Americans Versus the Scale

When an acquaintance asked me who I’ll be rooting for in the Super Bowl, I answered enthusiastically, “The what?” I was kidding. I know what the Super Bowl is. I just don’t know who’s playing in it. Nor do I care.

There I’ve said it. But before you call me un-American, let me tell you, there’s one thing I have in common with Super Bowl fans: guacamole. I love guacamole, and apparently so do Super Bowl watchers. I read that more than 53 million pounds of avocados will be devoured on Super Bowl Sunday, making the event worthwhile even to me.

Apparently, if you were to cover a football field with all the guacamole that will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday, it would be an impressive 11.8 feet deep. I don’t know why you would do that though; it would spoil the game and, more importantly, the guacamole.

The point is, it’s a lot of guac and it’s not all Super Bowl fans will be eating. According to the fount of all knowledge, the internet, Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day for food consumption in the United States, with Thanksgiving Day being the first. Personally, I would trade guacamole for cranberry sauce any day. And it does pair well with turkey. But I digress.

The two most popular Super Bowl snacks are wings and pizza. Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest day of the year for pizza restaurants, and the National Chicken Council says Americans eat 1.3 billion chicken wings during the game. Holy guacamole, Colonel Sanders!

If that number is accurate, and I don’t see why the Chicken Council would lie about it, that’s enough wings for every man, woman, and child in America to eat four each. Now there’s something to crow about.

In the crunch heard across America, four million pounds of pretzels, eight million pounds of popcorn and two million pounds of nuts are consumed during the Super Bowl. It’s a wonder anyone can hear the play-by-play.

Add to that 28 million pounds of potato chips, which would make a trail 293,000 miles long if you laid them all out end to end, though I’m not sure why you would.

It’s all washed down with some 325 million gallons of beer, or enough to fill 493 Olympic-size swimming pools if you drained the water and poured it in. Don’t though. After spending the afternoon snacking and yelling at the television, a leisurely swim might be just what everyone needs.

 Is it any wonder there’s a 20% increase in antacid sales on the Monday following the Super Bowl and seven million employees call in sick for work. What isn’t clear is if they’re staying home to mourn a loss or because they overdid it on chicken wings and guacamole.

Before I go any further, I have a disclaimer, which a better writer would have put at the top of this column. I don’t know who comes up with these numbers or how they do it, and the estimates vary widely. But when it comes to the food consumed on Super Bowl Sunday, there is one indisputable statistic: It’s A LOT.

In fact, I read that the average American will put away some 6,000 calories on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s two or three days’ worth for most of us, and we’re not even the ones running up and down the field. We burn some calories cheering, but probably not enough to break even. Stand up, sit down, bite, bite, bite!

At any rate, now I know who’s facing off in Super Bowl 51. It’s the Americans versus the Scale. Go team!