Given those activities, few readers will be surprised to learn that I absolutely love the Super Bowl and watch it every year.

In fact, I routinely work through Labour Day so I can take Super Bowl Sunday off.  Due to the International Date Line, Super Bowl Sunday actually occurs here on aMonday afternoon and this year it conveniently falls on a public holiday. Malthouse will be opening early to show the game on the big screen, pour beers and cook up BBQ chicken wings. [1]

On Monday 6 February at around 12:30pm, Super Bowl XLVI [2] will kick off in front of what is expected to be the second largest television audience of the year.  While the Super Bowl is way out in front in America, globally the most watched programme is still soccer’s UEFA Champions League final.  I stand by my comments in last year’s blog that it says something about modern society that a game where grown men crash to the ground in agony because of a light breeze should be more popular than a game where half of each team is there only to smash into one other and they never expect to actually touch the ball.”

At any given moment during the Super Bowl, 80 to 90 million Americans will be watching the game.  The two most watched television shows in American history are the last two Super Bowls, knocking the final episode of MASH off number one after twenty eight years.  However, that classic tear jerker still holds the record for market share. Given the staggering number of viewers, advertising space is snapped up with all the thirty-second slots sold at an average price of US$3.5m (NZ$4.3m).

Super Bowl Sunday also holds the distinction of being the second largest day forfood consumption in the United States.  It trails only the annual gluttony ofThanksgiving.  When Americans eat more than they do on Christmas Day, that is the very definition of a big food day.

The game will be played in Indianapolis, Indiana (State Motto: “The Crossroads of America”) [3] which is the closest the Indianapolis Colts will get to the Vince Lombardi Trophy this year.  They unexpectedly failed to even make the playoffs for the first time since 2001, thus losing the chance to be the first team to play a Super Bowl at home.

Despite some pre-season hype and optimism the Colts were not even close with their 2 win and 14 loss record placing them dead last in the NFL. [4] The only consolation is thatwinning the wooden spoon means they have the first draft pick next year.  Their dismal record could easily have been even worse as they made a bit of a late season run by winning two of their last three games. Without that, they would have been about as successful as, say, the Wellington Firebirds.

There are only two downsides to the Super Bowl.

The first is that we miss out on all the awesome Super Bowl ads in New Zealand.  Instead, we get the standard Sky Sports commercials.  I have watched previous Super Bowls at both the American Embassy and the Marine Corps House but even they don’t get them.  Instead, they get the Armed Forces Network and the accompanying commercials.  The two most memorable ones – and I am not making this up – were the “have you ever considered being a Marine Corps dentist” and the “if you suspect your fellow trooper is doing drugs report them immediately to your superior officer” ads.

Secondly, and certainly more worryingly, is that Madonna is doing the half-time entertainment.  Sure, it is hard to imagine anything much worse than Justin Timberlake ripping clothes off Janet Jackson, U2’s Bono getting all political as usual or the Black Eyed Peas totally phoning it in and getting booed out of the arena last year. [5] That said, I have every confidence that Madge (Favourite Beer: Timothy Taylor Landlord) will find a way to lower the bar even further and scare people with her strange, stringy arm muscles. [6]

So, on Monday 6 February 2012 Malthouse will be opening at noon to show the game.  In addition to the usual pizza, sausage and ugly bread [7] menu, there will bethe very American addition of $5 BBQ chicken wings. I have already booked fourbowls of them – one for each quarter.  I will be watching the Showcase of the Immortals – just look for the happy guy surrounded by chicken bones and empty bottles of Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA.


[1] Chicken wings: my one weakness, my Achilles Heel, if you will.

[2] That is 46 for the benefit of those without a classical education.

[3] It has to be said that the mottos of Alaska (“North to the Future”) and Maryland (“Manly Deeds, Womanly Words”) are actually worse than both Palmerston North (“Knowledge City”) and Hamilton (“City of the Future”).

[4] When you lose to the Cincinnati Bungles, you officially suck.

[5] It would be more accurate to say they lip-synced it in but given how much autotune they use they could have easily ‘sung’ it live.

[6] Both Timothy Taylor Landlord and Kaballah suffered a dramatic plunge in popularity after being endorsed by the Material Girl.  In New Zealand, this is known as the “Mike King Effect”.

[7] Ugly bread: my one weakness, my Achilles Heel, if you will.




Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Real Beer New Zealand

Beer and Brewer Magazine



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