My kids aren’t big fans of the NFL. We never watch games together, and rarely talk about which teams are doing better. They know that I’m a Steelers fan, but that’s about it.

These past few weeks, however, it was impossible for them to miss hearing about the Patriots deflating their footballs. A little online research revealed that the Patriots have a history of cheating, and suddenly my kids were extremely interested in watching the Super Bowl.

They know kids who act just like the Patriots, and it drives them crazy.

So we had our first family Superbowl party. We stocked up on chips and shrimp and pizza pockets. I made butter beer, and my wife made chocolate chili.

It wasn’t long before the Seahawks handed off to Marshawn Lynch.

“Count the tacklers,” I said. “Watch the replay.”

The boys counted up to five.

“That guy’s strong!” my oldest son exclaimed.

“That’s what they call Beast Mode,” I answered. “The dude just doesn’t go down.”

For the rest of the game, every time Marshawn was handed the ball, the boys shouted out the count of tacklers he carried with him.

At the end of the game, the Seahawks were down by four points and had the ball on the Patriots 1 yard line. There was less than a minute left. They had four downs to go one yard.

“Beast Mode time” my oldest son said.

“Beast Mode left, Beast Mode right, Beast Mode middle,” his little brother agreed.

“They can’t keep him from going one yards.”

“Nobody can keep him from going one yards.”

The Seahawks lined up, hiked the ball, and threw an interception. Game over. Patriots win.

“What!?!” my son shouted at the television. “You threw it?”

“I can’t believe it,” his brother said. “They threw it. Why would they throw it?”

Both of them looked at me, but I had nothing. On television, Chris Collinsworth was saying “I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with that play. What were they thinking?”

The boys were livid.


“That coach needs to be fired.”

“How could they do that?”

“Time for bed,” I said.


“Sorry, but that’s football. Sometimes, they win. Sometimes, they throw away the most important game of the year with the dumbest play call in history. There’s nothing we can do.”


I understand.

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