From the first week of September 2016 through the first week of February 2017, the United States will be stricken with football fever through and through. Football remains the most popular sport in the United States. The time spent watching a televised professional football game, for many, is more important than seeing our favorite team march down the field in person. In some households, it’s tantamount to a religion. The wings, the beer and the traditions help to lift spirits and build a sense of solidarity. For families from Tampa, FL to Belen, NM, there are certain rituals they simply have to do before the game each Sunday. Here are some popular family game day traditions from around the Buddy’s Home Furnishings network of stores.
Football Sunday became a tradition in Philadelphia, PA when the number of American households with a television numbered in the thousands, whereas the number of TV homes is now estimated to be 116.4 million. The only problem for a family is that fans from Philadelphia have long been known as worst fans in the NFL, and have committed a laundry list of gaffes that rank from the embarrassing, throwing snowballs at Santa, to offenses that required the installation of a court and jail below the stadium in the late 1990’s. This bit of history isn’t being shared to perturb Eagles fans, so much as it’s being shared to illustrate that a family on a budget is more likely looking to keep the kids away from the mayhem. A Buddy’s Home Furnishings team member located in the region suggested that we share her family story instead, one that found its roots in face painted family gatherings initially started on a sofa and loveseat during the 1992 season. Her family would gather to enjoy a rather nondescript large meal, like fried chicken and all the fixings, but things soon shifted to include a traditional Italian Sunday Gravy. For our Midwest transplants now living in places like Orlando, FL, Sunday Gravy is a rich tomato and meat sauce that is a tradition for Italian-American families. Integrating an old family tradition meant there was enough food for a feast and soon neighbors, extended family members and the next generation filled the original family room and the man cave!
A contact from North Richland Hills, TX and devout Cowboys fan, reminded us that most Texans are serious when it comes to the topic of eating barbequed meat. Fans nationwide will appreciate fans arriving at AT&T Stadium several hours early to grill delicious burgers and hotdogs, but a barbeque is something completely different to a native Texan. A barbeque is actually an all-day event, during which multiple meat choices, like ribs and a beef brisket is smoked for hours. It’s a tradition passed from one generation to the next. Being that a barbeque has the ability to pull together the entire neighborhood, it’s well-suited for a family who prefers to stay close to a communal ULTRA HD TV on game day. The party atmosphere of a neighborhood barbeque really encourages catching up with old friends before the five time Super Bowl champions take the field, and the proximity to home will allow everyone to whip something up in the kitchen!
If football means family, there is no lonelier position than being the only Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan you’ve been able to identify in Tennessee. Our Buddy’s Home Furnishings team member now living in Athens, TN moved from Tampa, FL while the Bucs still wore their creamsicle uniforms, and the Titans were still the Houston Oilers. Her family settled for a time in the area, but a job change and college meant life moved on, leaving the lone remaining fan to put up with years of trash-talk after her family headed back to Florida. The fantastic news is that, like any good football fan, she didn’t care what the eventual Titans fans said. As long as there was a way to keep track of the team during the 2003 Super Bowl run, as well as the lean Josh Freeman years, she was transported to a time when she was in her childhood home watching the game with her grandparents. While she is still the lone identifiable Bucs fan in town, computer access and football viewing packages make hope spring eternal that she’ll be the host of a viewing party for like-minded people in 2016!
Family tradition and the idea of hope identify us football fans, they also help us form bonds and a feeling of togetherness that’s unique in this world. We hope things go well for your team, just not too well!