Everyone has their own memories of the Superbowl. Personally, the ones I remember most are my dad explaining the wardrobe malfunction to my little sisters in 2004 and living in Wisconsin when the Packers won in 2011. 2013 in Afghanistan will definitely make the list of most memorable and definitely most eventful.
With every good Superbowl there’s a party. And we found that it takes much more time and planning to set one up in Afghanistan. Our preparations started weeks prior. Brittany, who also works nights, took the lead on the project and made it a great event!
With some help from the Garrison, food was ordered from the DFAC in advanced. We collected canned and non perishable food items like chips, dip, and candy. We even had decorations courtesy of one of our volunteers who comes every Sunday to watch football in the canteen.
Our volunteers help us set up an extra TV and the decorations. The food was picked up at 2am from the DFAC and the canteen was rearranged to accomodate as many football fans as possible. It’s worth mentioning that with the time difference, the Superbowl aired at 4am in Afghanistan. Despite the early timing of the game, we knew there were plenty of people excited to watch it.
With all the excitement and setup going on, we were still taking turns watching the casework queue and sending out emergency messages. With a few hours to spare, everything was set up, but there was little issue. SNOW! The TV reception hadn’t been working all day. And this wasn’t just a little snow. It was big flake, wet, heavy snow that had been coming down for over a day. Our night volunteers went as far as finding the antenna to try and clean it off, but that didn’t seem to help. The signal was down across Bagram. All we could do was sit, wait, and hope that it came back up for the game.
Luckily, at 330am there was some static and the picture was back! It may have been 4am , but we had a full house for kickoff and it turned out to be a great game!