When I was a sophomore in high school, I tried out for the football team and was hit in the face by the ball within the first five minutes. I don't know why I even tried out; I'd always been bad at sports, my hand-eye coordination matching that of an amoeba, and I never felt the joy others seemed to feel whenever they watched "the game" on television. So I didn't really want to play football for the Northview Titans. (Also, our football team was terrible.)
But I think I walked into that tryout because I wanted to try something new, to be someone else entirely for a change. It was another school year, and instead of singing and dancing in the fall musical again or playing piccolo in the band, I thought, "Wouldn't it be great to learn a new skill? To stretch my horizons? To pad out my college application?"
Needless to say, I didn't make the team, and in the remaining years of my high school tenure I boycotted the football games and refused to watch sports on television. "Football is dumb," I would say. But really, I was just ashamed of how badly that ball hit my face and crushed my glasses.
Until one day, a couple years ago, my friend Terika and I were sitting at a dive bar, and "the game" was on: the Atlanta Falcons, our hometown team, versus the New England Patriots. (It was the Super Bowl.) We ordered crispity-crunchity Buffalo wings and French fries, and a couple pitchers of beer. We watched the game, and even enjoyed it. And I thought back to my 15-year-old self who believed sports were boring—but here they were in the future, at a bar, alongside some of my favorite foods and one of my favorite people, plus a hundred strangers who were half-booing and half-cheering, and half–falling over from the excitement of the game. And I thought to myself, "Ohh. This is sports."
Let's face it. One of the best things about watching the Super Bowl with friends is the food: small bites with big flavor you can eat with your hands, and ice-cold beer. Is there anything better? I've gathered our best game-day snacks below, high-impact appetizers to fuel you through "the game" (whether you're actually watching it or not).
What are YOU snacking on at your Super Bowl bash? Let us know in the comments below.