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A different Super Bowl Sunday now
COMMENTARY

A different Super Bowl Sunday now

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It is time for the latest national holiday to fall under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.

I’ve heard rumors that Super Bowl Sunday isn’t an official national holiday, but I strongly suspect that those are some of that fake news I heard so much about over the past four years.

The Super Bowl evolved into the perfect pigskin party for football fans and non-fans alike.

Do you love football? Then there is no reason to not watch the biggest game of the season to decide who sits atop the National Football League for the next year.

Are you not a football fan but like to gather with fans to critique commercials?

To be honest, that would seem pretty weird if you did that 364 days out of the year. But the commercials have become a highlight — sometimes THE highlight when the game turns into a dud — and are as highly anticipated by many as the game itself.

Sadly, technology has ruined this tradition with many companies deciding to preview their big ads online prior to their spot in the game which cost just a few million dollars. Spoiler warnings, please.

This year people in this area can play “Where’s Bruce?” with the rumors of Bruce Springsteen roaming central Nebraska and Kansas last week filming a Super Bowl commercial. Any excuse to get out of New Jersey for a day, I guess.

Not a fan of football or commercials but you love yourself live music? The Super Bowl halftime spectacle has evolved into just your type of event.

There’s always much debate after each year’s act is announced. For a music snob like myself, finding out that The Weeknd was this year’s choice led to one reaction:

“How can you perform at the Super Bowl when your name is a typo? Patrick Mahoms isn’t allowed to quarterback the Kansas City Chifs, is he?”

The Weeknd’s manager said the singer put up $7 million of his own money to make sure the performance lived up to his expectations.

I know Super Bowl tickets are high this year, but paying $7 million and having to work seems like more than I would be willing to do to get inside the stadium.

The game itself will have a different feel simply because 25,000 fans will be scattered around the stadium.

According to CNN, “The 25,000 fans in attendance are required to wear face coverings at all times and are receiving PPE kits, a Super Bowl branded face mask, hand sanitizer and wipes from the NFL on arrival.”

No word on if they will also be giving NFL flags to toss onto the field for bogus targeting calls or in case a pass interference penalty is missed.

Will Super Bowl parties be different in the world of COVID-19?

I hope so.

With the way I have devoured wings and sent spittle flying when I drew two of the worst possible numbers yet again, I should have been masked and social distanced even in pre-coronavirus times.

While the temptation is there to do things “like normal” and have the whole gang over, people need to remain smart. With COVID-19 numbers dipping in many places, that can’t mean that everyone can just stop doing what got us to a better place.

Yes, we all want things to return to normal, and hopefully they will one day.

No matter if your team wins or loses, whether your bets pay big or fall short (if only sports betting was already legal in this state, I would so take the over on the length of the national anthem) or whether the commercials are great or eh, better times are just around the corner.

There is still hope in this world that has too often seemed dark over the past 11 months.

Peeps production has resumed just in time for Easter.

Dale Miller is a sports writer for the Independent. Once a week he wanders away from the sports department to offer his take on non-sports related topics. Email him at dale.miller@theindependent.com

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