Some of the individual-fact flakes regarding consumption are incredible. There will be an estimated 1.23 billion chicken wings consumed over Super Bowl weekend. And it’s also the biggest day of the year for that other traditional Super Bowl repast — pizza:
Super Bowl is the busiest day of the year for pizza sales, and figures from 2012 showed an expected 4 million pizzas sold by restaurants alone. That is not counting the frozen pizzas from grocery stores nor the die-hards who make their own pizzas from scratch. Statistic Brain said Pizza Hut sold 2 million pizzas during the Super Bowl in 2012. Domino’s does not readily break out sales, but it shows that Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest of its top five pizza days each year, and Domino’s delivery drivers will log about 4 million miles on Super Bowl Sunday.
It wouldn’t be a Super Bowl without betting. America — and the world — goes gaga over Super Bowl wagering. It is estimated that $10 billion in legal and illegal betting will go on for this one game. That includes the ubiquitous office pools that are worth $2 billion in the U.S. alone.
Fifty million cases of beer will be drunk, with the predictable result of 7 million Americans calling in sick on Monday.
Overconsumption and the gigantic audience lead to the most expensive ads for any program on TV. This year’s wildly creative — and sometimes controversial — ads will cost companies $3.8 million for a single 30-second commercial. An interesting game to play is to ask yourself after an ad has aired if you remember what product was being advertised. It isn’t so much if the ad “works” or not. It’s the prestige of having an ad on the Super Bowl broadcast that matters almost as much.
You can play the cynic today and sniff at all the foo-foo-rah surrounding the game. But if you don’t embrace the pure Americana that the game represents — glorious overconsumption, a marvelous dose of wackiness, media madness, and a kid’s game played by 400 pound grown men — you are missing out on celebrating a clear and true example of American exceptionalism.