One of my friends hosted a Halloween party at his house on the same night as Game 4 of the World Series. Many people, in fact, were hosting parties on the same night as Game 4 of the World Series, because the game occurred during Halloween weekend on a Saturday night. Parties, as I hope you know, frequently occur on Saturdays.
I was talking to a few people at the party when the conversation reached a natural lull. Usually someone, whom I will call Danya as to protect her identity, sees this as the ideal time to test out some standup material. But because of the World Series game, I—I mean, she didn’t get the chance. As a reaction to the lull, everyone in the group just turned to the TV to check on the Big Game instead. Now we had something new and exciting to talk about: Who was winning the Big Game? What was the drama? Which celebs were there? What was that kid just doing with his popcorn? What was at stake? Instead of fidgeting with our drinks or looking at the floor, we were unified in the watching of the Big Game, rooting for the good guys to win. (You know who I’m talking about.)
When the conversation resumed, I seized the opportunity to announce to the group my latest genius revelation: There should be a Big Game every Saturday night.
Before you freak out, like three idiots I spoke to that weekend, college football doesn’t count under my rules. And soccer championships are too early in the morning, so no. I can hear your voice shrieking in my ear; please just be quiet for one second. When I say the Big Game, I mean championship games for major sports leagues, World Cup finals, unmissable Olympic events, etc. There are two main criteria that dictate whether or not your game is a Big Game: Is it big enough that people who don’t care about sports know it is happening? Is it big enough that when a winner is announced, there will be a news alert sent to your phone? If you responded yes to both of these questions, then that game is a Big Game, and it should be on a Saturday night.
But, I hear you shrieking, again, aren’t there so few games on Saturday nights because people are out socializing and no one wants to sit in front of a TV and watch sports? Sure, but how often do you find yourself in the predicament of not knowing what you want to do on a Saturday night, plagued by indecision and paralyzed by choice? How often do you end up watching marathons of some poorly produced online TV series because you’re too lazy to get out of the house and find something more exciting to do? Have you ever not had plans on a Saturday and thought to yourself, “It would be great if there were some form of entertainment available to me that I could watch at a bar with friends and strangers alike, to feel as though we are all a part of something together?” We all need an arbitrary spectacle on which to unleash our anger and/or project our irrational joy. Imagine the Patriots lost the Super Bowl every Saturday night. You see what I’m saying? That would be awesome.
Even if you don’t care about sports, the Saturday Night Big Game is a winning idea. Think of it like a cigarette break that won’t kill you. Besides blackened lungs and shorter lifespans, smokers have it all: a fun little activity to do when conversations get boring, when a mental breather is needed, or both. Have you been talking to Tad about his stock portfolio for 17 full minutes? Has your friend’s dog become the focus of everyone’s attention, even though there are maybe five things you can say about or to a dog before you want to cut off your own arm? Do you just need a second to chill? Turn your eyes to the Big Game. Even if everyone swears they remember you once saying you hate sports, no one can blame you. This is the Big Game, after all. How could you miss it?!
At a wedding? Ask the bride to put on the Big Game. Are your parents in town for your dad’s 65th birthday? Forget the Four Seasons—just watch the Big Game. Are you in labor? There are usually TVs in hospital rooms. Let the Big Game distract you from the hell of childbirth. It’s a foolproof idea, one where everyone will always have plans forever, should they need them. It’s like This Is Us—but it’s sports. We could even refer to the Saturday Night Big Game as This Is Us, because as we all settle into our Saturday evening plans, embracing the triumphs and trials of our relationships and friendships and collective consciousness, we are really connected as Us. You Is Us. I Is Us. The Big Game Is Us. This Is Us.
The only kink in the Saturday Night Big Game initiative is that, according to my criteria, there aren’t enough Big Games each year to air one every Saturday night, so if some network executive, league commissioner, or filthy rich person like Jeff Bezos could fix that, that would be great. I heard about this thing called women’s sports—might be worth looking into.
I will not be taking questions. Thank you.
Dayna Evans is a writer in New York.