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Ah, the Super Bowl – America's premier sporting event. The one game that gives everyone a reason to watch: whether it's because you actually care who wins, to enjoy the ridiculous theatrics of the halftime show, to critique the commercials, or just because you think the quarterback is cute.
This year's trophy match is the 50th in the event's history, which is a big deal. It's such a big deal that the league has even decided to forgo the normal use of roman numerals in the game's title. But why did they do this? Turns out the league just thought "Super Bowl L" sounded kind of silly and that "Super Bowl 50" has a better ring to it. Fair enough.
Restaurants around Richmond will be offering plenty of generous game day food and drink specials to lure in fans for the event. Yesterday, Richmond Magazine published an excellent list of Super Bowl specials for this year's game. The list is a solid index of the city's best known sports bars as well as some lesser known destinations. One notable spot for this year's game that's not listed is Bellytimber Tavern. The cozy fan bar will be offering a number of food and drink specials and will even be giving away tickets to Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival at halftime!
Many people will, of course, opt to host or attend Super Bowl parties. It's a fantastic day for junk food, as most everyone will be stocking up on chips, beer, wings, pizza, and countless other treats. Dips seem to be a staple of Super Bowl celebrations for whatever reason - esteemed food blogger Gina Ferwerda has released a list of recipes for delicious dips for the big game.
Kickoff will take place at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 7th and will be broadcast on CBS. The game is being played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, the home of the 49ers. The $2 billion stadium is expected to house over 75,000 fans for the event, who unfortunately will not be given special edition jeans with "Super Bowl 50" on the rear.
This year's lineup of musicians for the Super Bowl is extremely powerful as usual. The halftime show will feature alternative rock giants, Coldplay, as well as Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. Lady Gaga will be performing the national anthem, presumably in an outfit made of horsehair and panther skin in honor of the Broncos and Panthers.
This Sunday's matchup features the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. Though these teams mainly owe their success to excellent defense, most people will choose to focus on the quarterback matchup, as we often do in football. This game features an extreme contrast when it comes to starting QBs. The Panthers have Cam Newton – the young, energetic, freakishly athletic, confident and sometimes controversial gunslinger who can turn an NFL game into an episode of "Dancing with the Stars." On the other side is the immortal spirit of the legendary Peyton Manning – bound by an ancient curse to a frail, rapidly aging body but still possessing just enough strength for one more shot at glory.
The Super Bowl might be an even bigger day for advertising than it is for football. The average cost of a 30-second commercial spot this year is around $5 million. So whenever you see a particularly dumb ad featuring a kangaroo eating Doritos, remember that ad agencies spent their entire year conceptualizing that and someone paid more money than most people will make in their entire lives to bring it to your living room.
The wide array of ads shown help to define the Super Bowl as a celebration of everything we love and hate in this nation – sports, money, family, friends, entertainment, food, politics, sex, violence, controversy, judgment, conflict… the list goes on and on. Imagine all of these things being thrown into a pot by Guy Fieri, topped off with a little chili powder and POW! That's America, baby!
The Super Bowl is also one of the premier betting events of the year. While you can place wagers on obvious questions like who wins or who records the most rushing yards, there are some more interesting wagers as well. A million dollars could change hands on the coin toss alone – the ultimate toss-up bet. There's even a line for what color liquid will be dumped on the winning coach. Right now, orange is considered the favorite over blue, yellow, clear, and red. Sports Illustrated has published a list of prop bets for the big game.
So whatever you're doing for the Super Bowl, be sure to eat, drink, laugh, cry, gamble, sing along, cheer, boo, spend, or save to your heart's content. May the football gods bless us with a good game, or at least a strong lineup of commercials. Even if the ads are underwhelming and the game score is 45 to 3, everything should be fine as long as we have Beyoncé.
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First published on 2016-02-04 12:28pm, last updated on 2016-06-22 5:26pm