Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Flashback: Super Bowls Past

It's almost Super Bowl Sunday, and I have been flashing back to past years and parties with my various youth groups.  Here are VII memories that came to mind from my XXVIII years in student ministry.  I am still waiting for Amber Herrick or Chrissy Weaver to refresh my memory of the great Super Bowl Sunday fight in Kissimmee.  Another story for another day!

1)  It's weird, but I have absolutely no memory of any kind of Super Bowl party during my years (1978-83) at New Garden Friends Meeting.  I remember Super Bowls from every other stop on my career- even one from 2001 at the Union Church of Hinsdale, IL, when a large crowd filled our little house to watch the game.  I was only in Hinsdale for one Super Bowl.  But I have nothing from New Garden...

2)  My first Super Bowl party after moving to High Point and Springfield Friends Meeting was cut short by a snow storm that led to an exciting couple of days (see A Super Surprise).  The Giants beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XXI on January 25, 1987.

3)  We had several parties at the home of Butch and Barbara Moran while we were at Springfield Friends Meeting.  I can't remember if they were really youth parties, or if most of the youth were just there because they were related to the Moran's!  In any case, these were fun because doing anything with Butch was fun, and they had a 55" screen...

4)  We used to get together with friends for the game and make huge crock pots full of chili.  Somewhere along the way, this changed to me making Mexican Pile-Up for the the multitudes.  For the uninitiated, pile-up is basically a taco salad you pile on a plate, using chips instead of a shell.  I have fed a lot of kids a lot of pile-up on Super Bowl Sunday over the years...but I always made them bring the desserts!

5)  The party got serious on January 26, 2003.  We had moved to Wesley Memorial UMC in Tampa in 2001, and now we found our hometown Buccaneers in the big game.  I knew I would be irritable and grumpy if I didn't get to pay full attention to the game, so we decided to not have a youth group party- sort of!  We invited only a few select youth and adults who we knew would watch the games and hosted it at our house, complete with Wing House wings!  My Bucs whipped the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, and as the game ended we went outside and listened as the entire city of Tampa honked their car horns in celebration.

6)  The following year (Feb. 1, 2004) was a perfect example of why I often got frustrated on Super Sunday.  We had the party in the Fellowship Hall at Wesley and drew a big crowd- about half of whom cared anything about the game.  I spent most of the evening chasing kids back into the room and cooking.  We went through 30 pounds of ground beef in the Mexican Pile-Up that night.  I was in the kitchen at halftime, trying to clean up a bit, when Jacquie Thomson came running in a told me that Justin Timberlake had just exposed Janet Jackson's breast, in what came to be known as the Wardrobe Malfunction.  And I had missed it, along with most of the first half.  At least the game got really interesting after that, even though the hated Patriots won.

7)  My final youth Super Bowl party was a great one.  We held it in the Fellowship Hall at Trinity UMC in Waycross, GA on Feb. 4, 2007.  I ran the cable through a VCR and into a video projector and we watched the game projected on a wall that had to be 90" wide!  I ran the sound through our system, and we were better than any sports bar around.  As a matter of fact, we were illegal.  The NFL actually stopped some churches in Indianapolis from doing just what we did, limiting the size of the projection to 60".  We charged ahead, eating pile-up, Dick's Wings and all kinds of goodies while the Colts beat the Bears and made Tony Dungy the first African-American ever to coach a Super Bowl winner.  Good times!

So this Sunday I'm off to Winners Sports Bar here in Tampa to watch the game with Marilyn, Will, Lisa Jewett and a crowd of strangers.  I get to watch the game AND I don't have to cook.  But still...I miss all the excitement of those youth parties, and I always will.

Because of Jesus,


  1. Did you ever hear the story a few years back about the Church that was sued by the NFL for using the words "Super Bowl" in a flyer they mailed out to the community advertising a Super Bowl party at their church? What else were they supposed to call it?

  2. And then I read your post more clearly, good Lord I need more coffee!

  3. It's ok, Jen. You have a Josephine. That earns you a pass! :)


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