Another Super Bowl is upon us. It’s hard to believe that this is SB LVII (#57)!
However, for those of you old enough to remember, this is actually Super Bowl #55. The first two games were called the AFL-NFL Championship Game, which commenced in 1967. The name ‘Super Bowl’ was initiated in 1969, and called Super Bowl III, thus retro-activating the first two games into the new name.
In addition, the AFL-NFL merger didn’t take place until 1970, with both leagues splitting the first four ‘Super Bowl’ games. The NFL’s Packers won the first two – and the Jets and Chiefs of the AFL won the next two. The first post-merger Super Bowl (V), in 1971, was won by the Baltimore Colts who defeated the Cowboys 16-13 in the Miami Orange Bowl.
And I hate to admit it, but I’ve watched all 56 games played. Yikes!
But do I remember them? Hell, no! I barely remember the Super Bowls played by my favorite team, the New England Patriots. Who, by the way, have appeared in the most Super Bowls (11), and are tied for most wins with the Steelers (6).
However, my fondest memory of a Super Bowl wasn’t the actual game. It was Super Bowl week prior to the game.
The year was 1988. The game was Super Bowl XXII (Washington vs Denver) in beautiful San Diego, where I lived for 10-years. The (then) Redskins won the game 42-10, which I watched on TV, and don’t remember one single play. But ask me about the party week preceding the game, and I can tell you what I did almost every day!
As a Christmas present for a best friend, who lived in my hometown in Massachusetts, I flew him out to San Diego for the Super Bowl parties leading up to the game.
And party we did.
For those of you who have never been to San Diego, you’ve missed out on one of (if not THE) most beautiful areas in the country. The beauty and fun in Downtown San Diego is second to none, with or without the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl parties just added to the fun.
From the Gaslamp District with numerous posh night clubs, sizzling music venues, plus sky-high rooftop bars – to the Embarcadero (landing place in Spanish) – to Seaport Village…the city comes to life at night. Then, throw in my favorite concert spot, Humphries Concerts by the Bay on Shelter Island…and welcome to fun-heaven!
Most of the Super Bowl events were held at Seaport Village, where my hometown friend and I attended a few nights. One of our highlights was meeting Boomer, Chris Berman, the iconic ESPN announcer. I remember spending about 15-20 minutes talking with him – and a year or two later meeting him again at a restaurant in Sanibel, Florida.
Our week of fun also took us down the peninsula of Baja California to a restaurant in Rosarito, Mexico, about 20-minuts south of Tijuana. A memorable cliff-side spot with a spectacular view.
And after all the partis, get this…my friend flew back to Boston on Super Bowl Sunday. He caught an early flight and was home in his comfy chair to watch the game! So, he got the best of both worlds…a fun week and the comfort of home for the game. That’s the perfect way to do it.
So, as Super Bowl LVII approaches, I’ll be watching again and rooting against the Chiefs. And while I’ll likely forget every play, I’ll NEVER forget the week before Super Bowl XXII and the fond memories with my friend in beautiful San Diego.
Growing old can be difficult, but the memories one develops over those years are to be cherished. One of my favorite quotes goes like this…
“Memories are a time you borrow – to spend when you get to tomorrow.”