Super Bowl fans, used to cold brew, ribs and pretzels for Sunday afternoon and evening parties, will instead find breakfast and lunch fare with plenty of hot coffee at their base clubs on Monday morning as the Carolina Panthers battle the New England Patriots.

Monday is considered an official duty day at most bases, but commanders historically allow the troops to attend club parties, or, at worst, view the game in their duty sections.

“It’s an event for Americans,” said Maj. Edwina Walton, spokeswoman at Osan Air Base, South Korea. “It’s a morale and welfare initiative. Concessions are made. I’m sure most commanders would understand. They would likely have some unhappy groups of people if they could not see the game.”

Base clubs open their doors between 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Wide-screen TVs and plenty of cozy armchairs are available, along with food and coffee either free or at nominal fees. Alcohol is discouraged.

Contests, giveaways and door prizes will be given at most venues.

Sailors at Yokosuka Naval Base and Atsugi Naval Air Facility in Japan and soldiers at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul will be entertained by members of the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders, who’ll sign autographs, pose for photographs and perform at halftime.

Television viewers can watch the game live on American Forces Network when the Pats and Cats kick off live at 8:30 a.m. in the Far East.

Seven hours of pre-game telecasts precede the kickoff. ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown starts at 1 a.m. Monday on AFN-Sports; CBS’ The Super Bowl Today airs at 4 a.m. in the Pacific.

Two repeat telecasts will be offered on AFN-Sports, at 5 p.m. Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday. Live radio coverage begins at 7 a.m. Monday in the Pacific. Check local listings for air times in your area.

Tim Mattox, Armed Forces Radio & Television Service’s sports program director, remembers the old days, when signals were lost and board operators scrambled to find feeds for the impatient masses who’d grumble about missing the big game in phone calls to the stations.

“If you had told me that our men and women in uniform around the world could sit on ammo cans in the desert or roll out the barbeque in the middle of the night for a tailgate party on board a Navy ship, and could see the Super Bowl live, I would have found it hard to believe,” he said.

— Jennifer Svan, Greg Tyler, Joseph Giordono, Julianna Gittler and Dave Ornauer contributed to this report.

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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