Written by Caroline Ro
Every February, football fans nationwide turn their attentions to the Super Bowl, the annual championship game of the National Football League. The Super Bowl is viewed by more than 110 million Americans every year, making it one of America’s most watched televised events, with advertisement revenues exceeding several million dollars for a 30-second commercial. Its popularity has proved to be more than a money-making opportunity for television networks, however. Today, the Super Bowl has grown to become an integral symbol of American culture, as well as a means for striking up conversation, promoting social gatherings and forming new relationships.
For sophomore Meghna Singh, the Super Bowl is a family tradition, complete with its own superstitions and sentimentalities. From the clothes she wears to her spot on the couch, Singh will join her family once again this year to make sure that everything is in place for the victory of their favorite team, the New England Patriots. Above all, Singh finds that football is a way for her to create and maintain connections with fellow football fans. “If I notice [people] have Patriots gear on, I know it’s a topic of conversation I can have with them,” she said. Having moved to Palo Alto from Boston when she was 10 years old, Singh uses football as a way to reconnect with her hometown. “It’s also a connection that I’m able to have with other people who I meet,” Singh said. “I think the whole reason I’m so tied to football is because of memories themselves.”
Freshman Kylen Liu watches the Super Bowl every year with his friends, and has some lasting memories tied with past games. While he remembers all the fun he’s had throughout the years both watching and playing football, Liu recalls one year in particular when a friend made a bet on the winning team, threw a shoe at the screen and broke the television upon losing $50. If anything, it’s a testament to how much football means to him and his friends, he says.
Senior Diego Cruz has played football for all four years at Gunn, and also gets together with friends every year to watch and discuss the Super Bowl with pizza and snacks. To Cruz, football is more than just a sport; he has developed close friendships with his team- mates since he began playing in sixth grade. “It’s like a second family to me,” he said. “It’s been a very memorable past four years.”