|Posted: February 7, 2010, 4:35 pm - IP Logged|
The Truth Behind Super Bowl Myths
The Truth Behind Super Bowl Myths Can flushing your toilet at halftime make the sewers overflow? Are more avocados eaten on SuperBowl Sunday than any other day of the year? There are many urban legends surrounding game day, butsome of them contain a grain of truth. Here are the facts.
MYTH #1. If you flush your toilet at halftime, the sewerswill overflow. One of the most frequently cited Super Bowl myths states that the simultaneousflushing of millions of toilets can overwhelm municipal sewerage systems, leading to broken linesand overflows.
According to Susan Bruninga of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, we can flushwithout fear. She notes that municipal sewerage systems effortlessly handle huge surges every daybetween 6 and 8 a.m. when millions of people flush their toilets and take showers. And as more andmore people gain the power to pause the big game when nature calls, she adds, “that’ll be the endof that myth right there.”
MYTH #2. More people watch the Super Bowl than any othertelevised event. Tens of millions of viewers will watch the big game today, but is the gridirongrand finale really the world’s most-watched TV event? The NFL describes it as the “most-anticipated annual event in the world,” but the key word there is “annual.”
There are no solid numbers on worldwide viewership, but the NFL routinely reports audiencesapproaching 150 million in the U.S. That’s a large number, but not when compared to this month’sother big sporting event—the Olympics. According to the Nielsen Company, 4.7 billion people tunedin to the 2008 Games in Beijing, including 214 million Americans.
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MYTH #3. Super Bowl Sunday is the best day to visit DisneyWorld because everyone is at home watching the game. It would seem to make sense to visit Mickeyand crew while millions of Americans are glued to the tube. But is it true that Disneyland isdeserted on game day? Not according to Mike Hyland, director of public relations for DisneylandResort. Disney won’t release attendance figures, but Hyland insists that while February isn’t partof the park’s peak season, “it’s still busy on Super Bowl Sunday.” He notes that both Disneylandand Disney World have plenty of big-screen TVs to accommodate visiting super-fans.
MYTH #4. More than half of all avocados consumed annually inthe U.S. are sold in the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. Americans will eat a lot ofguacamole today, but not that much. The NFL says that more than 20 million Americanshold Super Bowl parties, and it is true they will eat a lot of the green stuff—80 million pounds,or enough to fill Sun Life Stadium in Miami to a depth of over 30 feet. But Jan DeLyser of theCalifornia Avocado Commission says that the Super Bowl accounts for just over 3% of annual U.S.avocado consumption, right behind Cinco de Mayo. “The claim that 60% of avocados are consumed atSuper Bowl parties is really just a myth,” she says.
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MYTH #5. More women are victims of domestic violence onSuper Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year. Sadly, research shows that attacks increase onmost holidays. A 2003 study from Indiana University/Bloomington found a slight increase indomestic-violence reports on Super Bowl Sunday, but it was small in comparison to holidays likeMemorial Day and Christmas. The notion that the big game turns husbands and boyfriends into bulliesdates to 1993, when a coalition of women’s groups convinced NBC to run a public-serviceannouncement on domestic violence during the game.
Katie Buckland, head of the California Women’s Law Center, says that concerns about domesticviolence on Super Bowl Sunday are valid, even if research is lacking. “Whether it is or isn’t thebiggest day is not a big concern,” Buckland says. “The PSA drew attention to something that is aproblem every day of the year.”
MYTH #6. The outcome of the Super Bowl predicts the stockmarket’s performance for the coming year. Absurd as it may sound, this is the only Super Bowl mythwith clear evidence to back it up. The “Super Bowl Indicator” says that if a team from the oldAmerican Football League wins, stock markets go down; if one from the old National Football Leaguewins, the markets will go up. Things get tricky when expansion teams or teams that have relocatedmake it to the big game, but many still have links to former AFL or NFL teams or cities. RobertStovall, an investment strategist from Sarasota, Fla., who tracks the indicator, says it has beenaccurate for 34 of the 43 Super Bowls played thus far, a rate “better than any gaggle of gurus I’veever heard of.” Stovall doesn’t recommend that investors act on its winning record, but, he says, “It does make me feel better when we have an all-clear from the SuperBowl Indicator."
Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.
There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.