Why not start the Super Bowl earlier in the day?

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

It’s Super Bowl Sunday afternoon, and I just returned home from the neighborhood grocery store. My daughter and I both noticed want an anthill of activity the place was. There wasn’t a parking space to be had without waiting for someone else to leave. She commented that it looked like it was Christmastime. I reminded her that as far as grocery shopping goes, today was probably even bigger than Christmastime. It’s Super Bowl Sunday!

Inside the store, people were grabbing the traditional chips, salsa, beer and soda. There wasn’t anyone in a checkout line who didn’t have something that indicated they were getting ready to watch the Big Game. Veggie trays and cheese trays were another dead giveaway that they were headed for consumption within the next couple of hours.

The Super Bowl is undoubtedly the largest singular sporting event in America. It has become a day synonymous with the word “party.” People have made an art form out of throwing Super Bowl parties. The game and commercials are a convenient excuse for people to get together to eat and drink.

Here’s my beef. Why start the game so late in the day? I understand the “prime-time” concept. But, I don’t think it would really matter with this game. People all across the country and the world are going to watch, regardless of the starting time. Why not have kickoff at 3 p.m. Central instead of 5:30 p.m.? Most people who attend or host these parties are still required to make it to work or school on the following day.

By starting earlier in the day, the game and hoopla could easily be wrapped up by 7 or 8 p.m. at the latest. That would allow for most everyone to be back at home at a reasonable hour, and I don’t believe it would make a bit of difference to the NFL, the players or the advertisers.

I’m going to a party and know that I won’t get home until some time after 10 p.m. It’s not that big of a deal for me, but I am sympathetic to those with younger children and those whose jobs require them to start early on Monday mornings. I’m guessing people call in sick or already schedule the Monday after the Super Bowl as a holiday. It would be a welcome change for the millions of partying Americans if kickoff were an hour or two earlier, and it might even mean less missed work?

The only difference I can see is, you might have to get to the store on Sunday morning instead of waiting until the middle of the afternoon to go grab your party essentials. It’s really not that big of a deal.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

Posted Feb. 5, 2014

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