You probably heard that Indy hosted a little football game last weekend. Since I’m all about events in the Flashy, Shiny & Involving Celebrities category, I made sure we took part in the festivities. Not even the fact that the ENTIRE family was germ-filled all of last week (ear infections! bronchitis! even the DOG is on antibiotics!) kept us away from the fun.
You’re right, I DO think football is stupid and usually can’t tell you who’s even playing in the Super Bowl. But what I discovered this month is that the game is actually the least important aspect of the Super Bowl. No, really. It’s actually all about the parties and spectacles. In a word, it was AWESOME.
The weekend before the game, we took the kids downtown to check out the Super Bowl Village and to visit the NFL Experience. The roman numerals and Indy cars parked next to Monument Circle were a big hit. Henry and Eleanor were enthralled with the zipliners overhead near the convention center. The crowds milling around were a prelude to the crowds at the Experience. Fun to people watch, a little less fun to stand in line 20 minutes to kick a field goal (that was in the kids’ section, lines looked at least twice as long for the main attractions). Crowds aside, we had enough fun to come home and book a babysitter for the following weekend so Andy and I could take in the sights kid-free.
Last Friday, Andy and I headed back downtown for more people-watching with a side of walking-around-outdoors-drinking-beer. Fun light displays on buildings, fun fireworks, fun concert (LMFAO) that we didn’t see because of the crowds near the stage, fun times wondering who was riding in the bajillion tinted-window black SUVs circling downtown, fun atmosphere. Andy gave a very apt description: “It’s like Mardi Gras without the tits.”
At that point Andy and I might have become a tad Super Bowl obsessed, so we took the kids back downtown Sunday morning for an impromptu one last visit. Henry and Eleanor (especially Henry) had a blast tackling each other on the football field in front of the convention center. We wandered around to the ESPN studio so that Andy could get a chance to watch them film. It was there we had our token Super Bowl Celebrity Sighting. We first saw Chris Whathisname, who I always call Al Michaels in my head, and former NFL star and current hottie Steve Young. We knew Adam Sandler was due to be on their show, and out of nowhere he suddenly appeared. I even got to shake his hand, while Eleanor shouted “WHAT’S A MOVIE STAR?” as Andy tried to explain who he was. We had lunch at Steak n Shake surrounded by wealthy-looking New Yorkers, went back to the field for more tackling, discovered the crowds were starting to pick up, and headed home after one last look at the XLVI.
We’ve lived here for almost ten years now, but most days this Illinois girl doesn’t feel like a Hoosier. So it was weird to feel so proud of Indy last week, but that’s what I was—PROUD. I loved seeing our city favorably discussed in the national (even worldwide) media, watching 200,000 people party under fireworks and Homeland Security helicopters, and how Big City our dressed-up downtown looked. I’ve grown to love it here, and I’m glad the world came to visit and agreed with me.