Blogs » I was told there'd be coffee » My First Super Bowl


A couple friends invited me over to their house Sunday for general merriment and of course, the Super Bowl.

The thing is, I've never actually watched a Super Bowl. Apparently this makes me an anomaly (they used the word "weird" but I'm going to stick with anomaly.)

I grew up in a house where TV was not allowed (TGIF on Friday evenings only. Remember TGIF? Ah, the good ol' days.) We spent our time reading, spending time with friends or doing homework. Despite the ban on TV, I'm sure had my family been sporty in any way, we probably would have engaged in big sporting days like Super Bowl Sunday, but we weren't.

My dad passed on his love of books, geekiness and traveling, but not anything in relation to football. Until a few years ago when he subscribed to cable and started watching games, I never even knew it interested him.

As if to complete my total lack of football experiences, my city (Los Angeles), did not have a football team. My junior high/high school did not have a football team. My undergrad college did not have a football team. My graduate school in Boston... did not have a football team.

I had never attended a game until I started at my first daily paper as an intern. My editor told me I'd be covering football that evening and asked if I had ever covered a game. I, of course, immediately confessed my total lack of knowledge in the sport. I had not only never covered a game, I had never seen one. Not in person, not on TV, not for fun with friends.

She looked at me in complete bafflement, paused for a moment and said "Alright, well. Just.. follow the ball."

And so, I was introduced to football. That first game was stressful. Running up and down the dark sidelines with my camera. Trying to figure out where the heck that ball was. And being completely confused by the fact that each time the action started... it seemed to immediately end. I'm pretty sure I was overwhelmed by panic for the entire first quarter while trying to shoot that game in a dark high school stadium on a 200mm lens and having no clue where the ball was going or what was happening. Thankfully, I finished the game with some decent photos and did not get run over by the players once, so I considered it a win.

Over the years my education with football has continued through my work at newspapers. Today I love covering games, especially in Texas. It makes my job a lot of fun during football season. And thankfully by now, I understand a lot more about the game. I know what I'm doing when I shoot it and I am no longer in the dark on the mechanics of offensive/defensive plays (I really thought that was weird in the beginning, no other sport just starts and stops constantly like that.)

Despite all this, I have never actually sat down and experienced a Super Bowl Sunday. This weekend will be another first for me. With just a couple days to go, all I know is that there will be food, and yelling, and probably people being really upset at some point so I'm looking forward to it.

Who wouldn't?