Brockport Alumni Throw Outrageously Memorable Super Bowl Weekends
It started in Perry Hall, and more than 30 years later, a group of Brockport alumni are still throwing Super Bowl parties.
When College at Brockport students threw a typical college Super Bowl party in 1987, they didn't realize they were starting a tradition that would last more than 30 years.
“I don't ever remember us planning to do this; it just kind of happened. And we really didn't start thinking of it as a tradition until probably four or five years into it,” said Kerry McMahon '89.
Kerry McMahon and his wife, Melissa, spent Super Bowl LIII the same way they normally do, hanging out with their college friends for a weekend.
Melissa McMahon '88 met her girlfriends and a group of guys in Perry Hall. The majority were transfer students to the College and Giants fans, she said.
A few of them moved off campus to 82 Holley Street — the location of the first Super Bowl party on January 25, 1987.
John Best '88 was living in the main house with three others, and two girls had moved into the attached apartment. Each side of the house had thrown parties, and by the end of the day, it was one big party, said Best.
“One of the two girls that moved next door that semester, in January 1987, has been my wife (Deborah) for the last 28 years,” said Best. Eventually, four of the group’s Brockport romances led to marriage. Some even married in the same year — 1992.
Over the past 30 Super Bowl parties they’ve thrown, the event has grown. From a night to a weekend. From small apartments with air mattresses to large homes or rentals. And the way they ate and drank upgraded, too.
In 1987, the crew was eating 12 boxes of off-brand mac and cheese and drinking cheap beer. “We did not have any milk for the mac and cheese, so they used water. It was pretty bad, but we all had a great time,” Best wrote.
Now, Best makes his famous quiches, and the group of about 10 has settled into meeting in Binghamton, NY, with the Ruf family.
“We feel it’s one of the most important weekends of our year,” said Chris Ruf '88. “I've used the same personal day every year of my career,” he added.
Teresa (Segrue) Ruf, his wife, didn’t even pull the plug on hosting in 2018 after she had back surgery the day before. She said ‘no way you’re canceling that party,’ Chris Ruf explained.
"After all this time, it kind of runs itself," he said.
The group keeps a spreadsheet of who played, where the game was, and who hosted.
Todd Allen ’89, the group’s spreadsheet keeper, hasn't missed a single Super Bowl party. “This keeps us kind of grounded,” Allen said, “we try to pretend that we're still 20 and 21.”
And if you’re missing the weekend, you’re going to need a good excuse. In 2001, Jim Marrone '88 missed his one and only party. Instead of being with his college buddies, he went to the actual Super Bowl when the Giants lost to the Baltimore Ravens. Jim was a Perry Hall boy who married Michelle Slobody-Marrone '90, a Perry Hall girl, in 1992.
Jim brings the Long Island bagels and the brown liquor.
“I love this weekend. It’s my favorite weekend of every year,” he said.
The “Super Bowl Crew” starts the weekend on Friday night. Saturday is a big partying bash, and by Sunday, the group is ready for a more relaxed time to watch the game. On Monday morning, everyone heads back to their normal lives.
“They've seen me at my best, and they’ve seen me at my worst,” Kerry McMahon said. There’s always a lot to catch up on, and the weekend doesn't always feel long enough, he added.
With children and jobs, it’s gotten harder to hold on, but they’ve found a way to keep a grip on their friendships.
“Holding on to the friendships takes work, but the rewards ... you can't measure the rewards,” Ruf said.
Kerry and Melissa McMahon called Super Bowl weekend the "North Star," as it always brings their group back together.
“I kind of hold on to it more than ever before, and it’s harder than ever before,” Jim Marrone said. “I think I'm a little wacky about it, but I'm not willing to ever let it go.”