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Get ready for the Super Bulge on Sunday.
Annually considered the second largest day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday has turned into a celebration that goes well beyond any football game.
If the excessive media coverage surrounding Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's ankle and the protective boot he may or may not be wearing hasn't pushed you over the edge, then surely the TV time spent focused on what to serve, how to serve it, what to serve it with and how to make it fun has.
The amount of everything, from commercials to bets, reaches a fever pitch on Sunday, so why not just give in?
Shelby County's retailers are fully stocked so you won't have to worry about running out of anything during your party, leaving plenty of time to focus on which songs Madonna sings at halftime, whether or not Kelly Clarkson flubs the Star Spangled Banner, like Christina Aguilera did last year, and, if you like, the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.
"We treat it like a holiday," said Stephen Bland, the co-manager at Kroger Marketplace on Boone Station Road. "We're a large store, so we already have a lot in stock, but we try to have a lot of tailgating items on hand, things like party trays and large beer, soft drink and chip displays."
That's a good start.
Although people think about fried foods, dips and chips for Super Bowl Sunday, some of the most scooped up snacks are veggies.
According to NPD Group, a consumer market research firm, veggies are the top food eaten in homes during the game. Of course, if they're slathered in French onion or ranch dip, so eating probably is not quite as healthy as it seems.
Although that research might include the nearly 70 million pounds of avocado expected to be inhaled primarily through guacamole dips, it probably doesn't include the 11.2 million pounds of potato chips.
Hey, something has to scoop up all the guacamole.
But it takes more than a few dozen pounds of snacks to fill up at a big game party.
According to the National Chicken Council, you're probably going to nibble on a few wings during the game.
The group claims that about 90 million pounds of chicken wings were eaten during last year's game, equaling an astounding 450 million drumettes.
"We picked up an extra seven cases of wings for Sunday," said Joel Solinger, the owner of Barrel Smoked BBQ at The Lodge at Shelbyville Country Club. "That's about sixteen to eighteen hundred wings just for Super Bowl Sunday."
Add to that an extra four gallons each of their hot, BBQ and honey BBQ sauces, and they're getting ready.
"We've tried to encourage people to order ahead of time, and we've already been getting orders," Solinger said. "We've also got extra steak burgers and stuff for sliders."
Solinger said they expect 75 to 100 people at the country club's party.
"We're planning a lot of finger foods and appetizers," he said.
But for all the people that go out, more will stay home or attend parties at someone's house.
According to the Nielson Company, nine out of 10 will watch the Patriots and Giants battle it out at home – either their own or someone else's.
With all those hungry fans, someone has to feed them, and according to the National Restaurant Association 48 million Americans will be dialing up the deliveryman.
Dominoes Pizza has estimated that its delivery drivers cover about 4 million miles on Super Bowl Sunday, although their tips can also spike from the normal $2 to up to $20.
"We'll have everybody working," said Stephen Johnson, general manager of the Shelbyville Dominoes Pizza, 1039 Main Street. "I've been at stores where you couldn't find your own feet on Super Bowl Sunday, so we'll be ready."
Johnson said the store would stick to its 30-minute delivery goal.
"We'll make it work. It may take 35 minutes, but we'll make it work."
John Rothenburger, the general manager at Papa John's Pizza, 1732 Midland Trail, said his store has been working on cross training individuals for the last three months to prepare.
"It's definitely our biggest day of the year," he said. "We plan on doing about one hundred and fifty pizzas an hour, which puts us on pace to do about 1.5 times more than an normal Sunday. Plus, we doubled our order of wings for one week, just use on Sunday."
Rothenburger said the chain's affiliation with the National Football League has made a huge difference.
"Two years ago we became a national sponsor with the NFL, and that was the craziest Super Bowl Sunday I ever worked," he said. "There were a lot of stores that ran out of food. It was much bigger than anyone expected. But we've gotten a lot better with knowing what to expect now."
What you can expect is a lot of heartburn and indigestion and not just from fans of the losing team.
According to 7-11 stores, the sale of antacids increases by 20 percent for folks suffering from Not-So-Super-Monday.