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Fennelly: The one time I didn't watch the Super Bowl

Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway stiff-arms Atlanta Falcons linebacker Cornelius Bennett (97) during the third quarter of Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami, in 1999. [AP photo]

Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway stiff-arms Atlanta Falcons linebacker Cornelius Bennett (97) during the third quarter of Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami, in 1999. [AP photo]

The Atlanta Falcons are back in the Super Bowl for the first time since January 1999.

And it reminded me about:

The time I didn't watch the Super Bowl.

Fifty bowls. One that I didn't watch.

I was tired of the hype, the endless pregame, the endless everything.

And that was 18 years ago.

Enough already, I decided.

I had sat through Chargers-49ers a few years earlier, a human sacrifice for the ages, and was determined to not go through that this time.

I figured Jamal Anderson and The Dirty Bird were going to get squished by Elway and the Broncos.

My wife, Siobhan, and I decided to go camping. In northern Florida. No TVs. No radios. No nothing.

Just us and our foodstuffs.

A regular Jeremiah Johnson.

I think we stopped at Denny's near the campground. I didn't use utensils, though, and asked for my lemonade in a dirty glass.

We had packed what equipment we had and took along one other accessory: Conor, our 20-month-old son.

The weather was cool, but I do not sleep well in tents. I especially do not sleep well in tents when I wake up in the middle of the night and the 20-month-old is standing over me with a small axe in his hand, a toy he'd found. He was smiling. I gently took his toy from him.

I have been watching Conor ever since, closely.

I missed all the Super build-up.

And I didn't care.

I felt free. I felt clean.

Trust me, folks, it can be done.

The big day came. Campers began hooking up their TVs to the camp outlets as game time approached.

Are you sure? My wife asked.

I was sure, Grizzly Adams sure.

Let's go for a hike.

We returned around kickoff. I could hear radios crackling at other tents.

I had never missed a Super Bowl.

Siobhan asked again.

Are you sure?

I was adamant.

I told her, "I don't even need to know the score.

She thought for a second.

"You mean ever?" she said.

I have watched 49 of 50 Super Bowls, from Starr to McGee to Von on Cam.

But not that one.

Broncos won, right?

Fennelly: The one time I didn't watch the Super Bowl 01/31/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 1, 2017 6:01pm]
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