Benac: Plenty to do if you’re not into the Super Bowl

Every year, the Super Bowl draws in millions of viewers that makes it the most watched event of all time.

Last year’s Super Bowl drew 111.3 million viewers, which is the current ratings record. In fact, four of the five top watched programs were Super Bowls with the lone standout being the number four ranked “MASH” finale.

Now, I try to watch the Super Bowl every year. This is partially because I enjoy the sport and partially because of the parties involved. One of the best parts is getting everybody together, buying a bunch of junk food and cheering in a room of sports-addicted lunatics.

The one Super Bowl I’ll always regret missing is the 2007 Patriots-Giants game. I don’t remember what happened, but I went to the gym the next day and as I walked on an elliptical, I saw that the Patriots had lost.

I hate to brag, but I remember calling that when I saw the Patriots and Giants play in the last game of the regular season. I thought the Giants had the best shot at beating the Patriots and when they did I felt vindicated. I also felt a bit of guilty pleasure in seeing that the only loss that scarred the Pats perfect season was the Super Bowl.

There is just something about the event that unites Americans, sports fans and even non-sports fans. But what if you’re one of those people that doesn’t like football or sports? What if you’re a natural contrarian that enjoys going against the grain no matter what and you have absolutely no plans to watch the Super Bowl?

There are always things you can be doing instead of watching the Super Bowl. Here are a few of them.

The Puppy Bowl

One of the stranger results of the huge popularity of the Super Bowl is the Animal Planet spin-off “The Puppy Bowl.” This program started in 2005 and mimicked the Super Bowl by including adorable puppies playing in a football stadium-shaped play area. Each of the puppies is from a shelter and can be adopted by viewers.

The event also included referees who threw flags when the puppies…defecated or urinated. It also awards one of the puppies an MVP for the “game” but the process of selection is mysterious to me.

Starting with the second Bowl game in 2006, a Kitty Half Time Show was integrated, where the puppies were replaced by kittens that played with scratching posts, laser pointers and other cat toys.

Laugh all you want, but the Puppy Bowl has actually gotten huge. It has become the second most watched television show aired on Super Bowl Sunday. Last year’s Puppy Bowl drew over 10 million viewers over five different broadcasts.

In fact, I remember watching the first Puppy Bowl with my girlfriend at the time and I’m not at all ashamed to admit that.

Anti-Super Bowl Party

This rather strange idea is perfect for somebody who simply can’t fathom all the fuss of the Super Bowl. Basically, you take every aspect of the Super Bowl and reverse it: instead of buying junk food, make healthy or “sophisticated” food.

Instead of watching a sports game, put on a serious drama or “sophisticated” movie, such as any one of the Oscar Nominees of the last century. Put on classical music in the background to add an element of class to the proceedings.

If you want, you could even go so far as to create “Anti-Super Bowl” posters to hang around the apartment. You could also complain about sports instead of talking about them in detail.

I’m really not sure why anybody would do any of this instead of just watching re-runs of Seinfeld but there are people in this world even stranger than me.

Get Out of the House

Sure, the Super Bowl takes place in the winter but there’s nothing that says you have to stay in the house! Go out and enjoy a night on the town with your loved one or a group of anti-Super Bowl comrades.

You’ll be amazed at how empty your favorite restaurants and stores are that night. You could probably walk right into the most elegant and fancy restaurant in town and get the best seat in the house. You might even get a discount or a dancing mariachi band for stopping by on the sports world’s most holy night.

You could even go early Christmas shopping to beat the crowds and get the best sales. That may seem facetious but remember: there’ll be only 331 shopping days left on the Super Bowl. No time to waste!

If you don’t want to spend any money, you could always bundle up and go skiing. Or snow boarding down the mountainside. You could even go for a hike up a beautiful mountain side.

Another great idea is to go help out at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. No reason not to give back to the community.

Do Something Artistic

Instead of brooding in agony over your disgust with the Super Bowl, you could do something creative with yourself. Write a poem or start writing a story. Never written more than a shopping list in you life? Who cares! No better time to start.

Pick up that dusty old acoustic guitar you’ve been meaning to learn and practice your scales. Sure, it may be boring but stick to it long enough and your fingers will move dexterously across the frets in no time.

Try out painting or drawing if you’re visually inclined. Again, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never painted or drawn a straight line in your whole life. The trick here is that you’re being creative and expressing yourself in a positive way instead of brooding on a silly sporting event.

Whatever you end up doing this Super Bowl Sunday, I hope you have a great time and are as safe as possible while doing it.

As for Super Bowl predictions, I think the 49ers have a good chance at beating the Ravens. That is unless the Ravens beat the 49ers.

I’m not the prediction guy: ask Swami what he thinks.