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A super size day

Don’t you think it’s interesting, how Super Bowl Sunday has become a feasting day, second only to Thanksgiving in one-day food consumption?

The most repeated statistic is that the average American will consume between 3,000 and 6,000 calories on Super Bowl Sunday.

To put that in perspective, 6000 calories is about three whole pizzas, 10 large fastfood burgers, 40 beers, or 1000 celery. growers say 1.3 billion chicken wings are consumed. First, I didn’t realize there were that many chickens in existence, and second, I dread seeing all of those little avian amputees clucking about without arms.

The Super Bowl occurs in the absolute worst spot relative to that New Year’s resolution to “lose weight”. You’ve been eating leaves and twigs for a month, you’ve stayed away from fattening beverages, you’ve gone to the gym, you’ve skipped desert, and just when you are most discouraged at the lack of scale results after a month, the biggest party day of the year arrives.

Of course, the day itself is prone to over-consumption because there’s the whole “grazing” thing going on. Unlike Thanksgiving, which is at least a single-sitting meal that you can walk away from when you are full, Super Bowl Sunday is more like an on-going -tail-gate that starts as early as guests start arriving. Many people make the mistake of “filling up” before the game, in the belief that they will be subsequently busy watching the game. But an empty beverage cup, the smell of a new batch of ham and cheese sliders coming out of the oven, and the realization that there is a commercial break approximately every three minutes soon has you back at the food table, shoveling down seven-layer bean dip in between bites of bratwurst.

Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of the day is that the reason for the feasting – the game itself – is rarely even memorable.

I have been alive for all of the Super Bowls, and I remember three of them: (1) Super Bowl XV, which I missed because my daughter was being born, (2) Super Bowl XX, because I got a kick out of the ’85 Bears and their cast of characters and (3) Super Bowl LI, when Atlanta played a stunning first half, but couldn’t hold it together for the win. However, I do remember each time I was introduced to new appetizers – prosciutto and asparagus, buffalo chicken dip, fried pickles, Swedish meatballs, cheeseballs, Hawaiian roll sliders, potato skins – the list could continue for a long time.

Super Bowl Sunday is uniquely American – a joyous celebration of food, sports, and commerce.

But, next year, I’m cutting back on the food. Honest.