I have never been a rabid fan of professional football. As a result, I have rarely put my life on hold for several hours just to watch the Super Bowl. Of the 54 Super Bowl Games played to date, I have probably completely missed 20 of them, and don’t regret that in the least.
However, despite being a rather lukewarm NFL football fan, there are three championship games that remain unforgettable moments in my life for reasons not directly tied to the game on the field.
The first predates the Super Bowl. It was in 1960, when the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers to win their first NFL title. Since the Cleveland Browns were not playing, I had zero interest on which team won and probably would not have watched it at all, except for one reason.
Dad and I went to his best friend Barney's house to watch the game, and I was excited about going because Barney was the only person I knew who had a color TV. At that time, only one network — NBC, I think — offered programs in color and then only rarely.
That game marks the first time I ever watched TV in color. By the time I graduated from high school six years later, all the networks offered programs in color, but my family on the farm in Ohio still lived in a black-and-white world. I was in college at Morehead when Mom and Dad finally purchased their first color TV.
My second unforgettable Super Bowl minute came decades later when my wife and I attended a Super Bowl party hosted by our dear friends Dick and Trish Wheeler. I don't remember which teams were playing that year. In fact, the only thing I remember about that game is that it marked the first time I watched a sporting event or anything else on a large flat-screen TV mounted on the wall.
Before that night, I was completely satisfied with the much smaller pictures seen on my home TV, which was just slightly better than the picture on my last console TV. Before the third quarter was over that night at the Wheelers I knew I had to have a flat-screen TV before the first Reds games in April. My wife bought us one for Valentine's Day. I now have a flat-screen TV that is somewhat smaller than what many of my friends have, but it is big enough for me.
My third Super Bowl memory that is sure to last a lifetime came Sunday night, and I still don’t know how or why it happened. The play-by-play announcing for the entire game was in Spanish. It was on the same Fox 11 station that I watch regularly. The commercials were in English, but the rest was in Spanish.
Believe it or not, this did not bother me much. You can watch sports on TV without the announcers telling you what is happening. In fact, I often watch Cincinnati Reds games on TV with the sound turned off. I thought it was one of the best Super Bowls ever. I don't know what the announcers thought about the game because they were speaking in Spanish and I could only understand a tiny fraction of it.
Nevertheless, I could not resist yelling a few “Olés!” when Kansas City made a big play. That’s because I was a Chiefs fan, even for only one night.
Reach JOHN CANNON at firstname.lastname@example.org.