Advertisement

Rick Zamperin: Forget the Olympics, the Super Bowl is the world’s biggest sports spectacle

The Vince Lombardi Trophy is displayed before a news conference for the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Atlanta.
The Vince Lombardi Trophy is displayed before a news conference for the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Atlanta. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The Super Bowl is the greatest sports spectacle on the planet.

Being the championship game in one of the most popular sports in North America obviously doesn’t hurt, but the excitement encapsulates more that just what happens between the lines.

The halftime show is a perfect example. It attracts millions of viewers, many of whom aren’t even sports fans. Maroon 5 is the headline act for this Sunday’s halftime show, which has come with some blowback after other performers criticized the band for accepting the gig in light of the controversy surrounding former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Maroon 5 cancels Super Bowl halftime press conference

Super Bowl commercials, meanwhile, have taken on a life of their own over the past couple of decades. From Budweiser to Doritos, Apple to Pepsi and Coca-Cola, the multimillion-dollar TV ads have become vitally important to the companies that advertise during the game and entertaining for social media users and people who still gather around the water cooler the next day.

What would a Super Bowl party be without the food? According to the National Chicken Council, Americans will eat an all-time high 1.38 million chicken wings during Super Bowl weekend, enough to circle the Earth three times. Super Bowl Sunday is also the busiest day of the year for pizza places, and bags of potato chips and other snacks and drinks fly off store shelves as well.

WATCH: 1.38-billion chicken wings to be eaten during Super Bowl: National Chicken Council

1.38-billion chicken wings to be eaten during Super Bowl: National Chicken Council
1.38-billion chicken wings to be eaten during Super Bowl: National Chicken Council

One of the other elements of Super Bowl Sunday that attracts more than just hardcore football fans is the gambling that goes along with it.

Story continues below advertisement

The American Gaming Association predicts $6 billion will be wagered, legally and illegally, on Super Bowl LIII. A recent survey by the group shows that almost 10 percent of Americans — 22.7 million adults — plan to bet on the Super Bowl, with 52 per cent betting on the Los Angeles Rams and 48 per cent siding with the New England Patriots.

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: Super Bowl LIII simulation shows Rams beating Patriots

For those of you who are planning to host a Super Bowl party on Sunday, prop bets are a sure fire way to get everyone in on the fun, sports fan or not. A prop bet, short for proposition bet, is a wager on a specific individual or event.

Las Vegas has listed hundreds of different prop bets for Super Bowl LIII. Will the coin toss be heads or tails? Will Gladys Knight’s national anthem be under or over one minute and 47 seconds? And what will be the colour of the liquid poured on the game-winning coach?

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Super Bowl 2019 to include male cheerleaders for 1st time

My favourite props this year are, in no particular order: How many plays will CBS analyst Tony Romo correctly predict before the snap? Will a touchdown be overturned by replay? And will either kicker hit the post or crossbar on a missed field goal or extra point attempt?

Whether you’re laying down money or not, grab a chicken wing — or five — and enjoy the big game.