The National Football League's championship game will be played on February 11, 2024 (Credit: NFL/ Fair Use/

The countdown to Super Bowl LVIII — the National Football League's championship game — has begun. On February 11, 2024, a record 200 million American adults are expected to tune in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers compete for the Vince Lombardi trophy. The championship game, the fifth one for the Chiefs and the seventh for the 49ers, certainly promises to be exciting. But Super Bowl Sunday is about more than just football.

Some watch the game for the halftime show, which will be headlined by American singer and songwriter Usher this year. Others enjoy the hilarious commercials companies create for the big day. Taylor Swift fans will be there just to catch flashes of the pop superstar cheering for the Chiefs.

Americans will eat 1.45 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday (Credit: National Chicken Council/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Regardless of the reason, Super Bowl Sunday is a great excuse to get together with family and friends. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that 112.2 million people will host or attend a party this year. An additional 16.2 million will watch the game at a bar or restaurant.

Since parties and food go hand-in-hand, it is not surprising that Super Bowl Sunday is one of America's biggest food consumption days. It is second only to Thanksgiving! The NRF estimates an astounding $17.3 billion, or $86.04 per person, will be spent on Super Bowl Sunday in 2024. Eighty percent of that will go toward buying food and beverages.

In past years, Americans have munched their way through 112 million pounds of snacks before the game begins. Tortilla chips, potato chips, and pretzels top the list of favorites. During the game, partygoers turn to heartier fare like pizza. Domino's and Pizza Hut typically sell over three million pies collectively on this day.

Chicken wings are also extremely popular. The National Chicken Council estimates that Americans will eat 1.45 billion wings — enough to circle the Earth's circumference three times — on February 11. Other favorites include ribs, bacon, hamburgers, foot-long subs, and hot dogs. The food will be washed down with millions of gallons of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Millions of Americans call in sick on the Monday after the Super Bowl (Credit: Office Team/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

The excessive eating and drinking has consequences. Over 18 million people skip work on the Monday after the "Big Game." This results in about a $4 billion loss in productivity. There have been over two dozen petitions to make what is often called "Super Sick Monday" a national holiday. Unfortunately, none have succeeded.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Go Chiefs! Go 49ers!