Ask any American what their favorite day of the year is and you will almost always find that it’s their birthday or Christmas — or 4/20 if they live in I.V. However, Super Bowl Sunday comes in a close second for many.
As football legend Art Donovan once said, “I’m a light eater. As soon as it’s light, I start to eat.” In line with Donovan’s thoughtful insight, many of us will take a similar approach this Sunday and eat like we’re linemen.
What plays out for most of us on this uniquely (fat) American holiday is Richard Simmons’ worst nightmare: bottomless buffalo wings, halftime cheeseburgers and excessive amounts of booze are all reasons viewers can say goodbye to any visible abs. According to a study conducted by The Nielson Company, the Super Bowl ranks seventh among national beer sales, accounting for more than 49 million cases of brewskies sold solely for the momentous occasion. Although there are abundant societal pressures guiding the ideal Super Bowl Sunday schedule, you can dramatically diminish the harmful effects you are self-inflicting by taking note of the following recommendations:
- Host the event — Make it easy on your cheap ass and declare a potluck. That way, you can even delegate a preplanned list of appetizers, avoiding multiple 10-layer dips and five kegs.
- Serve fruits and vegetables — Assuming many of your guests are already intoxicated, you’d be surprised to find that very few would notice the swap from potato chips to carrot sticks.
- Opt for homemade rather than packaged — If you intend to serve tortilla chips, make a homemade salsa or guacamole rather than purchasing a premade dip. The same approach can be applied to chili, potato skins or desserts. You’ll be surprised as to how delectable this can be, while reducing the tremendous inflow of sodium that makes the Costco option so yummy.
- Skip on the caffeinated and carbonated drinks — Since your attendees will likely be dehydrated from all that sitting, sweating and chest-bumping from the close-match tension, try to keep your guests fully hydrated by putting some fresh fruit slices in a pitcher of water to enhance flavor. Plus, it’s just pretty, damn it.
- Play a game during the halftime show — Halftime is often a favorite pastime for many people, but ever since the Janet Jackson Nipplegate in Super Bowl XXXVIII, it seems as if the more recent shows leave too much to the imagination. Instead, get your heart pumping by playing a mini halftime match. Split the attendees into two groups and play a short match to determine who’ll stay after to clean.
It’s fascinating that millions of Americans get together annually to watch the highly anticipated Super Bowl and admire the athleticism of some of the some of the best and burliest pro-ballers around. Still, this enthusiasm for athletics should not begin and end in a seated position. If you are successful in mobilizing your friends and families to watch an annual television program together, then I ask you to consider encouraging them to join you in your efforts to exercise and eat healthy year-round. Whether it’s the Giants or Patriots who win, at least try to be healthy enough to perform your own touchdown dance.