Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Super Bowl and Jaehak

Again with the football.  And no, I'm not going to talk about that game.  Being a Chiefs fan sucks.

Today I'm going to talk about the most noble of American traditions, the Super Bowl.  See, a lot of people gather together to watch the Super Bowl each year, often in the same location year after year.  I kind of miss this notion, but then again, it's not something I've ever really done.  As a chronic expat, rootless type, I've managed to see the Super Bowl most every year, but I never watch it in the same place twice.

The last time I watched two consecutive Super Bowls in the same room on the same TV was twenty years ago.  Today, I'm going to break that down.  If you are a football fan, a Jaehak fan, or an expat, this may ring true for you in some way as well.  If not, whatever, I already have your click.

I'm going to list this by Super Bowl year, not regular season year.

1994 - Dallas defeats Buffalo for the second consecutive time, and I watched the game in my parents' living room on the family Sony for the 9th consecutive time.

1995 - I was too cool at this point to watch the game with my parents.  Instead, I watched the 49ers murder the Chargers on my crappy 13 inch Toshiba in my parents's basement, my current home.  My friends came over to watch the game.  Mom brought nachos downstairs for us.

1996 - I saw the Steelers almost come back against the Cowboys at my buddy Doug's place with a couple other people.

1997 - My first non-Lawrence Super Bowl.  I watched the Packers beat the Patriots in my friend Becky's dorm room.  Becky had no interest in the game, but she had a better TV than me.

1998 - I watched the game with my roommates and friends at our shitty south Lawrence apartment.  I was horrified to see the Broncos win, and I still wasn't over the Chiefs heartbreaking loss to the Broncos at Arrowhead in a game where Denver took cheating to a new level.  Equally upset with the loss was my buddy Doug, who watched the game with us.  Doug would die in a car accident 9 months later, so this would be the last Super Bowl he ever saw.

1999 - The Broncos beat Atlanta in a game that should have been a Denver-Minnesota classic.  I watched it with my mom and brother at home on the family Sony for the final time.

2000 - Wow, those last two Super Bowls were depressing, and this one wasn't much better.  I watched it alone at my terrible converted garage apartment in the student ghetto in Lawrence.  All of my friends were out of town, and my mom moved to Baltimore on this very day.  St. Louis defeated Tennessee in a boring game with a great fourth quarter.

2001 - I had just moved to Florida, so I watched the game at my dad's house with him and his girlfriend.  The game was in Tampa, so we had gone out the night before to party with random Giants and Ravens fans.  My dad's girlfriend had cooked wings that were so spicy, I inadvertently drank seven Coronas in 30 minutes.

2002 - I was back in Lawrence, and I watched the Patriots upset the Rams at a bar in Lawrence with a bunch of friends.  This game is most noted for my buddy Daniel jumping up from the table and yelling "Where's your god now Kurt (Warner)!" when Adam Vinatieri hit the winning kick. Good times.

2003 - I was living in Chicago now, and I went to watch the game at my buddy Dennis's house in Elmhurst.  The Bucs killed the Raiders in the Gruden Bowl.

2004 - Going it alone again, I watched the highly entertaining Nipple Bowl in my shitty studio apartment on a terrible 13 inch Curtis Mathis TV.  I had plans to go to watch the game with friends in Wicker Park, but I was too lazy to take the El and too broke to take a cab.

2005 - I was living in a better apartment with my brother in Chicago at this point.  Both the Chiefs and the Bears were terrible all year, so Dr. Kickass and I had both adopted the Eagles early in the year.  We watched the game at a friend's apartment in Ravenswood, and were sad to see the Patriots beat our adopted team.  We promptly ditched Eagles fanhood.

2006 - I was on a European trip during this game.  I watched the AFC Championship at home and the NFC Championship at the bar in O'hare.  I didn't see this game live, though I did hear the result when I was in Munich.  My brother DVRd it for me, so I watched it in our Chicago apartment about a week after the fact.

2007 - My first Korean Super Bowl.  In Korea, the game happens Monday morning due to time zones.  I stayed in a shitty hotel in Itaewon the night before the game so that I could get up early and watch the game at the bar.  I ended up with a great seat at 3 Alley Pub, sitting in a chair with an unobstructed view of the projection screen.  I sat next to this old retired DoD guy.  Sadly, the Bears lost to Indy because Rex Grossman.  I stopped drinking at halftime because I had to go to work in the afternoon.

2008 - Without a real rooting interest, I was too lazy to bother going to Itaewon for the game.  Fortunately, It was on Korean TV.   I only saw the 4th quarter, but that was the only entertaining part of this game, as the Giants helmet-caught their way to victory.

2009 - I was back in America.  I watched the AFC Championship with my step brother and a bunch of people at a big house party, but as Baltimore lost there were no parties for the big game.  I watched the Steelers eek it out over Arizona with my mom and step dad at their house.

2010 - Back in Korea, a bar near my house had the NFL package and agreed to open early to show the Super Bowl.  My buddy Don and I were the only people to show up to see the Saints defeat the Colts.  I stopped drinking after the third quarter, then went to the gym to sweat out the booze before going to work.

2011 - I was unemployed (with a job starting in March) and crashing at Don's place in the Seoul suburbs.  I had the NFL package, so we watched the AFC and NFC championships live.  As the Bears lost to Green Bay, I no longer cared about watching the Super Bowl live so I immediately booked a flight to the Philippines.  This would be my second tip there, and the one in which I would meet Cores.  I was in Cebu the night before the game, and a local sports bar assured me they would be showing the game live at 6:30 a.m.  Turned out I didn't go since I stayed out at the bars until some sort of unreasonable hour.  I thought I would be able to watch it when I got back to Korea, but the NFL package that I paid $250 for would not allow me to watch the game a couple weeks after the fact.  I hated both teams anyway, so whatever.  This would end up being the first Super Bowl since 1985 that I did not see at all.  Given the trip, missing this game was well worth it.

2012 - Another Pats-Giants game, another Giants win.  I didn't buy the NFL package that year, I was still mad that they wouldn't let me watch the previous Super Bowl after the fact.  I found a nice pirate feed to watch the game live at my cool central Seoul apartment.

2013 - America again, Baltimore again.  As the Ravens were in this one, I went out to a bar with my mom, step-dad, and some friends.  I'd never watched the game in the city of the winning team before, so that part was cool.

2014 - TBD.  I work mornings now, so I can't watch the game and go to work.  However, unlike previous Korean jobs, I have sick days now, so there's a better than 90% chance that I'll call in sick to watch the game live, likely at Osan Air Base or Itaewon.  

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