Paul E. Anna: High Points |

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

We’re on the eve of Super Bowl XXVI (that’s 46 for the Roman Numeral challenged) and the big question for most folks is “where do I watch the game?”

As I have attended a number of the games, this year included, and watched virtually all the others live on TV (my family drove to San Diego to watch Super Bowl I on television because it was blacked out in Los Angeles where the game was played), I have had some experience with the process of picking a game day location. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you make your choice.

Consideration No. 1

Do you care about the game?

Are you kind of person who knows that Victor Cruz broke the Giants record for receiving yards or that Tom Brady threw two picks versus Baltimore in the AFC Championship game? Or are you the kind of person who is more interested in Cruz’s salsa moves or Brady’s super-model wife?

If you are the former, you might want to stay home with your HDTV and listen intently as Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth relay the 411. Die-hard fans, those who subscribe to the NFL Ticket on Direct TV or play fantasy games, make a rookie mistake when they accept that invite to their girlfriend’s brother’s house that is filled with know-nothings who are only there for the nachos. It gets loud, it gets distracting, it gets, well annoying.

If you care, don’t go there. Watch the game for the game. At home.

Consideration No. 2

Sports bar or party?

Ah, but if you don’t care about names, numbers, stats, downs and distance etc., then your decision becomes “do I go to a party or a sports bar?”

Opt for the party, and you have an obligation to be on time and to bring something. A six-pack works but if you go the extra mile and bring something special, preferably homemade, chances are you will be invited back year after year.

Choose the sport bar and you’ll have a tab and a crowd. Sometimes a rowdy crowd.

There are lots of different kinds of Super Bowl parties and choosing the right one will determine how your day will go. Start by choosing between the party with co-workers vs. the one with friends. If you go to a “work” party, it will be work. You’ll need to be polite, not swear at Eli Manning, and be extra careful not to drop your celery crudites on the sofa. If you select your friend’s house, you can slip on a pair of jeans and a Wes Welker jersey and scream to your heart’s content. Nobody will care because you’re with friends.

There are also a lot of different kinds of sports bars. You can go to Zane’s and wrestle with the crowd that will no doubt be split between Pats and Giants fans. If you’re in Snowmass, you can opt for Sneaky’s. A pub your style? The new Finnbar’s will fit the bill. Big screen your thing? Try Belly Up where there will be no cover but a $25 minimum will be required. If you prefer a good cocktail, the new Justice Snow’s will unveil their television from behind the magic mirror and pour some classics.

Wherever you choose to hang, you have to get there early if you have any hope of bellying up by the bartender. Also, you need to make it a big day for the bar as well. You should buy a beer each quarter with an extra order of food at a minimum, and be sure to tip at least 25 percent if your bar man is any good at all.

Consideration No. 3

Whatever you do, wherever you go, and whoever your team is, make sure that you don’t drink and drive. No place worse to welcome Super Bowl Monday than in the local jail. No one means to drink too much at a Super Bowl party and yet, most people do.

Call a cab, hire a driver, rely on a teetotaler or stay at home.

Just don’t be the big game’s biggest loser.