Watching the NFL Super Bowl in Costa Rica

Published: January 22nd 2008
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In Costa Rica there is only one sport … soccer/futbol. So, watching the NFL is an exotic mysterious thing for Ticos. For me, and a very small group of friends, it is a pleasure when it is time for the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl. Here’s an idea of what it’s like…?

Last Saturday, after a hard day of working, I went home to watch the Patriots and Jaguars game but things don’t always turn out as planned. When I arrived home and popped a beer, I discovered that my cable was not working and there was zero reception. I assumed it was out only in my house or neighborhood so we raced into town to watch the game at Club d’Amigos only to learn when I arrived that cable was out in the entire city of San Ramon… Bummer!! My friend Fito and the other old men at the bar convinced us that the only thing to do was have a few drinks, relax and enjoy the night. At halftime, the cable suddenly returned and it ended up being a very cool night. We watched the second half at the Club, explaining the rules and strategies of American Football to the dozen or so Club regulars. We drank a few Guaros, snacked on fresh cerviche … and ended up having a blast. ??Yesterday was the Giants (Los Gigantes) and the Packers playoff game to see who goes to the Super Bowl. A tradition for years, I went to my friend Jimmy’s house to watch the game with Janet, Jimmy, Graciela (Jimmy’s girlfriend) and Ralph, the German tennis teacher. In Green Bay, where the game was being played, it was 24 below with the wind chill factor. We lounged in San Ramon in a perfect 75-degree day, not at all jealous of the fans at the stadium. After the pre-game show broadcast from the U.S., the announcing shifted to a Spanish broadcast from Mexico…not what we were hoping for. We were all hoping for a John Madden commentary, but instead got a couple of guys from Mexico and Spanish commentary. We had to adjust. When the Packers had a long touchdown pass, the announcer declared, “vuelta la tortilla” (flip the tortilla) to convey the momentum change. It was comical, not insightful and different.??Living in Costa Rica is often a test of how open you can be to the twists and turns in your plans. I love watching the NFL and after 7 seasons here, I still don’t know what to expect. From the cable system being down to a shift to a Spanish feed from Mexico ... anything can happen.??Most importantly, I had fun with my friends ... new and old … and didn’t have to be in the sub-zero weather in many parts of the USA. And … the drinks only cost a buck here.??It is 2 weeks to Super Bowl 2008, Patriots vs. Giants … I will make plans for the game, but I’m sure it will turn into a different day than I expected. This aspect of Tico life keeps you humble, flexible and open to unexpected joys in your day-to-day life.


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