Super Bowl Sunday is a kind of national holiday for sports fans, complete with traditions that include the fun trifecta of food, family/friends and football. This is especially true for families deeply involved with the game in their day-to-day lives. Kelly Ladd, a Port Jefferson Station mother of 3 - Jared,14, who started playing football in elementary school and is now on the Comsewogue High School football team; Ethan, 11 who plays for the Suffolk County Police Athletic League team, and 10-year old daughter Sydney who is learning the game and loves it - hosts an annual Super Bowl bash for her extended family that celebrates football and its importance to their family life. George Wilson, Ladd's father, attends all his grandson's home games. Husband Brett might be driving one boy to football practice or game while Kelly takes the other to another location, which often means that many Sundays are football-focused from morning through the final countdown of the games on television.
The football family feelings include loyalty balanced by love of the game - "I'm a big Peyton Manning fan and have followed him from the Colts to the Broncos" says Ladd "and even though I don't like the fact that they beat the Broncos I will be rooting for the Ravens on Sunday." Add to that a healthy competitive tension. "We love the action and excitement of football. Brett and Ethan always team up against Jared and me, rooting for the other team. Its fun to have tension of the game on the field right there in our house."
There are traditional foods no serious football-loving family would leave out. George Wilson contributes the annual amazing pot of chili. Brother-in-law Bruce supplies the requisite spicy chicken wings. This family, along with thousands of others gathering to share the excitement of two great teams giving their all for the big prize, will make crazy delicious snacks and tasty dips and awesome sandwiches. But they will also make memories. In that spirit, one team will take home the trophy, but everybody wins.