Editorial: Pigging out at the Super Bowl

Column By Mike Bibb

With this year’s Super Bowl only a few days away in Glendale, Arizona, attention is always on the two opposing teams, the halftime show, TV commercials, and the hype generated by the extravaganza.  

Including the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup, the annual championship game between the American Football Conference (AFC) winner, and the National Football Conference (NFC) winner, is one of the largest publicly viewed sporting events.

Think of it as sort of the World Series of the gridiron, involving only one game instead of a possible seven.

Sidebar:  A little trivia concerning this year’s two teams indicates the Kansas City Chiefs (AFC) were ranked #6 in 2022 fan attendance.  The Philadelphia Eagles (NFC) were #12.  By comparison, the Arizona Cardinals (NFC) were #28 out of 32 teams in the National Football League.

For the 2022 regular season, the Chiefs had a 14W-3L record.  The Eagles also had a 14W-3L record.

The Cardinals, one of the NFL’s oldest and least successful teams, were originally established as the Morgan Athletic Club of Chicago in 1898, became the Chicago Cardinals in 1920, then the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960, then the Arizona Cardinals in 1988, and have only won two NFL titles – 1925 (disputed) and 1947, while still in Chicago.  

The Cards are also the first NFL franchise to lose 700 games.  Unremarkably, losing considerably more games than they’ve won.  As of April 2020, they have the second-worst winning percentage in the NFL at .425 – 42%.  They have never won a Super Bowl.

For the 2022 regular season, the Cardinals had a 4W-13L record.

“America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys (NFC), are still #1 in overall game attendance and fan base.  The Cowboys have played in eight Super Bowls, winning five.  However, Dallas hasn’t been to a Super Bowl since 1996 when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17. 

For the 2022 regular season, the Cowboys had a 12W-5L record.  

There is another category the big contest is renowned for – food.

Lots of it.

We normally think of Thanksgiving as being America’s great traditional feast.  Which it is, dating back a few hundred years.

However, a couple of months later, the Second Great American Feast follows what is called “Super Bowl Sunday.”  Beginning in 1966, this year will be the 57th time the football challenge will be held.

You can be sure pizza, wings, chips, salsa – and beer – will be consumed by the train load.  Actually, many train loads.

According to TigerFitness, an online vitamin and supplements store, Super Bowl fans are expected to consume an estimated (based on 2021 stats):

  •  11.2 million pounds of potato chips
  •  139.4 million pounds of avocados
  •   3.8 million pounds of popcorn
  •   3 million pounds of nuts
  •   325.5 million gallons of beer
  •   $2.37 million spent on soda
  •   12.5 million pounds of bacon
  •   10 million pounds of ribs
  •   8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips

Keep in mind, these figures are just for Sunday’s game viewing, on Feb. 12, 2023.

Readers may have noticed one of the largest categories on the list is avocados – about 69 tons of them. 

That’s a lot of guacamole.  Where do all these pear-shaped, green leathery skinned fruits come from? 

According to a newsletter I receive from Mexico, there are several sources.  In addition to U.S. domestic production, Mexico is the largest exporter of the tasty delicacy, annually sending over a million tons of avocados to supermarkets, restaurants, and other commercial users in the United States. 

For Super Bowl week, Mexico expects to transport 130 tons of fruit to us.  The Michoacán-based Association of Avocado Exporters Producers and Packers of Mexico has already sent an initial shipment of about 64 tons. 

While the U.S. is Mexico’s largest avocado customer, only the Mexican states of Michoacán and Jalisco are permitted to ship fruit to their northern neighbors.

Overall, Mexico exports 1.68 million tons worldwide to 34 countries.

By comparison, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) indicates U.S. avocado production is approximately 149,600 tons, with California being the primary source.  Florida is a distant second.

Obviously, Mexico far exceeds the U.S. production capacity.

So, whether you’re a Kansas City Chiefs or Philadelphia Eagles fan – or, neither – nearly everyone involved in this LVII mid-February spectacle has at least one thing in common – the allure and fascination of the addictive avocado.

A guaranteed Vegas-odds winner!