For these reasons, its carefree festivities stretch from corner to corner of the country in communities of all sizes, shapes and cultures.
Tonight’s “Super” party won’t be relegated to just the beautiful Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, although thousands of gridiron loyalists will surely be on hand to cheer their favored warriors — either the New England Patriots (15-3) of the American Football Conference or the team of many surprises, the New York Giants (12-7) of the National Football Conference.
Who will prevail?
Ask us that question at about 10 p.m. and we “might” have an answer. Depending upon the site of the office water coolers, and the conversationalists involved, it could be either. The consistently strong Patriots are a slight favorite according to the oddsmakers, but those Giants — with one of the worst Super Bowl participant records in recent history — are a team on fire whose helmeted army put it all together at just the right time. Many might not remember at one time late in the regular season, the New Yorkers held a dismal 7-7 record.
But the Super Bowl isn’t about records. Some might even stake the claim it is becoming less and less about football. This is the group whose down-to-earth fundamentals tire of the elongated pregames, the unprecedented pageantry leading to the singing of the National Anthem and the historic toss of the coin, and certainly the elaborate halftime shows featuring legendary entertainers of the past and present.
Truly, the Super Bowl has become more than just the NFL’s finest two teams locking horns. Few would argue it has become more of “The Event” of the sports season, filled with celebration and spectacular feats of gimmickry in fireworks, electronics wizardry and colorful celebrities more than willing to add their spark to a cherished moment that already glows.
The celebratory atmosphere of Indianapolis is spreading its exciting contagion to states, towns and households across the land. No less is true in our own Cleveland and Bradley County hometown, and for this reason we offer this reminder — the same one we would address on some of America’s favorite holidays.
It is the reminder of safety.
Why is this so important on Super Bowl Sunday? Most local celebrants will be hunkered down in food-laden homes enjoying this 2012 spectacular whose early afternoon pregame will whet the appetites of thousands of rabid fans in anticipation of the 6:20 p.m. kickoff.
But what about “emergency” runs during the game or getting home afterward?
Let’s face it. Plenty of alcoholic beverages will be consumed today and tonight, and if those supplies are exhausted revelers will be dispatched to area stores to buy more. In some cases, unwise decisions will be made. Keys will be given to the wrong people. And many drinkers will be driving home late tonight.
Those who take to the road will place themselves and passengers at genuine risk, as well as other motorists sharing the same space.
This is the same caution we would offer area residents on any other grandiose holiday. Super Bowl Sunday is no different.
It isn’t a holiday. But its festivities arguably are even livelier.
Enjoy tonight’s Super Bowl, but do it with discretion while keeping safety at the forefront.
Either the Giants or the Patriots will score more points and they will be crowned the champions of football.
But the real winners will be the fans — especially those who make wise decisions.