Ok ok, a lot of people watch football because they genuinely love the game. I may not be one of them, but I absolutely respect that people will choose to spend their time how they will. I do however believe there should be some attention brought to how we use our resources. Hopefully I can do this in a way that seems less preachy and more informative. My goal with this article is not to piss off a bunch of football fans, it's to simply shed light on where our resources are going and where they could be going.
Let's start with simply how many people watch the Super Bowl. Approximately 111.3 Million people watched the Super Bowl last year. That's potentially a third of the entire US population. In fact, 19 of the 20 most watched broadcasts in America have been Super Bowls. I'm really glad that gives that many people fun for a day, truly I am. Yet there's something wrong with this number for me.
Roughly 62.6 Million people volunteered at least once between 2014 and 2015. So nearly twice the amount of people will get together for a single day to watch a football game, than will volunteer in their communities the entire year. That's a pretty staggering number, especially when you consider volunteer rates have been declining steadily each year. So much so, I can't even find reliable data for volunteer rates past 2015.
Food is also on the agenda. I mean, like I said, I know plenty of people who go to Super Bowl parties just for the food. So how much food do we consume at the Super Bowl? At least 1.35 billion chicken wings. Let's not stop at Chicken wings though! According to this article: 8 million pounds of Popcorn, 28 million pounds of potato chips, 53 million pounds of avocados, and 325 million gallons of beer.
Let's just look at these few types of food(even though there is so much more we could factor in). That turns into 224 million pounds of food on Super Bowl game day alone. That's 172.3 Million meals. There are 49 million people who struggle to put food on the table each year in America. The average American eats 5.5lbs of food each day(one meal is considered roughly 1.2 lbs). If we could set aside 4 meals per person of that 172.3 million, we could feed roughly 43 million people from the Super Bowl banquet mentioned earlier alone.
I think that the point is hitting home. Again, I'm not out to put down the Super Bowl or to even make people want to participate less. I simply want to make everyone aware how our cultural celebrations are actually using our resources. More importantly, I want people to know exactly what those resources could also be used on. My hope is to not make anyone feel guilty. I'm sure there's plenty of it after all of the cheating on diets that inevitably happens on that day.
Just remember folks: We choose the society we live in. Don't let this information tell you what we're not doing. Let it show you exactly what we can do when it's important to us. If we can spend this kind of time and money on sports we are plenty capable of spending it on those in need!