Game on, Super Bowl XLVIII

The American Center in Jerusalem is excited to help sponsor the broadcast of the 2014 Super Bowl.

Super Bowl (photo credit: Courtesy)
Super Bowl
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Super Bowl, the most watched television broadcast in the world, is the ultimate American party in any country.
The Denver Broncos vs the Seattle Seahawks kicks off this Sunday at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, at 6:25 p.m. EST, 1:25 a.m. in Jerusalem, with an estimated 200 million people in more than 200 countries set to tune in for this year’s game.
It’s no surprise many venues around Jerusalem are gearing up for the ultimate Super Bowl kickoff of the year. On Super Bowl Sunday, the First Station in Jerusalem, together with The American Center, a section of the Office of Public Affairs for the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv, whose aim is to initiate and strengthen bonds between Israelis and the US, and to promote understanding of US policies, society, values and culture, celebrates that wellknown and loved American sport, football, with a Super Bowl cultural bash.
“This spirit of community is what we hope to create this Sunday night. The Super Bowl is more than just a big event. When it begins, we sing the national anthem, celebrating this moment as a great American tradition. During the action, there are huge thrills, nail-biting tensions, and crushing disappointments. A minute can last a lifetime.
There are infinite ‘if onlys,’” says an embassy spokeswoman, The First Station offers cozy sideline seats in its heated VIP room, including all the beer and grub you can eat all night (prepaid NIS 250), or watch on three large projectors inside the tent arena, with a rock concert with Libby and the Flashbacks, raffle, and a comedy act, (NIS 50 prepaid, NIS 70 at the door). Also, under-18-year-olds are welcome, as this is not the case in all the bars.
Jesse Nowlin, an independent partner with the First Station for the party, says, “The Super Bowl is the king of American football. Israelis don’t really know this year’s teams and places. It’s good face time for good American culture.”
Also hosting the event is Mike’s Place Jerusalem, at 33 Jaffa Street, where diehard sport fans camped out for 23 weeks watching the playoffs. With full room capacity expected, and concern for the neighbors, they’re keeping the viewing screens inside. Co-owner of the Anglo hangout, Reuben Beiser, says, “We’re not asking for a special permit to view it outside. We want to keep the noise level down.” The minimum cover charge of NIS 100 includes whatever you want to buy for that amount.
Looking for a place that’s more Israeli than American, and free? Try Blaze Bar at 23 Hillel Street, equipped with a large LCD screen, and two TVs, offering five shots of whiskey for NIS 50 . And there’s popcorn. The Israeli football team, the Blue Lions, plans to watch it at Burgerim on 54 Emek Refaim, the only place in the German Colony licensed to screen the event.
In east Jerusalem, sports bar Olivetna, across from the courthouse, at 5 Ali Ibn Abi Talib Street, will broadcast the game on three screens, offering discounts on its European and oriental cuisine and free snacks.
It’s the first time in league history the game will be played outdoors in a cold-weather city, at the MetLife Stadium, which has many people predicting that the temperature and the conditions will be a factor in the game.
Fans will all receive ear muffs, hat, lip balm, mittens, cup holder, scarf, tissues, a radio to listen to the game, hand warmers, a seat cushion and a waist-wrap, quarterback-style hand pocket.
Even if you don’t understand football jargon, many people tune into the big game for the $4 million, 30-second TV commercials and the infamous, memorable half-time shows.
This year, Fox rejected Israeli seltzer machine manufacturer SodaStream commercial starring Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson sensually sipping her home-made soda. It got nixed because it ends with her saying, “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”
Other notable twists will be U2 performing a new song, “Invisible,” in a Bank of America commercial inviting viewers to download free on iTunes during the game and for the following 24 hours, donating $1 for every download, up to $2 million, to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Pepsi’s half-time show headlines Bruno Mars, who’s Jewish on his Brooklyn-born father’s side.
The second act features the rock group, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who boast the Jewish guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, and two Jewish co-founders – the late Israeli-American guitarist Hillel Slovak, and drummer Jack Irons, who plays the drums for the mostly Jewish rock group The Wallflowers, led by Jakob Dylan.
Whether cheering for your favorite team, sharing camaraderie, reveling triumphantly or sticking together with the team faithfully even when the quarterback fumbles the ball on the one-yard line, or just enjoying the extra attractions, watching the Super Bowl will be exciting.
“The day after the Super Bowl employees should be able to come in late. You can sit at home and grab a bag of chips in your pajamas or go out for a new experience, meet people who know the game, and very likely to be connected with the team in business or family members. It’s definitely a good time equivalent to New Year’s Eve, without a day off to recover,” says Beiser.
First Station tickets: