Pressmaster | AdobeStock
We round up a few things even sports haters can enjoy about the Super Bowl, plus local and televised alternatives to keep you sane.
By Philip Garrity, Juliana Perciavalle, and Dave Zucker
Certain staff members here at Westchester revealed recently — under the condition of anonymity, of course — that they are not football fans. So, as you might expect, they aren’t too hot on the upcoming Super Bowl — not this year, not last, not next. Yup, it’s looking like never.
Which got us thinking, there have to be plenty of readers out there who feel the same, and what kind of magazine would we be if we left them stranded without tips on how to survive (and, if you’re lucky, enjoy) game day? So, this is for you, football non-fans. Here are our tips to survive the dreaded big game.
Commercials, Halftime, and Other Non-Sporting Moments
If you absolutely cannot escape Super Bowl party obligations, this year’s commercial roundup is worth looking forward to. Check AdAge for its ongoing coverage of upcoming ads sure to be the talk of the Zoom water cooler Monday morning. Old hats like Budweiser, Nissan, and Westchester-based PepsiCo. join other companies dolling out $6.5 million per 30-second ad, while controversial spots to look for this year include official sponsor TurboTax, trying to make you forget it’s spent millions lobbying to keep you from filing your taxes for free, and Meta (née “Facebook”), trying to sell you one…something? Something online? Maybe you’ll finally find out!
The halftime show is sure to be yet another desperate attention grab for aging millennials and Gen-Xers, starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Westchester’s own Mary J. Blige. Honestly, recent years have seen lackluster performances and controversies like not including enough SpongeBob, but maybe enough “special guests” can manage to put out something that is at least unobjectionable and entertaining.
Go Whole Hog on the Food
And honestly, there might be a whole hog. Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for pizza delivery, as well as one of the most heavily catered and takeout events on the American calendar. Our official Super Bowl Guide includes more than a few of our absolute favorite game day dishes, or broaden your horizons by diving headfirst into more than a decade of Westchester Magazine recipes.
Not feeling like cooking? With so many people at home watching the game, it’s the perfect time to hit up that certain special restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out if only it wasn’t so crowded.
Alternately, just post up in front of the snack table with a pair of noise-canceling headphones and try to ignore literally everyone around you.
Change the Channel
There’s plenty to watch on Sunday that isn’t the Super Bowl, you know. Aside from the infinitude of streaming content now available to all of us at any given moment, there’s always a Law & Order: SVU marathon on USA. Or, do like we do and tune into Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl for three hours of unapologetic cuteness overload, including pups from all over the country, celeb guests, and the annual Kitten Bowl Halftime Show.
Change the Scenery
Is everyone you know fully immersed in Super Bowl madness? Pamper yourself alone at one of the county’s many fabulous spas and health centers. If you’re having trouble choosing, check out last year’s Best of Westchester winners!
This is perhaps the most severe Super Bowl avoidance tactic there is, short of flying to a country where “football” means something completely different. Thus, it should only be used under extreme extenuating circumstances. To accomplish this effectively, you must have no shame whatsoever in feigning a 24-hour illness (or longer — the football postseason lasts weeks).
In case you’ve never done this before, this is normally where we suggest how to convince loved ones that you’re ill during normal, non-COVID years. (Think: playing up mild symptoms on Saturday, asking to sleep late on Sunday, holing up in the bedroom with the lights off on Sunday. We even used to have a clip from Ferris Bueller in there.) Due to the rise of COVID-19, however, we strongly caution against doing this for anyone you live with — they probably already know you hate sports anyway, you sports hater.
If you’re invited to a Super Bowl party and you really really don’t want to attend, just say the following:
“Sorry, I don’t feel comfortable being around that many people right now.” That’s it. That’s literally it. You’re not a liar, you’re a courteous and responsible adult who thinks about others’ safety and definitely not just getting out of watching large men concuss themselves for money.