Sometimes I get into the Super Bowl (Sunday, February 5, 2012) for all its ads and associated snacking, but usually I can take it or leave it. This year I decided to devote my entire afternoon to the game only if I found a really compelling and creative event to attend. I know, high standards. But this is what happens to a small town (OK, medium-sized town) girl when she lives in the big city for 3 years.
Event listings in the Bay Area for Super Bowl Sunday consist of like 20% football events and 80% other cool stuff to do. And the football-related activities are pretty weird (the kind of weird I moved here for). So here's an authentic slice of Super Bowl Sunday offerings for the reluctant football fan, some of which don't involve the game at all.
If you're interested in actively avoiding the game, The California Academy of Sciences, the Asian Art Museum, and the Oakland Museum of California are all free on the Sunday. I know free museum days can get a little gnarly, but remember, a lot of people will be watching the game! You can monopolize the front of the cuttlefish tank for as long as you want.
I can't think of anything more anti-Super Bowl than an Antiquarian Book, Print, and Paper Fair at the Concourse Exhibition Center with a special signing of menus from Chez Panisse.
Feb. 5 is the closing day of Food Stories at Z Space, where actors will perform two short stories about food. The matinee starts at 2pm, so while your friends stuff their faces with buffalo wings, you'll be satiated by consuming art about food, some serious high-brow business which might qualify as reaching enlightenment.
To that end, you could also try this free Tai Chi class. It actually ends before the Super Bowl starts, so if you must watch the game, you can have your Chi and Bowl it too.
In my non-expert opinion, there are only two out-of-the-house Super Bowl activities worth your time this Sunday (high standards, remember?). One of them is the Stupor Bowl Heavy Metal Chili Cookoff at Bottom of the Hill, where 20 batches of chili with heavy metal names (past champ: Nordic Flesh Feast, a white chili) are judged and then consumed by you.
The other is Superbowl XLVI: Men in Tights at the Roxie, which brings us to the interview portion of our post. The historic movie theater will screen the game this Sunday while two commentators deliver comedic analysis a la Mystery Science Theater. It's a benefit for SF IndieFest and the Roxie, so you'd be serving your community by attending. The narrators themselves, Chet Smiley and OJ "Yeah, I know" Patterson, were kind enough to answer a few questions about the big day for us.
How would you explain the Super Bowl to someone who's never watched football?
Chet: Well, it's a game, first and foremost. There are two teams, composed of what we call "players," and they are vying to transfer the football (by kicks and carries) into the end zone, which is the place where they trade the ball in for points. It's a great spectacle, and a great excuse to eat wings and make fun of "nerds" (successful people).
OJ: Easter Sunday with a lot of beer.
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck says the game is going to be a "chess match." Do you agree?
Chet: I’m not sure what that means, but I heard Victor Cruz will only be allowed to run diagonally.
Who's your least favorite player?
Chet: I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Namath in the women's department at a JC Penney. He had a funny smell about him. It immediately put me off.
Who do you think will win?
Chet: Well, I think it's possible that the Giants will win, but I've also heard good things about the Patriots. I imagine it will be a good competition with lots of twists and turns, ups and downs. Probably some excellent tackling.
OJ: The audience.
Well, that's all we have time for today. Thanks, guys! And if none of these events struck your fancy, remember that you can always sit on your own couch this Sunday and overindulge in bean dip.