Just Try to Avoid the Super Bowl

You Cant Avoid TV’s Most Highly Charged Event

By Buck Wolf

Jan. 27  — If you're an NFL star or a pizza deliveryman, one thing is true — the Super Bowl could very likely be the most important day of your professional life.

We all know that the Super Bowl is more than just a football game. Those 30-second TV commercials have turned the Budweiser talking frogs and those "Whassup?!" guys into celebrities.

It's no wonder Super Bowl sponsors now pay $2.3 million for an ad. The most highly charged sports event of the year reaches more than 100 million TV viewers.

But even if you hate football, it's fairly clear that the Super Bowl has a bigger impact than most dates on the calendar, even most official holidays.

Consider this: Super Bowl Sunday now makes for more dangerous driving conditions than New Year's Eve. It's the biggest day of the year for the fast-food delivery business.

And when it comes to aggressive marketing, the Super Bowl is even giving Santa a run for the money.

I'm not saying these are the best ways to judge the importance of a national event. I'm just saying that the Super Bowl is the one sporting event you can't avoid.

Let's take a look at some of the strange ways, good and bad, that the Super Bowl is America's No. 1 unofficial holiday.

Penalties for Going Long:

Brace yourself for this public service announcement: Friends don't let friends drive after the Super Bowl.

In the hour after the big game ends, the danger of car crashes increases 41 percent. What's more, the accident rate is highest in the losing team's home state.

New Year's Eve is often thought to be the most dangerous night to be behind the wheel. But the odds of being in a car accident only increase 10 percent on that night.

"I'm not saying the Super Bowl should be canceled," says Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto, who based his research on U.S. Department of Highway data over the past 27 years.

"We just have to make people aware and take precautions. It's the awareness of driving after New Year's Eve parties that have made traveling that day somewhat safer."