The Super Bowl is an interesting tradition because it is steep in history and I've witnessed every single one of them. I am not alone. There are plenty of boomers who can say the same thing. But I still find that to be a pretty cool thing.
As a child, I can remember watching the very first Super Bowl on TV in January of 1967 between Bart Starr's Green Bay Packers and Len Dawson's Kansas City Chiefs.
I had two lasting takeaways from that game.
The first was watching someone fly around the stadium with a jetpack strapped to his back - something we all thought the world would be doing in a few years. We'd have that, and our own little private spaccraft, a la "The Jetsons".
The second big takeaway was that EVERYONE was watching if they were in front of a TV. You didn't have a choice. Watch, or go outside and play, because it was played on a Sunday afternoon.
In 1967, cable was growing, but didn't saturate the nation as it does today. Everyone I knew received three network channels - CBS, NBC and ABC. In my area, the ABC station was the farthest away so we really basically had just CBS and NBC- and the very first Super Bowl was shared by both networks.
Certainly, the lack of options contributed to that very first Super Bowl being seen in 79% of all homes.
I can't say that I remember much at all about the game itself, other than the easy-to-research fact that Green Bay won 35-10. But everyone I knew in those days was a Bart Starr fan and had heard of players like (Ray) Nitschke and (Paul) Hornung, and head coach Vince Lombardi.
I had the impression that you pretty much had to be from Kansas City to know anyone beyond Len Dawson, but the hype leading up to the event revolved around two main messages - 1) thank the Chief's franchise owner, Lamar Hunt, for coming up with the idea, and 2) watch the mighty NFL Packers level the best team that the AFL had to offer.
We'll see how large of an audience is drawn to this week's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, but the annual event has amazingly managed to maintain around a 70 share of viewership, even as the number of alternatives continues to grow.
It doesn't hurt that Watch Parties are commonplace, the commercials are an added attraction (sometimes), and everyone has something riding on the moneyline.
Planning a party? Make sure someone brings the wings, the pigs-in-a-blanket, and the cocktail shrimp (my favorite menu), along with their own beverage of choice - there are way too many options for any host to be able to make everyone happy.
But also be sure to have the largest TV, and the most TV's, and let everyone in on a little action with a Squares Game, or a list of Prop Bets to score among the group.
And when the game is over, there is one more thing to do the next morning - call in sick to work. It's a tradition.