Everyone in America knows what today is! And since Jim Zorn was throwing passes to Steve Largent I’ve been a Seattle Seahawks fan. Yes, I’m a part of the 12. For my non-American friends, today is Super Bowl Sunday! An unofficial holiday in the U.S., where about 100 million people will watch the National Football League championship. I, personally will tune in exactly 1.5 seconds before kick off because I cannot- cannot stand the pre-game hype and mindless media commentary… Even if you are not a football fan, people will be connected to the game in 3 ways; 1) The Game itself, 2) The commercials aired during the Super Bowl or, 3) The Food. Or, some variation of all three. The Super Bowl has the 2nd most food consumption after Thanksgiving. Except unlike Thanksgiving where it is generally a sit down dinner, the Super Bowl is usually served “buffet style” or help yourself. And a LOT of people will help themselves! On this one day, here are some Super Bowl fun food facts:
1. Over 1.25 billion chicken wings will be eaten.
2. Enough beer will be chugged to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool 2,000 times! (that’s a lot of flushing…)
3. 8 million pounds (3,6000,000 kg) of Guacamole will be eaten
4. 4.4 million pizzas will be eaten (I’ll have 2-3 slices depending)
5. 11 million pounds of potato chips. Gone.
I don’t think this is something to be proud of, but like it or not, it pumps a lot of money around for this one game, around $500,000,000 worth! And with a $4 million price tag on a 30 second Super Bowl TV commercial, it better be good! Clever and creative!
It does have its downside, however. Following the Super Bowl is a dangerous time to be on the road. More DUIs are issued than at any other time during the year besides St. Patrick’s Day…bet you thought New Year’s Eve like I did…So be safe out there no matter what! Also, more people call in “sick” to work the day following the Super Bowl than any other day of the year.
It’s sobering to think about how much this game consumes us and how much we consume. It’s still just a game. Quick! Who played in the Super Bowl 2 years ago? And few will remember much about this game in a year without looking it up. While I’m really excited about the possibility of the Seahawks winning a 2nd Super Bowl, I try to keep a balanced approach and remember that in the big picture in life this game doesn’t really mean that much. Tomorrow, single moms will still be trying to make ends meet and raise their children, many will battle another day of chemotherapy treatments, the fatherless children and the elderly will still be lonely. Most of us will be sick of all the junk we ate today while the hungry are on the streets. This is the real game. But win or lose, I’ll still be a happy man, thinking about how blessed I am.
I will turn on the Super Bowl exactly 3.5 seconds after kick off this Sunday so I don’t have to hear all the ridiculous hype that goes along with the pre-game, which started a week ago. And it’s non-stop. It’s one of the most repulsive things to have to endure for those who don’t know where the “mute” button is…I love sports and all of the life lessons gleaned from them, discipline, teamwork, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, hot wings…
What I can do without is when it brings out the worst in us as a culture. Anger, rage, drunkenness, bitterness, racism, slander, violence, undeserved judgement, and guys who run over children to get a foul ball… I realize you’re always going to have that to some degree because it’s emotional but it shouldn’t be central.
You won’t hear about them but there are many athletes who are doing great things with their time and money to make other people’s lives richer and more fulfilled. You know, “happy”…that lost and forgotten art of being. Oh sure, it’ll be a heartwarming side story, but that doesn’t sell. I mean, there’s a guy on every team or entire teams we have reason to hate. Some players are hated because they haven’t done anything for us to hate… I fear we’ve become comfortable with hating as if that is normal now. But then again, I also fear fat guys who take their shirts off and paint themselves in 10 degree weather… Enjoy the game, your friends, food and the commercials.