Sunday, February 04, 2007

"My First Super Bowl": A Guide

There are a lot of "first" sports moments for Gabe in this first year -- whether he understands them or not.

There was the BCS title game a few weeks ago (particularly relevant for his Florida fan-ness... not that we let him stay up for the 8:45 kickoff), and -- of course -- there's his first Super Bowl today.

With that 6 p.m. Super Bowl start time, he'll get at least 90 minutes of playtime in the living room while the adults hang out eating, drinking, TV-viewing and ad-commenting.

(Note: I'm not big on him watching the TV directly, but I love the idea of him being in the SB-watching party environment.)

A few etiquette tips Gabe (or any kid partaking) needs to be taught:

(1) Talk is fine during the actual game, but everyone is expected to pipe down for the ads. I look forward to explaining to Gabe the seeming contradiction of talking during the action and get quiet for the marketing. (The era of DVR and TiVo has made this less of an issue, because you can always do a fast-rewind if you miss something.)

(2) Eat all you want, but don't (a) kill the chip bowl and or drink cooler without refilling it or offering to get people a new drink or (b) forget to bring something to the party -- it can be something you want to eat, but make sure that it's not something ONLY you want to eat.

(3) Buy at least one "square" in the Super Bowl pool on behalf of each of your kids. It'll give them something to get excited about, especially if they are too young to follow the game. Buying one for you or your spouse is optional.

(4) Help your kid find a rooting interest. Even if neither team in the game is their usual favorite team. I mentioned Gabe's below (residual Florida allegiance, family legacy of Bears fandom). It could be a favorite player, the more favorite city, the more favorite uniforms (or, "What's Happening"-style, more favorite helmet designs). If the kid is really young, it could simply be the team name they can pronounce most easily. (For Gabe, this was a push, between the "Beh" sound of "Bears" and "Kuh" sound of "Colts." Both got similar reactions.)

This year, for the first time, I'm looking forward (or not) to the implications that Gabe has to go to bed sometime during the 2nd quarter. Fortunately, we're having the SB-watching party at our apartment, so I won't miss much of the game, but what happens when it's a "road game" and we have to leave a party mid-game? I suppose that's what portable car-seats are for -- just stick him in a spare bedroom and stick around until the game is over. Or is that irresponsible?

Let me know how you helped your kids participate in the game-watching. Do you have any particular rules or traditions? Enjoy the game!

-- D.S.


jhawkjjm said...

We didn't go anywhere for a super bowl party, so it was just a "quiet" night at the house. Part of that is me because I hate being around people smoking and/or drinking. Can't stand the smell and really don't want her around it.

Maybe when she gets older, she's two now, things will change and I'll host a party. Once she can eat more of the typical food I think it would be a better experience for her. I think until kids get a bit older and understand their surroundings more it will be easier to handle.

I'm in CST so the game was over by 9 so no big deal with bed time. I could let her stay up till the end and she'ld only be going to bed about an hour or so late. Let it be a special night they get to stay up later.

One biggie though. Make sure the adults and older kids know some ground rules as well. No teaching negative behaviors like swearing, throwing things, etc. Raise him/her to be a sports fan without having to be a "super crazy live-and-die-by-my-team" type of fan. Which explains why I went to the basement during the second half of the Pats-Colts game.

J Fitty said...

My first is due March 2...and I figured out last week that I may be home (paternity PTO) for the conference tournaments and the first round of the NCAA tournament, which means I will get to watch (maybe…depending on how baby is) the afternoon Thursday/Friday games the conference and NCAA tournaments present!

By the way, I like the thought of this blog...good basis. I do not think my wife appreciates it though, although she read an article/study a month or so ago how it is encouraged for babies to watch football with their dad's because infants are able to focus better on contrasting colors and are attracted to movement. Anecdotal evidence indicates that babies like football on TV (i.e., contrasting colors and movement).

I think the same thought argument should work for basketball too!

Mark said...

My wife and I have found that we were lucky in introducing our kids to the "car seat in the spare bedroom" trick - they are much more tolerant of disruptions to their routines than their friends that weren't exposed at an early age. The more sleepovers and late night car-to-bed transfers you do, the easier it is. We have some friends that always have to leave by 7:30 because they didn't train their kids to transfer.

Next thought - my wife is a Chiefs fan, and I am a Broncos fan. We live in Colorado. My 5 year old daughter has adopted the Chefs, and my 3 year old daughter roots for both. How hard should I work to bring the 5 year old into the fold?

Thanks, Dan, for doing both of your blogs.

stacker said...

Ours is 2 1/2. The last two Super Bowls have been quiet and at home. This year we had a party with about 25 people, and we let her stay up for the whole game. We had two other kids her age there, so all was good.

Oh and she has a Strahan jersey, so her allegiances lie with the Giants. Though when we asked her if the Bears or Colts would win, she answered "The Yankees".

Ah, fatherhood.

Michael said...

My first is due in Late July/Early August. I think this blog is a great idea Dan.
Fortunately my wife is letting me bring the kids up with my religioud background and since I still worship Saint Joe Montana maybe there will be a few new Niner fans.

Hopefully the Niners can have a renaissance so our little ones have a good team to root for.

Since the wife is a Viking fan I don't want to do that to my kids.