It’s almost time for The Big Game, and if ever there was an event that could pull families together in the middle of the winter, this is it. Whether you’re making a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see your team play for the trophy or just gathering everyone around the flat screen to watch the drama, it’s a day for making memories.
Literally as far back as I can remember, the Big Game has been a big deal for me. It’s always the day when family and friends make the effort to get together and watch a little piece of history play out. Of course, it’s even better when your team is going for the championship, but regardless of who’s playing, you can always count on an element of drama and excitement. The whole season comes down to one 60-minute game. There’s nothing like it.
I was fortunate enough to see my favorite team hoist the trophy on a number of different occasions when I was growing up, so I was hooked at a very young age and never looked back. Even as I got older and lived in different places around the country, the Big Game was always an important day on the calendar and one that I’d make sure to spend with close friends and family.
With that in mind, here are a few pointers on making your family experience with The Big Game one to remember this year.
Get in the game. There’s plenty of time in the day before kickoff—why not use the Big Game as an excuse to run some plays yourself? If you’ve got family and friends coming over, see if they can arrive early for a little flag football in the backyard. Or just make sure you’ve got a Nerf football handy to toss around at halftime. You can feel like you earned that extra Buffalo wing!
Liven up the discussion. Who was the best ever on the big stage? You have your opinion on the greatest championship performance, but not everyone in your family may agree. Make your case for a hero from the past! Even if you don’t reach a consensus, it’s a fun trip down Memory Lane.
Take photos—and share them. It may go without saying that you should take a lot of photos when the family is together, and we’re fortunate to be living in an age when pretty much everyone has a camera with them at all times. But what happens to those photos after game day? Find a way to share them with the family, whether it’s through an online sharing service that everyone can easily access or by creating a physical album to capture the day’s highlights. Especially if you’re all watching your favorite team play, you’ll want to take the opportunity to document your small slice of history.
Plan a pilgrimage. Many of us have probably thought about it: One of these days, we are going to make it happen and actually go to the Big Game when the home team is playing in it. It can be a tall order logistically, but the lasting memories you’ll create will be invaluable. No matter the outcome of the game, the experience will be something you carry with you for a lifetime. Or if that’s not really an option, you can at least get the conversation started on making a trip to a regular-season game in the fall. Tailgate time!
Put some money on it. It’s easy to set up a small pool to add to the competitive spirit of the day and give you a personal stake in the game. Make up a grid of squares so people will have a vested interest in the score at the end of each quarter. Even if it’s only a few bucks, it’s extra exciting when you win.
Mark your calendar. Remember, this game happens every year—take advantage of it to create a time when everyone can get together. With a little luck, your favorite team might even be playing next year. Who’s hosting?
All of this is to say the Big Game is more than a game when we watch it together. This is a singular moment, a unique memory that will stay with you and include the family members you’ve shared it with. It’s a one-day experience that can never be recreated, but it will always be remembered.
That’s the power of sporting events—they release the emotions that etch these memories into our minds. While the players on the field are making history in their sport, we are making the memories of our family we keep with us forever.