Throwing the flag on Super Bowl plans - The Orca

Throwing the flag on Super Bowl plans

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Jody Vance: You can still have pub wings for the Super Bowl – you just have to plan ahead.

To many, Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just a football game, but something of a secular holiday.

Usually, it’s a bright green light to line up early for a chance to squeeze into a bar, sweat it out with a bunch of friends and over-indulge in cheat foods and all-but-endless frosty pints. It’s a lot like St. Patrick’s Day: dress up; dance; high-fives; and hugs (often booze fuelled). God I miss that.

When the darkness is so pitch black, the news so sad and fear-filled, a massive escape is not just wanted, but needed. But we’re not there yet.

You know what’s coming: a Middle-sized reminder that Super Bowl 2021 must join last year’s Canada Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in the virtual bin.

This is non-negotiable. This Sunday’s big game is a hard-stop no-go.

As much as you think that you can, you can’t do Super Bowl the way you usually do. So here it is, the pandemic pivot.

As has been the case with so many moments over the past year, this is all more than frustrating, but sad. Yet another annual release of pent-up angst – cancelled.

The harsh reality remains: staying tight in your household bubble will save lives. Cancelling your Super Bowl plans will actually save a life.

It may hurt, but hopefully it’s not hard. Cheering for Tom Brady? That’s hard.

The good news is you can absolutely still support your local watering hole, which may well have been counting on Super Bowl revenues to make it through these dog days.

So bring the booth to your place.

Get creative with football fans in your house, and make something happen. Obviously you’ll still tune in and cheer against Tampa Bay. (Duh.) Kickoff is at 3:30 Pacific – which means you have hours and hours of pregame to set up.

Getting the skinny on how the Kansas City Chiefs match up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the field is almost as key as the snack game.

Don’t order in at gametime; that’s a rookie move. Call your local today and ask to get set up for gameday pick up.

Like eggnog at Christmas and turkey on Thanksgiving, Super Bowl is all about hot wings. Here’s your Super Bowl life hack: call in the order, and set your oven to 225. After pick up, lay the wings out on a sheet pan (easy to find at the dollar store) and trust me, they will hold easily until halftime.

When I worked at Sportsnet, Super Bowl was like a religious holiday – and  not because of the sports! At every house party, I had a gaggle of sportscasters over; it came with the gig. But they weren’t really there for me…the draw was the menu.

Thanks to the kindness of Warren Earhart, President of White Spot Restaurants, I would serve up Triple-O burgers for all the BC expats in Toronto. Warren would courier “everything but the meat” to my house so I could serve BC’s signature burgers. It was epic.

Friends still tell me how they miss coming for the game AND the Triple-O’s…and those pickles .

The emptiness of COVID and our intrinsic love of gathering obviously cannot be filled with the ransom weirdness of isolation and “bubbles” — but the love of local businesses and wanting to support restaurants, pubs, and bars by remaining safe will help.

You can even buy your beverages with your takeout.

When drawing up your perfect Super-Bowl-in-a-Pandemic X’s and O’s, make sure you’re never offside when it comes to public health orders. Please.

Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who’s spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.