The Super Bowl is always played on Sunday, most often in February of each and every year. It is an event celebrated by both sports fans and those who could not care less about football. Why? Because it is a reason to get together in the cold winter months and have a party. Not to mention, the air time on television provides entertainment for even the most reluctant sports observer.

At this point in the game’s 44 year history, it is become a de facto American holiday. It has got all the elements of any other holiday, after all. Food, fun, rituals, entertainment and togetherness. Without further ado, let us discuss some of the time honored traditions of this American past time that leaves the old American past time, MLB, in the dust.

Super Bowl Sunday starts with a plan. Whether you are going to head to your local sports bar, take a plane to go to the game or have people over, it is not something done on the fly without forethought. While past years have shown high sports bar attendance, people are increasingly spending it at home in front of their favorite flat screen with their best friends and loved ones.

Super Bowl Sunday – The Food

No Super Bowl Sunday would be complete without some seriously artery clogging grub. Like Thanksgiving, people give themselves license to indulge. And because football is a manly sport for manly men (allegedly), the most stick-to-your ribs food is served. We are talking potato skins loaded with cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives. Foot-long submarines replete with every vegetable, cheese and deli meat combination you can think of. Meat lovers pizza, pigs in a blanket, buffalo wings and blue cheese dressing, loads of potato chips and Doritos are all on the menu. This is not the type of food you have at a classy joint, meeting your girl’s parents for the first time. Forget about wine and cocktails; it is all washed down with beer. Loads, gallons, and pints of beer. For you stats lovers, here is a rundown of what Americans will consume in numbers: 29 million pounds of chips, 90 million chicken wings and about 8 million pounds of guacamole. The most common way to serve all of this glorious, fun, food is buffet style. And yes, you are expected to go back for seconds—and thirds.

While you are fantasizing about the food, chances are you are also putting a few bucks in an office betting pool or putting together some kind of bet on the game between your friends. This is time to put away your fantasy team and put some money on the game day itself. You have endless choices. Sure you can bet that one team will win over the other, but you can also bet that the half-time show will involve a bashful celebrity claiming a wardrobe malfunction or that your favorite commercial involves talking frogs.

Super Bowl Commercials

No Super Bowl Sunday would even come close to being complete without over-the-top Super Bowl commercials. It is the highest rated television event of the year (debatable), with hundreds of millions of viewers and the Gods of American consumerism delivering. At about 3 million bucks per 30 seconds only, the most popular brand names, with the biggest celebrity endorsers, and the biggest movie studios can afford to throw their commercial in the lot. This means that every commercial break is worth watching. If you have been thinking about getting a DVR, Super Bowl Sunday is a good time to have one. That way you can get in your bathroom breaks too.

Aside from the game itself, the other major tradition of Super Bowl Sunday is the half-time show. Traditionally, the most popular rock groups, pop stars and musicians with the most successful careers are invited on stage to do a medley of their own hits or American favorites. Americans love to anticipate the half-time show and love to hate it the second it is over, complaining about who could have done better and why it did not live up to their expectations. But it is okay, it is all part of Super Bowl game day.

Post Super Bowl game day traditions tend to involve a lot of clean-up, a lot of aspirin and pepto-bismol, and sleeping in past the A.M. (that is of course, if you get the next day off work and/or school).

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