I don't think anyone in America would argue that Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest national holiday that isn't actually a national holiday. Last year's game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos was the most-watched television event in U.S. history, drawing 111.5 million viewers. This year's game will almost certainly break that record.
NFL football is insanely popular in our world. And around our world. And the Super Bowl is...well, it's the "Super Bowl" of sporting events. It's just one game, but there's two weeks of hype leading up to it. There's also a 6.5-hour pre-game show leading up to it; and that's just on NBC, the network that's televising the game. You can also catch another 2 hours of pre-game hyperbole over on ESPN if you're desperate.
The Super Bowl also injects a whole lot of green into the economy. Not just for the host city and state, but all over America. Anyone who went shopping at a grocery store yesterday could figure that out. Supermarkets and mom-and-pop stores were jammed with people buying necessities for Super Bowl snacking. Did you know that Americans will eat 1.25 billion (with a "b") chicken wings today? I'm not very good at math, but I think that means that 62,500,000 chickens gave their lives to satisfy our taste buds. (Today is also rumored to be the biggest single day of consumption for pizza and tortilla chips.)
And while the Super Bowl isn't an official national holiday, there are folks out there that think the day after the Super Bowl should be. My friend Todd is one of them. Four years ago he wrote a blog post titled "They Should Make the Day After the Super Bowl a Holiday." In it, Todd writes about taking Presidents Day, moving it back a couple of weeks, and sticking it on the Monday following the big game:
"Presidents Day is kinda pointless anyway. It’s just some random Monday off. It’s not like we plan family visits or anything. And it usually isn’t really on Washington’s actual birthday, so why not move it back couple weeks and make it the first Monday in February? Like it matters. Jesus wasn’t born on December 25."
This might sound shallow, but I think Todd's idea is one of the greatest ideas I've ever heard. But because it makes so much sense, I suspect it will never happen. We can still dream, though. I mean, wouldn't it be great if everyone who wanted to could sit back and enjoy the biggest game of the year without having to worry about getting up the next morning and going to work or school?
It's kind of funny that I'm even writing about Super Bowl XLIX. (By the way, when can we start using Arabic numerals to number these games? The Roman numerals are starting to look like actual words--or names of laxatives--which confuses the hell out of me. And millennials shouldn't have to rely on Google to figure out that this is Super Bowl 49.) Over the last few years, my interest in sports has been waning. I used to follow baseball, hockey, and football religiously. Then something happened. Whatever it was (manopause?), it made me want to watch sports way less than I used to. You can ask my wife. These days I'll turn on a game, and ten minutes later I'm watching reruns of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Who knows? If tonight's game isn't exciting early on, I'll probably end up watching the Walking Dead marathon over on AMC. Or--God forbid--reading a book.
Whatever I watch tonight, I'll be watching it alone. No Super Bowl Sunday socializing for me. My wife is in Grand Rapids, trapped by a snowstorm that's dumping on Michigan today, and I didn't receive any Super Bowl party invitations. (I've been to one Super Bowl party in my life.) My plan is to park myself in front of my 27-inch, low-def, tube TV at 6:30 pm EST and see how the game goes.
As far as dinner goes, I've got five pounds of chicken wings marinating in the fridge. They were on sale when I went shopping yesterday and I couldn't resist. The chips and guacamole I'll be munching on before dinner were also on sale. I couldn't resist that combination either. After all, it's Super Bowl Sunday.
May the best team win.
|Dear NFL...Please don't sue me for using this photo.|