Super Bowl Sunday is practically a national holiday. The quintessentially American sport has grabbed hold of our culture and its ultimate contest has become a mid-winter fixture, dominating the airwaves and emptying the snack shelves.
Unlike most holidays, which have historical or religious origins, Super Bowl Sunday is about celebration, pure and simple (or mild depression if your team loses). It’s a party devoted to family, friends, food, and of course football.
First, there’s the sport: the running plays, the long passes, touchdowns, and coaches pacing the sidelines. It’s about two teams battling for a title, and we all hope “ours” will be the champs.
Then, there’s the spectacle. Every year there’s that over-the-top halftime performance by a megastar like Michael Jackson, Queen Bey, or U2, with some shows marred by scandal (we mustn’t forget the “wardrobe malfunction” with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake). Even the commercials provide substantial entertainment. Advertisers spare no expense in rolling out their best commercials, trying to one-up each other and win over audiences.
Last, but in no way least, there’s the food. Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest day in American food consumption after Thanksgiving: 14,500 tons of chips, 4,000 tons of popcorn, and 8 million pounds of guacamole are eaten on the big game day each year, and that’s just the beginning. After all that heartburn, over-eating, and imbibing, about 1.5 million Americans will call in “sick” on Monday and another 4.4 million are expected to show up late for work. Sure sounds like a real holiday to us.
So before you gorge yourself on chips and dip, here are a few facts to round out your Super Bowl knowledge to you can properly celebrate this festive occasion.
There’s nothing better than a cold brewskie while watching a game. The Super Bowl is no exception; Americans will drink 50 million cases of beer on Super Bowl Sunday. Not all beer is created equal, but about 94 percent of beer consumed will be Bud Light, Budweiser, Coors Light, Miller Lite, or Natural Light. Who’s up for football drinking games?
Not all of us are football experts or enthusiasts, but the commercials are a key part of the Sunday spectacle that anyone can feel qualified to judge. Commercial spots during the Super Bowl are coveted and expensive. Nowadays, a 30-second commercial costs $4 million, but during the first Super Bowl, it was only $42,000. One of the most expensive food and drink commercials ever, "The Joy of Pepsi 2002", which featured Britney Spears, rang in at $7.53 million. Other ad heavy-hitters include Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and Subway.