"It is an extremely good day for us," says Chris Perrin, the general manager of Tanner's Bar & Grill in Kansas City North. Perrin says it doesn't matter whether the Chiefs are involved in the NFL's premier game -- fans, Chiefs players and coaches just show up.
"We'll have an increase in business anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent for Super Bowl Sunday as compared to a regular football Sunday," says Perrin. "We'll have people knocking on our door when we open (probably at 11 a.m. for the Super Bowl) to stake out their chairs and watch all the pregame stuff. Some of our regulars will have lunch and dinner with us."
Or they'll eat at home, surrounded by friends and family. Mike Kanik, an account manager at the Hy-Vee in Blue Springs, compares Super Bowl Sunday to Thanksgiving and Christmas. "It seems every year that Super Bowl Sunday gets bigger and bigger for us," he says. The difference between his holiday shoppers and the ones who pack his store on Super Sunday is that many of the people who will hit the grocery store on January 28 have waited until the last minute. "They're procrastinators," Kanik says. "Right up until an hour and a half before the game, we're still rockin'."
Six hours of tailgating at Tanner's and a rush at Hy-Vee for a Super Bowl that critics are calling the worst matchup in 35 years?
Where is our sense of pride? Where is our moral indignation? It doesn't seem to matter whether the game is a classic or a stinker; people in Kansas City will pull out the hot dogs and throw a turkey in the oven -- when they ought to be throwing turkeys at the nearest general manager's car.
And this game has all the signs of a class-A stink bomb.
Mike Lopresti of USA Today writes that the matchup is "as stylish as a canoe paddle upside the head." The anticipation of watching two of the more inept offenses in football battle two of the best defenses in the NFL has America in a group yawn. "The Super Bowl end zones might be used for extra RV parking," cracks Lopresti.
Even the Florida media are down on this game. "The over/under for the January 28th game may look like a hat size," says Greg Cote, sports columnist for the Miami Herald. "People in Tampa may look at the scoreboard and wonder if they have taken a wrong turn and landed at a Devil Rays game."
The players make no apologies. "Deal with it, America," the Ravens' loudmouthed tight end, Shannon Sharpe, tells us.
So pass the chips and salsa. We're gluttons for punishment. But if people are heading to Tanner's six hours before kickoff and rushing the grocery store ninety minutes before the national anthem, perhaps they should take a minute to consider the bad fortunes of Phil Bourne, owner of Waldo Pizza at 75th and Broadway. "It's a case of people thinking we're so busy that no one goes there anymore," says Bourne. "They're usually amazed that the wait for a delivery is the normal 45 minutes."
Bourne blames the public's misconception about pizza delivery and Super Sunday on a story in local media about five years ago, one reporting that Pizza Hut and Domino's sold thousands more pies on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day. For the past three Super Sundays, Bourne's sales have been 10 percent to 15 percent lower than average. This year he's put out flyers declaring: "You can get a pizza on Super Bowl Sunday!"
Remember that. But also keep in mind what one of our cultural indicators tells us: Alternative Creations tattoo and piercing parlor in Overland Park hasn't had one request for a tattoo of either the Baltimore Ravens' or the New York Giants' logo. "To be honest, I haven't done a sports tattoo in a long time -- including the Chiefs," says Big Mike, one of the shop's most requested tattoo artists. "As a matter of fact, I've got a friend who has a Chiefs tattoo, and he wants it removed or covered up."
Here's a suggestion for Big Mike's portfolio: an arrowhead with stylized letters spelling out "S-U-C-K-E-R-S."