Super Bowl Sunday

At the risk of being repetitive this week, I’m going to talk about the Superbowl. Hopefully, my spin on this “good old American tradition” is at least a little different….

When I was a kid, Superbowl Sunday was a pretty big deal. Back in those days, the Packers, my mom’s favorite team as she’s from about 2 hours away from Green Bay, were in the midst of the “Favre Era” so the post-season games were important to our family. I remember my dad would grill Johnsonville bratwurst outside, in the middle of winter, as the Packers played for the Superbowl title. Yes, the bratwurst had to be Johnsonville, as they originate in Wisconsin and therefore they rule supreme. We also usually had an assortment of Wisconsin cheeses and some miscellaneous German food. There was nothing like German food to accent the Johnsonville bratwursts. My immediate family would always gather in the basement, where the big screen t.v. was. When we lived in Minneapolis, my dad would get a fire going, so we could watch the game from right up against the fireplace….

Flash forward to college and I tried to keep the bratwurst tradition going, but it fizzled out as I started going to other people’s homes and brats just aren’t as good when they are not grilled on an outdoor grill (even George Foreman doesn’t cut it) in the winter. So, the tradition first turned into skyline dip, guacamole, and pizza. But, last year, my boyfriend and I decided to split up the cooking responsibilities, so he made some AMAZING manicotti. I still made Skyline dip and guacamole and some kind of dessert. This year is manicotti again, although because the Packers are playing I have been tempted to get Johnsonville brats or at least some “real Wisconsin cheese.” I’ll also be making Skyline dip (for those who don’t know, it’s cream cheese, Skyline, and cheddar cheese baked for about 20 minutes).

I’ve come to realize Superbowl Sunday is very much like a national holiday, even though it isn’t official. It’s a time to have good, strange American (think melting pot of cultures here) food and time with friends to watch sports. Some of the best conversations I’ve had (because let’s face it, in football there is plenty of time for talking) have come out of watching sports with friends and family. I feel very American bonding over sports with friends while eating large amounts of food.

On a side note, I still believe the Monday after the Superbowl should be a holiday. I mean really, Senegal declared a holiday when they beat France in World Cup 2002, I think we can make Superbowl Monday a national holiday.

At the risk of drawing criticism from others who read this, I’m going to show my allegiance to the one NFL team I’ve truly grown up cheering for…


Enjoy the Superbowl, everyone! May the best team win…..

What are your favorite teams and what made you become X fan? Or, if you don’t have a favorite team, who will you being cheering for tonight?

Reading…My New Hobby

I think I just had an epiphany.  A  moment of solitudinal (and I think I totally made that word up) reflection of some sort.

As I sit in my apartment watching Monday Night Football, I am reminded of my undergraduate days at South Dakota State University.  My friends, those were the days.  I was 19…a newbie to undergraduate life who didn’t have a care in the world.  I can’t say it was my first time away from home because it really wasn’t.  Prior to enrolling at SDSU, I enlisted in the Army National Guard and headed off to basic training and AIT at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.  For 14 weeks, I endured a vigorous training regime that included, to the best to my memory, a lot of push-ups, front/back/go’s, road marches, etc.  After completing the training at Ft. Leonard Wood, I felt like I had figured a lot of things out for my life (directionally) and was ready to move in that next stage of life called college.

Now, I have never been a big study book reading guy.  For whatever reason, the reading aspect of learning was never hard for me.  During my undergraduate years, I never cracked a book …ever.  Ashamedly, at the time,  I was more concerned with two things:  (1) who was I going to find to  buy me a case of Bud Light (since I was 19) and (2) how I was going to sneak it into my “dry” dorm room.  Because, let’s be honest, watching Monday Night Football… in your dorm room…with NO beer…and  five other dudes is, IMHO, is lame-o-a-rama-thon.

During my undergraduate years, I didn’t take a whole of things seriously – including my education.  I wouldn’t say I studied a whole lot during those times and I relied heavily on my analytical strengths and being able to absorb information quickly and effectively.  But after being out of school for almost 8 years and reinserting myself back into the full-time MLHR graduate program, I am discovering that what I did before is not going to work for me now.  I have grown up a lot since then and have taken a more serious approach towards academics.  In order to survive a full-tilt graduate program, I knew I was going to have to be committed, focused and, most importantly, dedicated to finishing.  I feel the years I worked professional cultivated in me the necessary skills and attributes that will carry me through to graduation in 2012.

So tonight, almost 8 years later, I am sitting in front of my TV again…watching Monday Night Football…muted.  And I’m reading.  No beer.  No dudes.  Just me, a muted TV, a few books and a bottle of S. Pellegrino sparkling water with a lemon.  I find two things very applicable here:  (1)  I’m not getting behind on my reading assignments and (2) I definitely won’t be fighting some ridiculously STUPID hangover in the morning.

My epiphany:  In 2000, I was cracking beers…In 2012, I decided I’m cracking books instead.

Trust me, folks, that’s deep.  Like, Dr. Phil deep.