Got any plans this Sunday? After you get out of bed and consult a local beaver on the remaining weeks of winter, we bet you’re headed to a Super Bowl party. Whether you’re a super-fan or just in it for the commercials, Super Bowl Sunday is as good as an American holiday. Second only to Thanksgiving in nationwide food consumption, the Super Bowl’s a sacred time when the commercials will make you cry, the sport will make you scream, and the beers will get you drunk. A day like no other, we had to wonder what the event looks like across the globe. We poked around the international inter-webs and gathered the five most interesting global truths about the great American tradition.
1. The Super Bowl is broadcast to about 225 countries worldwide.
While over 90% of the Super Bowl’s viewership comes from the United States, the event is available to about one billion people worldwide. But international fans are not usually tuning in for the football – instead, they’re in it for the extravagant commercials, high profile half-time shows (You ready, Bruno Mars?), and the Super Bowl themed hashtags that are sure to take over Twitter. With most viewers concentrated in North America, this continent is about to experience a Super Bowl takeover like never before. Stock up on those Doritos and chicken wings early, because apparently there is such a thing as a Super Bowl shortage.
2. North American expats take over international bars during the Super Bowl.
If you’re an American living overseas during the Super Bowl, you might feel the panic setting in as early as, say, moving day. Maybe you contemplated turning down the job offer or planning a quick trip back to the States to avoid missing the year’s greatest event. Fear not; most major cities around the world will air the Super Bowl, and many even host an event around it. A bar owner in Beijing hosts a Super Bowl Breakfast for a crowd that’s overwhelmingly North American expats. Sites like meetup.com help facilitate expat meet-ups to ensure you have access to the game, the food, the beer, and fellow fans.
3. In worldwide popularity, soccer trumps American football.
And you know what? We’re okay with that. Cultures, traditions, and fan favorites vary widely from country to country, and we’re secure enough in our face-stuffing, body-tackling, Puppy-Bowling tradition to accept soccer’s own longstanding tradition. Soccer is reportedly the most popular sport in the world, with over 3.3 billion fans worldwide. That said, an estimated 1 billion viewers around the globe tune in for the Super Bowl, and that number grows each year. American football is a breed of its own, and we love sharing the hype, energy, and sportsmanship with fans around the world. And when the Super Bowl is over (too soon?), we’ll start prepping for this summer’s World Cup.
4. Astronauts can watch the Super Bowl from space.
Because space wasn’t cool enough already, now you can watch the Super Bowl from space, if you so happen to be there. Last year, six astronauts on the International Space Station requested to watch the big game from the station, and NASA Mission Control made it happen. Even if American football isn’t the most popular sport in the world, it’s definitely the most popular sport in space. What more can you ask for? Well, an invitation to the galactic Super Bowl party would be nice.
5. Americans are really good at the Super Bowl.
Americans have a lot of skills. Reading, writing, keeping up with the Kardashians; art. And after 48 Super Bowls, we’ve got that down, too – it’s always go big or go home. Americans are estimated to consume over 1.25 billion chicken wings during this year’s game, and over 11 million pieces of pizza will be delivered to Super Bowl parties across the country – so tip your delivery guy. Other notable numbers for the country’s biggest annual sporting event: 51.7 million beer cases, 4 million dollars for just one commercial spot, and 11 million pounds of consumed chips by the end of the weekend. For those of you who thought Seahawks were strictly a fish-eating bird and had big plans to cook a vegan quiche this weekend, there’s always the Puppy Bowl.
Happy Super Bowl, Mangos!