Where to watch the big game
PAUL SPADARO, owner of Steiners Tavern, gets the bar decked out for the big game with its “Official 49ers North Bay Headquarter” banner.
If you’re like the average American, you already know where you’ll be Sunday afternoon. If you’re not watching the showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, you may find yourself alone.
The American Journal reports that most Super Bowl plans are made 41 days in advance, compared to 35 days for New Year’s Eve. And if you’re keeping with American tradition, you’ll likely be watching the game at home – as nine out of 10 sports lovers watch football’s biggest game from the comfort of a couch.
But, if you’re among the 4 percent who prefer to watch the Super Bowl amongst other raucous sports fans at a bar, restaurant or watering hole, you’ll have your choice of local establishments furnished with over-sized televisions and a full menu of Super Bowl-appropriate foods. And why wouldn’t they? After Thanksgiving, more food is consumed on Super Bowl Sunday than any day of the year. Americans will take in 27 billion calories eating 11.2 million pounds of potato chips alone, according to the Calorie Control Council. And that calorie count doesn’t include the 1.23 billion chicken wings, 8 million pounds of guacamole, 4.3 million pounds of pretzels, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn and 2.5 million pounds of nuts, among other game day favorites.
And then there’s the 51.7 million cases of beer Americans will drink.
But all that gluttony has a price, best seen in the 20 percent spike in antacid sales the next day, 7-Eleven stores report.
Even legislators are getting in on the eating action. On Monday, California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer agreed to a friendly wager posed by Maryland senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. If the Niners win, the East Coast representatives owe Boxer and Feinstein some of Baltimore’s favorite foods: Faidley’s crab cakes, Berger cookies and Heavy Seas beer. However, if the Ravens take home the title, the California senators will be on the hook for a Bay Area feast of dungeness crab, Napa Valley wine, sourdough bread and a selection of Northern California cheeses.
“We have full confidence that the San Francisco 49ers will strike gold – and the Baltimore Ravens will flutter away in defeat – as we claim our sixth Super Bowl title,” Boxer and Feinstein wrote in their letter accepting Cardin and Mikulski’s challenge. “We feel that it is only fitting that crab is on the menu since you are likely to be feeling very crabby after a tough loss by your Ravens.”
In a similar vein, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager Steve Page bet a selection of Sonoma County wine against The Grand Prix of Baltimore’s crab cakes and Berger cookies.
Back home in Sonoma, Murphy’s Irish Pub’s new chef Derek Belanger will be whipping up some Super Bowl bites, such as smoked tri-tip sandwiches, house-made chorizo burgers with green-chili mayo roasted pork and nachos, to compliment its 100-inch television screen inside. General Manager Hunt Bailie said the pub will also be projecting the game outside, to expand the viewing options. Across the Plaza at Steiners Tavern, all 10 flat screen televisions will be set to the game, with discounts on buckets of American beers like Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of the Super Bowl. Owner Paul Spadaro said, once again, the bar will be raffling off prizes between each quarter, including such trophies as souvenir Niner pint glasses.
“The raffles are all for free. (We) like to tape tickets under every seat so everyone can have a chance to win,” Spadaro said.
After its bacon bowl during the league championships, the Olde Sonoma Public House is taking a more relaxed approach to the big game, said bartender Ryan Jewell. The bar will host its regular happy hour special from 4 to 6 p.m., and patrons can watch one of the establishment’s two large-screen televisions. “People are welcome to bring in any food,” Jewell said.
All three televisions at Town Square bar will feature the main event, and the bar will offer free food to drinking patrons, with specials on premium drinks. Expect a make-your-own-sandwich bar along with some of the aforementioned salty snacks. Over on Arnold Drive, Cary’s Sports Grill will have the game playing on multiple televisions, with discounts on draught beers.
HopMonk Tavern will show the game on a 72-inch screen in its music room, where reservations are required. But the game can also be seen on the two flat screens in the bar, or a third television to be set up along with a “community table” on the other side of the restaurant, with no reservations required there.
For those on the northern side of the Valley, the Jack London Lodge in Glen Ellen will be serving up food in the bar from noon to 8 p.m. with the game playing on all three televisions.
No matter where you watch the game, be sure to plan a safe route home if you intend to imbibe – the Insurance Information Institute reports that, after St. Patrick’s Day, more alcohol related accidents take place on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year.
“We will be out in full force on Super Bowl Sunday,” cautioned Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett. “We want everyone to have a safe and sane celebration, and to get home safely.”