January 26, 2015
You can feel the anticipation around Super Bowl 2015. Game Day will be here before you know it; I‘m counting the days. My friends are talking up their favorite teams and breaking out their jerseys and I’m picturing my favorite player scoring the winning touchdown.
But, I’d like to get serious for a moment. I often talk to young people about making healthy decisions and being where they’re supposed to be. You may be going to a Super Bowl party this year and there’s a smart way and a not-so-smart way to celebrate.
Let’s think about that. First, one of my favorite sayings is, “Be where you’re supposed to be.” When it comes to Super Bowl parties that means don’t tell your parents what they want to hear and then go ahead and do the opposite. If you say you’re going to a certain friend’s house where you know kids will be responsible, then don’t make a bad decision and go somewhere else with kids who are planning to drink. Be where you’re supposed to be and keep your word.
Second, at some parties — maybe at your house or at a relative’s — adults around you may be drinking. Don’t assume from their behavior that people need alcohol to have a good time. The game itself provides you with so much adrenaline and a rush of excitement; I know it does for me.
You can still enjoy the game and be part of an American tradition that brings people together while sober. I have a personal example to illustrate this: I was a rookie playing for the St. Louis Rams when we won Super Bowl XXXIV. We chose not to have any alcohol in the locker room. Most teams have champagne to celebrate, but we had non-alcoholic cider. Sadly, before I joined the team, one of our players had gotten behind the wheel of a car after drinking to celebrate his 21st birthday. He got into an accident and a woman died. He was able to play in the game, but his treatment/probation didn’t allow him to be around alcohol. You know what? That was fine with us. We still had a good time in the locker room poppin’ bottles of cider!
I used a serious story to make my point, but I hope you get the idea. My teammates and I focused on our win and we didn’t need alcohol to have a good time. On the day of the game, be that person who makes the healthy choice. Focus on being in the moment and enjoy the camaraderie of the people around you. Watch the halftime show and get into the music. Chow down on your favorite appetizers — I’m a wings and calamari type of dude myself. I’m also looking forward to all the great commercials!
If you’re old enough to drink and you’re around minors at a party, be a good role model. Show those younger than you that you can party down without drinking. I’ll be at the game in Arizona with other former NFL players and that’s what I’ll be doing. Go Seahawks! Go Patriots!
Comment below on how you’ll be spending your Super Bowl Sunday!
Cliff Crosby is a former NFL player and a consultant for Caron’s SAP program.