Blog: Finding patriotism during the Super Bowl in Buenos Aires

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

BUENOS AIRES – The calendar doesn’t list Super Bowl Sunday as a holiday, but it has become a de facto holiday at minimum.

The combination of family, friends and buffets of snack food have become a cultural staple, football fan or not.

And, like official holidays, those far from home look for a familiar way to celebrate.

Expats and tourists abroad throw on NFL jerseys and look for a place that is showing the game – a challenge in some countries who know little about America’s most popular sport.

But this, of course, isn’t just a day for football. The commercials, from lousy to hysterical, make up a lot of the talk and tweets during the game.

For viewers outside of America, the inevitable bummer comes during the first commercial break, when everyone figures out the commercials from back home don’t make the broadcast where they are.

I have been abroad for several Super Bowls, and like others, I always look for an American bar or restaurant that is throwing a party for the game.

Tonight, I’m in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. We’re having a pig roast.

This city is obsessed with the other sport that goes by “football.” In fact, the summer soccer tournament, effectively a pre-season in a beach city, has everyone else’s attention.

Most Argentines I talk with are entirely unaware of our game or its significance in American culture. But there are a few restaurants and bars catering to Yanquis, as Americans are called here.

I’m at a place called Magdalena’s, a go-to spot for Americans looking to celebrate the Fourth of July or to just get a tradition brunch on the weekend.

The first person I saw – four hours before the game – was wearing a San Francisco Giants baseball hat. One person even showed up in a Redskins T-shirt.

Soon, a familiar feeling hits me. It’s this odd sense of American pride and patriotism that comes with meeting people from your own country and celebrating in a familiar way, even though you’re far from home.

People stood and sang during the national anthem. Conversations stopped when Beyonc