SURVEY SAYS: What Will You Be Doing Super Bowl Sunday?

February 4, 2005 ( - Whether or not one ever turns on a football game during the regular season, one can hardly overlook the reality that this weekend many of the nation's (world's?) television sets will be turned to the Super Bowl.

This week we asked readers how they planned to spend the day.

Believe it or not – and it bodes well for Sunday’s game – the number of this week’s respondents rooting for the two teams was nearly evenly matched.   The Philadelphia Eagles enjoyed the slightest of margins, garnering the support of 32% of the responses, compared with 30% for the New England Patriots.   Most of these were wildly enthusiastic about their teams, but there were some…exceptions, including the reader who said, “I’ll likely (a) pull for the Patriots with one eye, while I do my first run at the 1040 with the other.   Not sure which will be more taxing.”   Another said, “While I’m planning to (a), that is not mutually exclusive with (e). I would, however, like to (c).   Depends on the weather outside!”

Of course, a number of this week’s respondents were less than enthusiastic about the teams that were in the Super Bowl.   Consider the following responses:

“…the Eagles beat my Falcons, so I guess I should root for them, but I don’t really care.”

“Since my team (Bears) isn’t playing, I’ll be watching mainly for the commercials.”

“I don’t care who wins and won’t care until the Browns make the Super Bowl, and I can’t even imagine how long that will be.”

“Without the Steelers in the game, I don’t want New England to win again, and I am certainly not cheering for Philly.”

“How can it be a real Super Bowl without the Steelers?”

“As it is, I will be tuning in on Sunday night to see the commercials and root against the Patriots (what else would a Packer/NFC fan do?).”

“As a lifelong Giants fan, I cannot and will not root for the Eagles, even thought they are the NFC team.”

“(b) more than just “urge” the Eagles….I’m a Jet fan….Enough said.”

There were, in a number of situations, clearly “better” alternatives, including the reader who said, “While the Super Bowl will certainly be on and monitored closely, neither team is a favorite, but the underdog Eagles would probably get my vote.   My greatest attention, however, will be on my granddaughter on her first birthday.”   Or the reader who noted, “We are having a Surprise Birthday/Super Bowl party for family & friends to help celebrate our twins, Sarah & James’, 5th Birthday.” 

One reader even – in the best of Super Bowl spirits – said, “I’m going to Disneyland!   It’s usually less crowded that day – everybody’s watching the Super Bowl!   Actually it all depends on what teams are playing.   I heard last year it was pretty crowded at D-land.”

However, 22% of this week’s respondents said they would be looking for something more entertaining to do on a Sunday afternoon.   Readers shared a wide variety of responses, including the reader who said, “Super Bowl time is great for grocery shopping and going to the malls…there’s hardly anyone there,” not to mention the one who said, “On days such as these, Lifetime TV always provides much-needed relief.”   Several readers, emphasizing the strength of the commitment to the (e) option of something else said, “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”   Of course, “something else” and “something else entertaining” were not necessarily the same thing, as this reader reminds us: “I don’t know that they will be ‘entertaining’ as they will likely involve chores such as cleaning the kitchen, laundry, paying bills, and other assorted activities.”

Roughly 14% were planning to watch for the commercials as a first priority, while 2% were planning to Tivo the halftime show.   A number of readers shared the perspective of the reader who noted, “Watch the game and cheer for whatever team can help make the match of my boxes in an office pool where I am participating as a guest.”

Several readers were not happy with the timing of the game itself.   One noted, “Wouldn’t it be great if they moved the game back to Sunday afternoon and actually left the evening for something better?”   Another said, “Can you do anything about moving it from Sunday to Saturday????” , and yet another asked, “Please, can you tell me why the Super Bowl is held on a Sunday and not a Saturday, given the numbers who will call in sick the next day?”   For the record, I hate the games starting so late, I can’t do anything about moving the game to Saturday, nor do I know why it is held on a Sunday (though I have my suspicions).

There are also, as it turns out, some “lonely” fans out there.  “Being a Philly fan, living in New England, not an easy combo,” observed one, who went on to say, “but I will wear my Eagle clothes with pride, my two-year-old son in Eagle uniform, and six-year-old daughter in Eagle cheerleader outfit. Go Eagles!!!!!!!!!!”  Another observed, “We are a Philadelphia suburb.   It is a capital offense not to root for the Eagles.   We had two Cowboy fans on staff once.   They mysteriously disappeared.”  Sentiments echoed by the reader who noted, “If you live in the Philly area and are not behind the Eagles, you might as well move out of town.  One reader who undoubtedly could agree with that sentiment said, “We have been allowed (ordered?) to wear Eagles apparel on Friday.   I asked if I could wear a Patriots shirt and was told (with a straight face) that I needed to be more of a ‘team player.'”  

One New England fan actually said, “As a lifelong Bostonian, of course I’ll be rooting for the Pats.   I do have to say, though, that after the Red Sox historic season, it wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Eagles to win – it’s their turn to surprise their fans and come out on top!”

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “As a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan, I will spend most of the day Sunday on my knees, praying that Brett Favre doesn’t retire!!”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!