’s ball first. The tone will be set early.
My Italian burritos.
4:32 p.m. – Kickoff … time to taste my entree, Italian burritos.
4:34 p.m. – Seattle safety on a bonehead play to start it all off. Are you kidding me?
4:46 p.m. – It’s 5-0 Seattle on a field goal after a challenge I thought would go the Seahawks’ way. Denver’s lucky it didn’t end up 10-0. Peyton needs to get going now.
5:02 p.m. – Denver “D” containing Marshawn Lynch so far, which it needs to do. Still getting hurt in other ways.
5:05 p.m. – On to the ads — Arnold Schwarzenegger and ping pong. Don Cheadle and a yak. Okay, now it’s coming together. The teasers have apparently been coming for a while now.
5:07 p.m. – Another Seattle field goal, and it’s 8-0. The Broncos need to rally on offense, starting now.
5:12 p.m. – Manning throws an INT. Okay, who kidnapped Denver’s offense?
5:22 p.m. – Marshawn Lynch runs it in from a yard out, 15-0 Seahawks with 12 minutes to go in the second quarter. Too many dumb mistakes from Denver. The Broncos under Manning are looking rattled and they’re having a tough time shaking it. If this doesn’t change and soon, defense will win another Super Bowl — for Seattle.
5:38 p.m. – Another INT on a bad throw from Manning under heavy pressure, and Seattle’s Malcolm Smith runs it back for a touchdown. It’s 22-0. If Don Meredith were alive and broadcasting the game right now, he might start thinking about singing.
5:54 p.m. — Denver has to give it up just before halftime. It says a lot that Denver’s bread and butter on offense — intermediate to long range passing — has been taken away, thanks in part to intense pressure off the edge. If the Broncos can’t turn that around, it’ll be a long second half.
6:26 p.m. – About time to start the second half. I just saw the meme of the game so far.
6:32 p.m. – Percy Harvin, 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and it’s 29-0 Seattle 12 seconds into the second half. Percy, why didn’t you do stuff like that late in my fantasy football season instead of nursing injuries? And I can hear Don Meredith singing …
6:39 p.m. – And I finally see an ad I can truly appreciate: Audi’s “Doberhuahua.” Yeah!
6:53 p.m. – Morpheus has a great voice in that Kia commercial!
6:56 p.m. – It can’t get any worse for Denver, darn near literally handing the game over to the Seahawks. So bloggers just resort to filling up a live blog with commercials. They’re more entertaining right now if you picked the Broncos. Total domination by Seattle.
7:03 p.m. – Jermaine Kearse touchdown pass from Russell Wilson. Yes, it can get worse for Denver fans. What a blowout, 36-0. Puts the “ugh” in “ugly.”
7:11 p.m. – Wow! Denver scores a TD with no time left in the third quarter, and a two-point conversion. A 36-8 game. Bronco fans, don’t get your hopes up for an epic comeback. Not against that Seattle defense.
7:20 p.m. – Is it just me, or do the Super Bowl ads get more lame overall every year? Oh, and the Seahawks are about to … yep, score again. Doug Baldwin helps make it 43-8, 11:45 left in the game.
7:28 p.m. – My lovely wife, the horse fan, wants to see “Thunder,” the Broncos’ Arabian mascot, do some running. The problem is, “Thunder” only runs after Denver touchdowns. My lovely wife might just have to settle for this …
7:42 p.m. – I remember Super Bowl XX, when the Chicago Bears trashed the New England Patriots 46-10. I recall having slept through much of the second half. This is one of those games.
7:51 p.m. — Amy’s excited to see the Budweiser ad.
7:55 p.m. – Game over. In the battle of the legalized recreational pot states, Seattle takes it to a higher level. Certainly a well-deserved championship. DOMINATION!