This was originally published on January 30, 2015.
Nine out of the 10 most-watched TV programs in history were Super Bowls. The other TV program that surpassed 100 million viewers was the series finale of M*A*S*H* in 1983. So I think it’s fair to say that most us, football fans or not, are probably watching the big game on Sunday. Sure, maybe it’s more about the hot wings, half-time show and commercials, but nonetheless, it’s one of the most popular days in the United States to eat, drink and watch football. It doesn’t seem to get much more American than that if you ask me.
When I was drinking, I loved Super Bowl Sunday because it was one of those days that other people seemed to step up their drinking game and drink like I did. Now sober, Super Bowl Sunday is just another day where I will probably eat more guacamole than I should but I have a pretty solid idea of how my day, night and next morning will turn out—something that was always unknown when I was drinking.
Never in a million years did I think I would be the girl sending out an Evite titled “Sober Super Bowl Party” but that happened this year. My party won’t add to the 325 million gallons of beer that will be consumed on Sunday, but we will be part of the billion chicken wings and 53.5 pounds of guacamole that Americans chow down on.
So if you think you are missing out on not drinking during the Big Game, think again. Here are four solid reasons being sober for the Super Bowl is a grand idea.
1) You won’t have to DVR the game to see who won.
Nope, you won’t have to DVR it or even turn to Sports Center on Monday morning to get the highlights before you leave your house. You will remember what teams played. You will remember who won. You will remember if there were any wardrobe malfunctions during halftime. You will also recall who performed at half-time. These may seem obvious to people who don’t drink the way I used to, but up until I got sober, I could have been watching a M*A*S*H* marathon and not known when I woke up the next morning.
2) You can speak intelligently about the commercials at work on Monday.
Several studies show that 50% of the 100+ million views that tune in to watch the game are doing it for the commercials. I mean, I guess that makes sense considering 30-second spot costs $4 million and easily $1 million to produce. Nobody wants to miss the Budweiser’s Clydesdale search for the lost dog or Kim Kardashian mocking herself in the T-Mobile commercial. No, these are things that people will be speaking about on Monday morning around the water cooler. I was always the girl at the office the next day that had to frantically search YouTube on my phone to get up to speed. I thought I was doing well to just know who won.
3) You will actually go to work on Monday.
This is, of course, related to number three. It is estimated that around seven million people won’t show up for work the Monday after the Super Bowl. Surprising? Not really. I’m no mathematician but if over 100 million people watch the game then that’s around seven percent who call in “sick.” The NCADD shows that one in every 12 adults suffers from alcohol abuse or dependence, which is kind of on point with the Monday no-shows. No, I am not saying you are an alcoholic if you call in sick on Monday. But HR might think otherwise.
4) You won’t get a DUI.
Super Bowl Sunday constantly ranks as one of the most dangerous days of the year for drunk driving deaths, just behind St. Patty’s Day. Just a quick Google search on “Super Bowl Sunday DUI” confirms that law enforcement across the country are amping up “Booze it and Lose it”-type campaigns. The Automobile Club of Southern California reports that a 10-year analysis of fatal and injurious alcohol-related car crashes are 75% greater in California on Super Bowl Sunday than on other comparable Sundays in January and February. Of course, while you won’t be won’t be getting a DUI, it doesn’t keep you safe from all the other booze hounds that get behind the wheel. Be safe.
So, here is how I see it. Super Bowl Sunday is a great day to hang out with friends, eat unusual amounts of food for hours on end, rank favorite commercials, critique the half-time show and, this year anyway, make sure Brady doesn’t have inflated balls before going home, getting up on Monday and shining at work. You are guaranteed to be more productive than those who are hung-over, chugging Vitamin Water and spending hours on YouTube and Sports Center.
By the way, if football isn’t your thing, I am sure there’s a M*A*S*H* marathon on.