Super Bowl for Bettys

Big Game, big myths. The real dangers lurking this Sunday

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Super Bowl for Bettys

Big Game, big myth. The real dangers lurking this Sunday

-Myrna Blyth

emergency entranceEver heard this one? There are more visits to emergency rooms by women because of domestic abuse on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year. A shocking story, right? Sounds credible, right? Except it isn’t true. This false but irresistible tidbit was reported by Good Morning America and a whole slew of newspapers several years back. New York Times sportswriter Robert Lipsyte started referring playfully to the event as the Abuse Bowl.

The report was never questioned until some real fact-checking was done, this time by The Washington Post. But even then, the story didn’t die the sudden death it should have. Even years after it was debunked, the executive director of the Milwaukee Task Force on Family Violence who was, oddly enough, planning a Super Bowl fund-raiser, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that, yes, there probably is a higher incidence of domestic abuse because it is a weekend and the festivities involve alcohol. She offered no substantiation for her claim but just “believed” it was so. And in this way, the ugly rumor got started all over again.

But, be aware, there certainly are some dangers on Super Bowl Sunday–mostly to everyone’s his waistline. That’s because 14,500 tons of chips are consumed that day. Accompanied by 8 million pounds of guacamole. And all that chowing down is naturally, followed by a 20% increase in antacid sales on the Monday after the Big Game.

Bruce SpringsteenOther Super Bowl trivia: Seventeen people are at the average Super Bowl party while only 5% of game-watchers are dipping their chips alone. And 6% of people call in sick the day after. Too much football. Or too much guacamole.

The highlight of this year’s halftime show is, of course, Bruce Springsteen. What will he play? Only The Boss knows. At a news conference at the Super Bowl XLIII media center, Springsteen said, “Nobody else decides. People suggest, hint, they cajole, but I decide.” Jennifer Hudson, in her first appearance since her horrific family tragedy, will sing “The Star Spangled Banner;” Faith Hill will perform “America the Beautiful.”

Puppy BowlJust in case you plan to watch only Bruce and take a pass on the actual game (and there are several TVs in the house), there is a lot of counter programming, including chick flicks on FX, America’s Next Top Model on Oxygen and the ever-popular Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. At that Bowl, Pepper the Parrot performs the anthem; kittens handle halftime, and a Chinese Crested “Naked” dog streaks. Who could resist?

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