We’re a football family, but I feel there should be an asterisk beside our names. At our house, there’s a love for the game and even for the hype. But there is also a whole lot of ambivalence.
If not for my husband, I probably would never watch. That said, I admit to being completely obnoxious when my team is on the field.
We love losing ourselves in the drama of 4th and inches and we’re suckers for a good Hail Mary pass. Because the kids aren’t old enough for many movies that capture parental interest, we rely on 300 pound men to entertain us and help pass cold winter Sunday.
And yet, we’ve programmed our six year-old daughter to avert her eyes whenever a “bad” commercial comes on.
I've laughed when my husband says to me “It’s not television, it’s football!” But how can I blame him for saying something so silly when I'll let the girls sit on the couch with him, exposed to the kind violence and sexism and commercial idiocy that I usually protect them from? (Such is the price of some time to myself!)
Feeling like a hypocrite is never fun, but last night’s Super Bowl freed me from that stress. I was able to see that we’ve struck a balance that works for who we are and what’s important to us.
You couldn’t miss that it was the “Pepsi Halftime Show.” When I asked my daughter if she new what Pepsi was she looked at me with wide-eyed certainty: “It’s a beer with lots of Pep and See in it.”
Clearly, football ads are not responsible for soda addiction in children.
And during Beyonce’s Formation on the 50 yard line, our toddler stared up at her and asked “Riverdance?” We rushed everyone up to bed before there was a full scale tantrum over the fact that the show did not include Irish step dancing.
The tides of mainstream commercialism are fast and insistent, but we seem to have created a little raft for our family that allows us to safely navigate those waters and have fun on our own terms.
What about you - can you make peace with the football menace and all the madness that surrounds it? (Yes, I know I am opening Pandora’s box considering all the ugly behavior of the players, but that’s not the sort of stuff that my kids see when they’re watching the ball make it down the field so it’s not part of this particular equation for me.)