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SOUCHERAY: Celebrating the 'Big Game' with family and friends

So how badly do we feel that our Vikings are not in the Super Bowl? Will this diminish the fun for you, or will you be able to rise above your hurt feelings over the loss of the NFC game to New Orleans? Our new son-in-law called the score correctly before the game, however, we were supposed to be the 31 and Saints were supposed to be the 28.

Will that painful loss take the excitement out of it for us or can we make the best of the upcoming weekend and put our hopes for next year? Of course, some people ask, "Will there be a next year for our team?" Who is to know?

In the mean time, shall we party? It is the Super Bowl, after all. This is the day our sons wait for all year, as they anticipate the commercials of the game. Game? What game, they might ask?! Their primary concern with the game is not the game, but rather to watch for the best ads of the year and text their friends, voting for the best one.

And then there's the food. Endless amounts of the most wonderful, tantalizing food we will ever see. From the wings to the nachos, the sloppy joes to the beef barbeques, the food is some of the best we will imbibe all year. The calorie count is guaranteed to be higher than Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's combined. But who cares? It's the Super Bowl!

There will be parties, complete with friends from high school and college, avid football fans and those who have no idea what a down marker is, and everyone will be having a wonderful time, simply because it is the Super Bowl.

What is this all about for us? Perhaps it is that the holiday season is over, some of the coldest weather of the season has swept down upon us, and winter still has at least six more weeks before it begins to subside and give way to spring. The Super Bowl seems more about timing during this time of the year than about football. It provides us a respite from an otherwise desperately dull stretch of the year, without much to do or much to be excited about. It seems we have attached ourselves to a season finale, and no matter which teams are playing, we throw a fantastic, roaringly, fun party.

Will your family host a neighborhood shindig or gather family together for the bountiful bash? Will you order pizzas or foot-long subs? Will you have a pool and ask everyone to put in five dollars for points at the quarter, half, and final scores?

Super Bowl parties are like none other all throughout the year. Everyone expects them to be fabulously fun, deafeningly loud, and overly-crowded. They expect that some people at the party will be die-hard football fans and will be able to explain every play when the game is over and those who will not watch a single down. There will be those who will taste a bit of every kind of food that is offered and those who will predictably eat only their favorites and leave the experimenting to the adventurous folks.

Whatever kind of football fan you are, or are not, you will fit right in at a Super Bowl party. This is because the Super Bowl party is about so much more than the Super Bowl game. It is really about celebrating on a Sunday in the dead of winter, with great people, great food, great commercials, and great fun.

We would hate to tell the teams who are playing that the game is really about letting us get together to celebrate the day with people we love. Nothing personal, but we would gather for this party, no matter who was playing.

So, now that the Vikings are out of the Super Bowl for this year, will we relax a little and enjoy the day? However you feel about the way the NFC game turned out, spend the day with those you love. Celebrate, cheer, throw in a few dollars, have fun. Who knows, there's always next year for us.