(Author's Note: I'm using Super Bowl Sunday as an excuse to move my weekly post of college basketball seedings to Thursday nights, where they'll stay until the end of the regular season.)
So this is it. The Super Bowl. Apparently it involves a football game, but there's so much more to the story.
According to HowStuffWorks, the average American will double his or her consumption of snack foods today. Citing the Snack Food Association, they say that during the game America should consume about 30.4 million pounds of snack foods, 11 million pounds of potato chips, 13.2 million pounds of avocados, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 4.3 million pounds of pretzels, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn, and 2.5 million pounds of snack nuts. Plus untold amounts of dip and salsa, and one leftover fruitcake from the holidays.
Wow. I don't want to criticize the nation for such gluttony, but I do recommend buying antacid tonight, before it flies off the shelves. (Experts estimate a sales increase of 20 percent the day after.)
Here in Las Vegas, there's a lot more to bet on than just the spread (Colts by 7) and the over/under (48 points). Will Peyton Manning's first pass be complete or incomplete? Which team scores first? Who leads by halftime? Will there be a scoreless quarter?
And those are just the bets that make sense. Earlier this week I went to the South Point casino and checked out their Race and Sports Book. An entire column of their giant LCD betting board was devoted to various bets regarding Colts rookie running back Joseph Addai. There were hundreds of betting opportunities.
Other Super Bowl talking points:
1. "Super Bowl Shuffle" (as performed by the 1985 Chicago Bears) was nominated for a Grammy. The team lost to Prince, who performs the halftime show today. Is this the cheesiest nomination the Grammys have ever given? And if Mike Ditka ever put out an album, would it sweep the major categories?
2. Advertisers are paying up to $2.6 million for a 30-second ad. In the Internet age of viral video, where low-budget creations can be watched by millions, is the investment still worth it? Wouldn't the money be better spent renting a Yankees player for an hour?
3. Before this year, no African-American head coach had ever made it to the Super Bowl, and now we have two: Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy. Is their success an aberration, or a sign of things to come? The NFL hasn't made as many strides in its front-office diversity as, say, the NBA.
Feel free to use these points in a discussion, especially if you know nothing about football. Or you could stuff your face with snacks.