Sunday, February 2, 2014 is like every other day -- it's a day filled with choices. According to the U.S. Census clock, there are more than 317,450,000 citizens who have to decide what they want to do with their time.
Those in Hawaii and Southern Florida can expect temperatures in the low 80s, and can choose between the beach, a golf course or a shuffleboard court. Those in other areas of the South might have to forego such activities, and those in the Midwest and Northeast may be forced to stay indoors, depending on the severity of the winter weather.
Those who have sufficient fuel can stay warm and spend the day inside reading the Sunday newspaper or taking a dusty book down from a shelf, getting reacquainted with family members, or finally starting or finishing a long-postponed project.
There is another choice and an estimated 110 million people will be affixed in front of their plasma television sets from before the start of the game at 6:25 p.m., until the final inane post-game analysis is made.
The National Football League's premier event began as Super Bowl I back in 1967, and it was not referred to as Super Bowl One, for that would have been too plebeian of a depiction. So under the canny leadership of Commissioner Alvin Ray "Pete" Rozelle, the NFL designated the Super Bowl's lineage with Roman numerals.
Thus the February 2, 2014 event is known as Super Bowl XLVIII, not as Super Bowl 48, which it would be in Arabic numbers. Perhaps Pete foresaw the 1967 Israeli Arab War, and the possibility of troubles in Arab-speaking lands in the twenty-first century. It was more likely that the NFL saw it as a way to set them apart, and they did in many numerical ways.
Financially, the first Super Bowl sold advertising space for $37,000, while the forty-eighth is charging $4 million for a 30 spot, and that doesn't include the cost to produce one.
The estimated 82,566 attendees will have two things in common. They will have paid too much for parking and a ticket, and some will be forced to possibly endure wild winter weather, unless they are sitting in a warm, cozy and expensive suite. The best 20-seat suite was available for $708,650, while two upper-level, corner seats could be had for a bargain price of $2,024, or MMXXIV. The tickets for the first Super Bowl ranged from six to $12 each.
Parking for XLVIII is an extra $278, and unless the weather forecast changes, it would be dangerous to fly in on your private helicopter. The forecast is for a high of 35, a low of 25, with a 30 percent chance of snow.
The word "estimated" is used throughout this piece, since I won't be one of the multitudes watching SBXLVIII. The projected forecast for February 2 here in Santa Cruz is a high of 60, which is perfect weather to either walk along a nearby beach, go biking or take in a movie in a not-very-crowded theatre. When I come home, I will have a bowl of my wife's delicious chicken soup.
If need be, I can always check the next morning's newspaper to find out what transpired in XLVIII, but only after I do the crossword puzzle.