I accidentally started a tradition of watching the Super Bowl 30,000 feet in the air with 175 strangers. For the last three years, I’ve attended the Phoenix Open where I bask in the sun as long as possible on Sunday before taking an evening flight back to the chilly Midwest. Even when the Super Bowl was in Phoenix last year, I went to the parties leading up to the game, but still flew out on Sunday night.
I post up at the airport bar with my friend as we wait for our flights and scope out the crowd. If I see some of the guys in the bar at my gate or guys in NFL team gear, I make an effort to sit by them on the plane. I always fly Southwest on the way home because they make it possible to create my own watch party and because they have live TV. Yesterday, I brought snacks for sharing, some free drink coupons and a Super Bowl drinking game.
Usually I fly direct, but this year I had a layover. In Vegas. In boarding group A. And that threw everything off. Usually I’m in a later boarding group because I forget to check in and am too afraid to set an alarm for fear it will go off as a golfer is in his backswing. So I had to call an audible. I tired to vet out the people near me in line in hopes of sitting my them, but the only interest they had was in the bets they placed in before they left. Someone actually put money down to guess the color of the Gatorade that would be dumped on the winning coach. I did not sit by these people, but took a gamble that someone better would come along. I smiled at a couple of people wearing Broncos gear in hopes they would take the middle seat next to me, but it wasn’t a full flight so people were holding out for window and aisle seats. Right before the door closed, a young guy slid into the seat and the smell of booze quickly followed behind him. At first I thought he might be fun, but then he “fell asleep”. Vegas will do that to ya.
I had no one to chat with about the commercials. Like what in the world was that Cure Auto Insurance commercial where the Dad dies in the hospital while his son is flirting with a girl? Or OMG, how cool is Dan Marino in the Amazon Echo spot? For the people in other rows who realized they could watch the game, but didn’t bring headphones, the flight attendants got on the intercom to tell these fun people to turn off the volume.
The Super Bowl should be one of the best times to meet a guy because of the ratio of men to women who typically go out, but my friends in Phoenix were all watching it with a small group at someone’s house. If I had taken an earlier flight to be back before kickoff, I would’ve found similar plans back home. I need to do better planning next year!
Where did you watch the game? Have you found success meeting someone during the Super Bowl?