The Game Behind the Game
by Kevin Monroe

For those of us that don’t play professional football and don’t have the pleasure of actually playing in a Super Bowl, our game day experience is much different.  Watching the pre-game festivities on ABC from 2:30 until game time, we got a chance to see what the players are thinking about the night before, or what they do the day of leading up to that most anticipated kick-off.  The pressure that Jerome Bettis faced playing in his hometown in his last football game, or maybe the excitement Shaun Alexander felt knowing the last 4 rushing title holders to play in a Super Bowl came out victorious.  The game behind the game can sometimes be more exciting than the actual game.


The pressure I had on Saturday night was making sure I used the perfect amount of seasonings and marinade for the chicken wings and shrimp that would go on the grill Sunday for the party.  The excitement of the grocery store as every man and women was shopping for their own parties, and who could get the last jar of salsa or bag of Tostitos.  Preparation for a Super Bowl party can be really time consuming.  People usually ask if they can bring something, but you feel you should handle it yourself since it’s your party.


The big day finally arrives and you have so much to take care of that the game becomes an after thought.  If you are cooking everything yourself, like my wife and I did, then you have to make sure you get started early enough, so that the food is ready when people arrive, or a riot could break out.  Even if you order out, you have to make sure it’s picked up or delivered in a timely fashion and not cold when people are ready to eat.


Come to think of it, I am not sure what I was thinking, I could have saved myself plenty  of time and a headache if I had of just gone to someone else’s house.  I was cooking through kick-off and then when it was finally time to watch the game, the peanut gallery (the women, who just came for the food and conversation) were holding conversations about everything but the game, and made it impossible to focus on the game.  I don’t want to discourage you from throwing a Super Bowl party next year, because we really did have a blast, but don’t be surprised about the amount of work it takes to pull off a good party.

Kevin Monroe