Super Bowl Consumption by the Numbers

RealFootball365.comSenior Writer IFebruary 1, 2008

Surely preaching to the converted here, but shouldn't they just go ahead and officially make Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday?

Think about it: How many other non-celebratory days necessitate gatherings of friends and family, the donning of ceremonial garb, a cram-it-all-in pigout and a desperate search for hangover cures the next day?

Let's face it, even those who can't tell "Welker, slot receiver" from "Walker, Texas Ranger" (Hint: Chuck is the bearded one), odds are you'll be plunked down in front of the tube with a handful of NFL freaks madly ranting about 22 huge dudes chucking a pigskin around.

For these forlorn sorts, the type of person who still madly proclaims they're only there for the commercials, a few statistics and mind-blowers away from the gridiron.

Hosting a party on Sunday? You're not alone. According to Hallmark Cards, Inc., the Super Bowl represents the No. 1 at-home party event of the year: Believe it or not, it's even bigger than New Year's Eve. One wonders when we might see cards celebrating the event, not to mention Super Bowl Monday sympathy editions for the losing team's fans.

Hallmark also figures the average number of people attending a Super Shindig to be 17. According to the folks at SuperBowlMonday.com, full on 40 percent of those watching the game are not football fans, meaning six or seven of that average party will be reduced to making Justin Timberlake jokes when Michael Strahan first gets flagged for "illegal use of the hands."

Macro-economically speaking, national government statistics of three years ago (alas, today the link is broken) reckoned that just under $55 million was expected to be expended on Super Bowl food alone.

After spending an estimated 10 million man-hours (give or take a couple of seconds) preparing all that grub, Americans are expected to consume the lot within approximately 15 minutes, well before the first touchdown (on average) is scored.

Speaking of rampant consumption, Super Bowl Sunday marks the day on which Americans chow the second-greatest amount of food. Top dog here is Thanksgiving.

How much do we eat as a nation? Almost 15,000 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn. To take these out of rational perspective, lining up each and every chip would produce a trail of almost 293,000 miles (not quite 1.5 times the distance to the moon, or 6 feet per American).

In terms of sheer weight, about 12 million pounds' worth of potato chips were torn through during the 2002 game; meanwhile, a popcorn string consisting of all that eaten during a typical Super Bowl would ring the Earth almost 5.5 times.

The real winner in terms of food sales has to be the avocado, however. The California Avocado Commission cites impressive numbers indeed for their Super Sunday: Some 13.2 million pounds of avocado - or approximately 26 million individual avocados, give or take a couple - are sold in preparation for the game so that Americans may gorge themselves on an estimated eight million pounds of guacamole. That's enough, reminds the council, to "dip to cover the Louisiana Superdome football field, end zone to end zone, waist deep in guacamole (approximately 40 inches)."

By the way, if you don't prepare anything for guests, you're not alone: There are more pizza deliveries made during Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year, with halftime representing the single busiest hour of a given year's 8,760.

Calculating with reference to per capita beer consumption, hosts should probably buy ... a lot. No hard statistics are easily found on this particular aspect of purchasing, but the Super Bowl itself has been credited with turning January into one of America's top months for beer consumption.

Then there's the next day; hey, there's a reason they don't call it Super Monday and another good excuse for an official three-day weekend. 7-Eleven claims a whopping 20 percent in sales of antacid the day after the Super Bowl. Just imagine what that number will be like in Boston should the Patriots go down.

Also important to remember: Statistics show that 6 percent of all working Americans will call in sick the day after the game. Figuring in the above number regarding average party attendance, this means that just over one person per gathering will whine to the boss on Monday. If you're partying with colleagues, you might want to take an informal poll before having that umpteenth brewski.

Until they make it a national holiday, that is.

(And while we're here, prediction: Patriots 31, Giants 28 - each of New England's Super Bowl wins has been by a field goal; why does no one remember this?)

Chowing down all year long (but especially you-know-when) at RealFootball365.com.