The Super Bowl is a Chicago holiday

The Super Bowl is a Chicago holiday
Chicago Tribune photo

Super Bowl weekend is here. It is a rather mundane day for the rest of the nation.

America will spend the day eating, drinking, and debating important issues like who lip synced the National Anthem, which commercials were the best, and whether there will be a wardrobe malfunction during half time.

In Chicago we celebrate Super Bowl Sunday as a city holiday.

The Super Bowl holiday is a religious and cultural tradition in the Windy City. In ancient times, in 1985, George "Papa Bear" Halas spirit rose from the dead, imbued and anointed his chosen savior, Mike Ditka, to lead the Chicago Bears to Super Bowl victory.

From that day on, Super Bowl weekend and Sunday have been the most important holiday in the City of Chicago. The Super Bowl is celebrated with religious fervor and various ethnic communities have their own old world traditions they uphold.

The Super Bowl is a time of peace, merriment, celebration, cooking, eating, and drinking. A little carousing goes on too, if you get my drift.

Traditional feasts include such epicurean delicacies as kielbasa, Buffalo style chicken wings, chili, nachos, hot dogs, ribs, pulled pork, sanguiches and sammiches of every kind, various dips, chips, and snacks.

Of course there are the desserts too. Jello molds in the shape of footballs, parfait with jello, jello shots, jello sundaes, and jello fruit cocktail (with booze).

Homes are decorated in orange, white, and blue. Carols are sung, the favorite being the heart rendering religious noel, the Super Bowl Shuffle.

On Super Bowl Eve the children hang their Chicago Bears stockings in hopes that Mike Ditka Claus will leave them gifts.

Ditka Claus, also known as Crabby Olde St. Mike and Da Coach, struts up to homes like a predatory pterodactyl, leaving gifts for the good little boys and girls.

The bad little boys and girls are awakened and they receive a loud, foul mouthed tirade from Da Coach. Some get a crack on the back of the head. All are told to straighten up or he will be back with the same next year.

It is a weekend filled with joy, hope, and festiveness.

The game itself is secondary and many feel that it is an unnecessary distraction from the true meaning of the Super Bowl.

So to all my friends out there in the hinterlands and the back woods bark chewing coasts, Merry Super Bowl, Felice NaviSuperBowl, Erin Go Bears, Buon Orsino, Joyeux L'ours, and maybe next year, next decade, or next century.

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