Happy Super Bowl to You!

By Ernie Witham   |   February 8, 2018

I love my wife more than I love football. I just want to make that perfectly clear.

I also love the family more than I love football. Another point you need to understand.

Finally, I love family events, such as birthday parties, specifically my wife Pat‘s birthday party, more than I love football. That almost goes without saying.

Unfortunately, it turns out my normally-very-considerate wife decided to get born during the Super Bowl! Well, not actually during the Super Bowl. I mean, who would leave in the middle of the game to go to a hospital and give birth? Especially if the score was close! And at a time when you couldn’t follow the action on your cellphone on the way to the hospital or quickly pick up the action on a giant flat screen in the maternity ward waiting room. Because none of that technology existed yet. My 16-year-old grandson Charlie refers to that (and any time before the year 2000) as the “olden days.”

Well, as it turns out, this year, my wife’s birthday is actually the day after the biggest sporting event of the entire year. “Yay! Monday! We could do brunch then! Perfect.” 

Did I mention I grew up in New England? Home of the Patriots! I even have Tom Brady underwear. It would be un-American to not watch the game.

“People have to work and the grandkids are in school on Monday.”

“And they don’t love you enough to take the day off? Tsk tsk.” (Please note, this was a thought, not a verbalization. I’ve learned a few things over the years.)

“I know! How about a night-before birthday thingee, you know, like the night before Christmas, when people open gifts and celebrate the Yule? I think we still have half a carton of eggnog in the back of the fridge from Thanksgiving.”

“The Los Angeles family members can’t make it up until Sunday.”

“We could Skype it!”

This comment was followed by silence. Was she thinking about it? I ran out to my office to get the laptop and the how-to-Skype manual. When I returned, she was on the phone.

“It’s all arranged.”


“Sunday afternoon brunch at Shoreline Park.”

“Bummer. I mean – oh, wow, fun, but it could be cold.”

“Going to be mid-70s.”


“Nary a breeze.”


“It’s February. No fog.”

So, I took off my Rob Gronkowski sweat socks and put my can of glare-reducing eye black away. Hm. Maybe brunch wouldn’t take the entire afternoon!

Fast-forward to Sunday: “Well, eat up everyone, before it gets dark.”

“We just got here, Ernie!”

“Frisbee, anyone?” “Yeah!” “WooHoo!”

“Great, then let’s walk down to the beach and back.” “Fun.” “Count me in.”

“Seriously? Tick tock, folks!”

I developed a plan. If I ate and drank everything while the family was “birthdaying,” then they would all be really hungry and want to leave. I pulled out the first six-pack…

I’m not as young as I used to be. A dozen sandwiches, couple bags of chips, an entire watermelon, two fruit tarts, and enough beer and wine for, well, a party – no problem when I was in college. Today, I was struggling and hadn’t even finished half of it when everyone returned.

“Where’s all the stuff?” they asked.

I suppressed a belch, then pointed at a couple of seagulls a few picnic tables over. They eyed me suspiciously, but soon everyone was eating and laughing and engaging in spirited conversation.

“Wow (yawn) this sure has been fun.”

“Gee, we haven’t even done cards and gifts yet.”

It’s amazing how long it can take to open an envelope. And another. And another.

Finally, it was time to pack up. “Who wants the leftover fruit tart? “We still have some sparkling water.” “What should we do with the last sandwich?”

“Let’s just leave everything!” I ran for the car. Of course, Pat had the keys. Was she walking in slow motion?

I jumped out of the car while it was still moving. Ran into the dark house and fumbled around for the remote. 

A voice: “Wow! That had to be the best Super Bowl I have ever seen!”

“I agree.”

“Me too.”

“Now, stay tuned for your regular programming. Good night.”


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