Busted Halo
feature: entertainment & lifestyle
January 30th, 2012

Five Football-Free Alternatives to Super Bowl Sunday


Not a football fan? Neither am I. But in a country where football is more or less a religion, it’s hard to escape the clamor and commotion surrounding the holiest of holy days — Super Bowl Sunday. I’ve managed to circumvent The Big Game for the past few years (one of the perks of attending a women’s college), but now that the Giants have made it to the championship and New York is teeming with football mania, I’ll have to try a lot harder to dodge the Super Bowl bullet. To help me — and you — get through this football-filled festivity, I’ve come up with a few ideas.

1. Puppy Bowl VIII

For more than two hours, beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday February 5, Animal Planet offers the most brilliant solution for those of us who don’t particularly like football, but don’t want the day to go completely uncelebrated: Puppy Bowl. Why watch huge guys in tight pants clobber each other when you can watch adorable puppies frolic about on a mini gridiron? The event presents some of the cutest puppies you’ve ever seen doing ridiculously cute stuff with features like “Puppy Cam” (from the puppy player point of view!) and “Water Bowl Cam.” But not only are these puppies precious gems of cuteness, they are all from shelters, and throughout the show, you can learn how to adopt rescued puppies and help local shelters.

2. Souper Bowl Party

Gather up all your fellow football non-fans and have a “Soup”er Bowl party! Instead of a typical Super Bowl party, where the fare consists mostly of beer and Doritos, cook up a big pot of soup, and whatever else you’d like, too (the soup is necessary only to preserve the pun). Invite your friends over, blissfully ignore the game, and indulge in delicious homemade soup and good company. You could even turn it into a way to do good — a group called Souper Bowl of Caring encourages youth to help “tackle” hunger in their communities. Even though the charity is geared towards teenagers, that doesn’t mean that you can’t participate. Turn your Souper Bowl soup party into a Souper Bowl for Caring soup party by collecting donations from your friends for a local food pantry or soup kitchen.

3. Get Ready for the Oscars

Have you seen all of the movies up for Academy Awards this year? If you have, then I am impressed, but also afraid that this suggestion might not help. The Oscars are three weeks after The Game, and Super Bowl Sunday provides a perfect excuse for you to go out to the movies. Find which Oscar-nominated films are playing in your area and pick the ones that you’ve most wanted to see. Check out Busted Halo’s Movie Minister blog for suggestions from Fr. Jake Martin, SJ. Start with a matinee and make a day of it — it definitely takes more than one movie to pass the Sunday away. Bring your friends along too. Then, when it comes time to watch the Academy Awards, you can have something to talk about when the winners are chosen.

4. Take a Day Trip

Honestly, the best possible way to get away from Super Bowl mania is to get away from people. Use Sunday as a sort of retreat, both from the sports-crazed atmosphere and from your daily life. If you live in the city or suburbs, why not wake up early and drive or take public transportation out into the country? And if you live out in the country, why not reconnect with your bucolic surroundings? Depending on the weather, you can hike, bike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski any consciousness of the Big Game into oblivion. Of course, pack some food with you so you can stop and have a picnic along the way! A couple thermoses of hot cocoa and tea, some sandwiches, and a few candy bars will do the trick.

5. Go To Church

The Super Bowl is, as always, on a Sunday. What else might one typically do on a Sunday? Oh, that’s right — go to church! Does your parish have a Sunday evening Mass? Check it out! Instead of falling prostrate in front of your 70-inch TV screen to worship the gods of Brady or Manning this Sunday, worship the God who really matters.

What alternatives to the Super Bowl would you suggest?

The Author : Allison Dilyard
Allison Dilyard, a current Busted Halo intern, lives in New York City while studying undergraduate religious studies at Barnard College. In her spare time she reads whatever she can get her hands on and goes to as many movies as possible. She wants to get a Ph.D. and become either a professor or novelist -- or both.
See more articles by (9).
Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Carmen

    This may not count, but this is what we do. I was a nerd and an art geek in a family of athletes. But all the same, we would turn Super Bowl Sunday into a mini-Thanksgiving/family fun night. The Saturday before, my sister and I would work as hard as we could (even inbetween soccer games/school play rehersals) to get our homework “finished-finished” meaning even flashcards had do be completed. We would then, as a family go to church, come home, and cook up a feast, all of us together working on an appetizer or chicken fingers or something. Then we would put the food on TV trays, watch the game and commercials and have a blast at it. The past two Super Bowls, we didnt get to do that, but I am hoping next year my (new) husband and I can do it.

  • bob Soltys

    Read a book, preferably a religious or self-improvement one

  • Malea C.

    Jane, I hear you. I am in Indy too, and boy will I be glad when the circus is over and I can get my quiet city back!!!

  • Alan

    I Absolutely LOVE Absolutely Fabulous! Thanks for bringing this to our attention, I know what I’ll be doing this Sunday!

  • Jane Knight

    There is an “Absolutely Fabulous” marathon on BBC America I plan on watching in place of the Big Game. I live in Indianapolis and I am so sick of hearing about the Super hype.

  • Oscar

    This will be the 12th year in a row that a group of 6 of us guys go camping in the Yosemite Valley. It is pretty quiet as the valley is relatively empty (for obvious reasons). Although there isn’t any snow in the valley this year, we’ve been when there has been several inches on the ground and several feet during our hikes.
    None of us watches football regularly so this is the perfect time to get some hiking in, be with friends and enjoy one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
    But don’t tell anyone…we wouldn’t want to spoil the fact that no one is there. :-)

  • John

    Spend the day watching ‘the beautiful game’. Now that’ “real” football.

  • joe

    how about a DVD marathon? Battlestar Gallactica anyone? any season of The Wire? Boardwalk Empire, The Borgias, Nurse Jackie, Homeland, you get the idea

powered by the Paulists