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W.Va. man hosts Super Bowl alternative

January 26, 1998

Richard T. Meagher / staff photographer

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W.Va. man hosts Super Bowl alternative

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Some 130 million people around the world tuned in to Super Bowl XXXII on Sunday.

Jonathan McBee was not one of them.

As he has for the past three years, the Berkeley Springs, W.Va., resident hosted a kind of anti-Super Bowl party.

"It's not really an anti-Super Bowl party," McBee said. "It's a celebration of the Super Bowl. We just don't watch it."

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The first Super Bowl - which was actually known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game - wasn't even sold out. Over the years, however, it has virtually become a national holiday, with millions of fans and non-fans alike watching the big game.

For those who have no interest in football, though, Super Bowl Sunday can be a lonely time.

Hagerstown resident Pam Boyer said she does anything possible to get away from the Super Bowl.

"If I have to unplug all the TVs in the house or run away, I avoid the Super Bowl," she said. "I usually have to run away because it's on at my home."

Last year, Boyer said she went to Washington County Regional Airport and watched planes take of and land for three hours.

Boyer, who lives on South Potomac Street, said she watches football once in a while if Pittsburgh or Dallas is on but never the Super Bowl.

"It's too intense then. It's like it's too important then," she said.

Boyer said she might as well be out of the house because her boyfriend cannot focus on anything beyond the game anyway.

"I came home last year and he said, 'I asked you to get me a beer a little while ago.' He didn't even know I was out of the house," she said.

In Berkeley Springs, McBee's guests gathered around the television to watch the national anthem before the game. They also saw the coin toss and the kickoff.

That was it, though.

"The Green Bay guy was down and that was it," McBee said.

Then the game was off and the music was on.

"It's a good excuse for getting in touch with other people," said Berkeley Springs resident Michelle Oxley, who was attending McBee's party for the second straight year.

"It's a nice alternative," she said. "I still get to celebrate the event and meet new people."

Lisa Truax, of Berkeley Springs, said sometimes the game creeps in.

"People will catch up in tidbits," she said.

But most people were too busy dancing and partying to worry about the score.

"We really wait until tomorrow," said Crystal Yost, who lives in Falling Waters, W.Va.

McBee said he decided to have a party on Super Sunday after years of watching football fans have their own gatherings.

"I just never really liked football. People who like football always get together," he said. "This is a chance for people who don't like football."

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