Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Super Bowl or Souper Bowl? (aka, glutting or giving?)

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen

and who feasted sumptuously every day.

And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus,

covered with sores who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table;

even the dogs would come and lick his sores.”

~ Luke 16:19-21

It is almost upon us. The day we have been waiting for since Thanksgiving. It is the second largest feast day in the United States, Super Bowl Sunday. In the United States we will spend over $55 million on our Super Bowl party grocery bill. Ten million hours will be spent preparing chips and dips, chilling drinks, and filling the bowls. Collectively we will consume 4,000 tons of popcorn. If you were to put all of that popcorn on a string, you could circle the earth five and a half times. That will be exceeded by the 14,500 tons of chips of which we will munch a big bunch! If we lay those chips end to end, the trail would be 293,000 miles, or almost one and a half times the distance from the earth to the moon. Eight million pounds of guacamole will be consumed on that day. If you lined up all of those avocados end to end, well, oh, forget it. I think you get the point.

This year, the United Methodist Church has been talking about “Rethinking Church.” I wonder what it would be like to “Rethink Super Bowl Sunday?” What if, instead of sitting around the television watching the game and gorging ourselves, we tried something different? What if we sat around the television, watched the game, and assembled health kits for the people in Haiti? It would certainly help our waistlines! Then we could bring our health kits to church the next Sunday.

What if we rethink Super Bowl Sunday into Souper Bowl Sunday? What if we took ten percent of our share of the $55 million we spend on groceries for our parties, and purchased soup for the local food pantry? What if we asked our guests to bring a donation for the food pantry with them when they came to watch the game? What if we thought about people who won’t be eating on Super Bowl Sunday, or the weeks that follow, and then did something about it? Grace and FUMC are always happy to accept your donations of canned food.

If we rethink Super Bowl Sunday, we might feel better on the Monday after the game. On the day after the Super Bowl, antacid sales increase to twenty percent and six percent of all working Americans will call in sick. If we rethink Super Bowl Sunday, we might change our post-Bowl aches and pains into the joy that comes when we know we have helped someone else. Make Super Bowl Sunday a day of giving not glutting. Let’s all be winners, regardless of which football team wins the game.

Praying we will all be winners!


  1. That's a lot of popcorn! Somehow, in light of the suffering in Haiti, these excesses are so much worse than usual.

  2. I couldn't agree with you more. Now if we could only get 1/10 of everything spent on the Super Bowl, we could alleviate a lot of hunger.