Super Bowl And The Stomach: A Tale Of Two Cities

You’ve read the stories countless thousands of times. “During the Super Bowl, America will eat 53 million pounds of avocado!” ‘If you laid the all the potato chips consumed during the Super Bowl end-to-end, the line would stretch to the moon!” “One billion chicken wings will be eaten this Sunday!” These are tired, boring stories that rarely cite their sources. These stories are intellectual Easy Loungers to comfort reporters on deadline who have nothing better. These are retreads; last year’s news reprinted today. We will spare you another avalanche of such trite concern.

No. This story is about two men. Erik “The Red” Denmark of Seattle, WA, and Bryan “Big Sexy” Beard of Denver, CO. Erik is listed here first because he is ranked ahead of Bryan in MLE rankings, #14 and #45 respectively, and this is a meritocracy. As you may have figured out, Erik is a fan of his city’s Seahawks and Bryan is a fan of his city’s Broncos. Those two teams are playing in the Super Bowl, which is this Sunday, like you don’t know. They are avid sports fans and they are American men and that means they are standing on the precipice of joy and doom. One must lose. One must soar. Valé sympathy. The pressure of Super Bowl week is wearing on both men. Indeed, it is wearing on their appetites.

“We’ve got the best corner in the game—Richard Sherman—and rest of the Legion of Boom back there, so as far as I’m concerned, Peyton throwing the ball 60 times is a recipe for success,” said Erik, reached by cell phone while enjoying a fresh-roasted Ethiopian Arabica macchiato at one of Seattle’s well-regarded fair-trade cafes. “It’s complete and utter hysteria right now in the 206. Seattle will either erupt or implode depending on the result of the game so there’s a very high level of anxiety here right now. I'm on a fast until game time to keep my stomach pure, but come kickoff, it’ll be a three-and-a-half-hour buffet to calm my nerves. Comfort food; the standards. I feel good about our chances, though. I made a bet with my buddy who’s a Denver fan that I'll eat a horse if the Broncos win. I really hope I don't have to eat a horse.”

Bryan will be watching the big game from his Denver area home. He will, in accordance with his particular superstition, consume one chicken wing for every rushing yard accrued by Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno during the game. “Dude, I am stressed about this game. In the AFC Championship game against the Pats last week, Knowshon only ran for 59 yards, so that kind of sucked. I mean we won, so that’s all that matters, but I wish I could have eaten more wings to be honest with you. Like, in the San Diego game the week before, he went for 82 yards, so that’s what I’m looking for this Sunday: Let Peyton set the tone with the pass, get up on the scoreboard, then pound the rock so I can pound more wings.” When Moreno scores a touchdown, Bryan celebrates by eating one additional wing—pre-selected, designated and set aside for its juicy perfection. For Bryan, it is the sweetest wing of all.

So, who will win the big game? According to the nation’s dailies, it shall be the Broncos, because the Madden 25 video game simulator says so. (Let us ignore, for the sake of convenience, that the same simulator predicted the 49ers would win the NFC Championship game. This turned out to be wrong. Cool? Cool.) A Broncos victory is what America needs and she shall have what she needs: Another Super Bowl ring slipped on Peyton Manning’s claw, a second to match the tally of his brother, Eli Manning, of Hoboken, NJ. Another win for Peyton—and he is Peyton to us, for he is our brother—will be the tonic to soothe a tired nation. Endless tributes to his eternal classiness and an advertising landscape that features all-Peyton, all the time are in the offing. I, for one, can not wait to live in a post-Broncos win America. It is a better place. It is home.

Enjoy the game. Eat well and wisely. May courage and honor, forever, be the victors.