Super Bowl Monday: A different view of the big game
Super Sunday on U.S. bases overseas offers most of the usual trappings of America’s most-watched sporting event: food, fans decked out in team colors and a lot of wide-screen televisions.
There’s just one difference — a big one. The 6:25 p.m. EST Sunday start time means servicemembers might view the NFL’s championship game in the dead of night in Afghanistan or as dawn breaks at a club or community center in Japan.
Welcome to Super Bowl Monday, a major departure from the national spectacle that livens a winter Sunday for American football fans at home and abroad.
AFC champion Indianapolis squares off against NFC champion Chicago in Miami. Kickoff is around 12:30 a.m. in Central Europe, in the wee hours of morning in Iraq and Afghanistan and about 8:30 a.m. in Japan and South Korea.
Super Bowl Monday sometimes can present a challenge to commands, which still have a job to do but also realize the importance of the game to their troops.
“General officers recognize the Super Bowl is a big event in the United States,” said III Marine Expeditionary Force spokesman Gunnery Sgt. Chuck Albrecht. “As long as it doesn’t distract from mission requirements, they have a willingness” to let servicemembers see the game.
In the case of III MEF, the command was given the day off. Pacific units might give troops the morning off on the condition that they come to work after the game.
Whether troops are in Mosul or Misawa, they’ll face no shortage of opportunity to view and listen to the game. AFN-Sports will carry it live, and it will be broadcast twice more via tape-delayed telecast tailored to each time zone in which troops are assigned. That comes along with seven-plus hours of pregame coverage spread out over AFN-Sports, AFN-Atlantic and AFN-Xtra.
This gives troops the “opportunity to see and hear it no matter where they’re stationed,” said Tim Mattox, Armed Forces Radio and Television Service’s longtime sports programming director.
Nor is there a shortage of places to watch, from base clubs to community centers. Some venues will have special guests — mainly cheerleaders from various teams.
Plenty of food is available, too, but more along the lines of eggs, bacon and hot coffee, rather than the standard fare of ribs, wursts and cold hard beverages.
“Super Bowl begins early in the morning” in the Pacific, Albrecht said. “There’s less of a temptation to take part in wild parties.”
The base-sponsored events are an effort to ensure people will enjoy the festivities “within reason,” Albrecht said. “Same things we would do if it were a federal holiday, we look out for one another, honoring our core values.”
Outfits such as Air Force Services, Army Community Services, Navy MWR and Marine Corps Community Services give the parties as a morale booster, he said.
“If they’re in position to throw some kind of Super Bowl extravaganza and use some of the nice facilities they have, they’re willing to do it,” he said, noting that some troops, particularly lower-ranking GIs living in barracks, might appreciate the opportunity to watch the action on a wide-screen TV. “It is quality of life.”
Local Super Bowl festivitiesGuamn U.S. Naval Base Guam: Club Rumors opens at 6:30 a.m., $5.95 all-you-can-eat breakfast, $6.95 all-you-can-eat lunch, $35 VIP seats include food and drink coupons. Free soda for designated drivers, football pool with prize giveaways including hotel stays and round-trip tickets for two. Single Sailor Sanctuary, open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Snacks, popcorn, hot wings, games, prize giveaways, grand prize two-night stay at hotel on island. (671) 564-2280.
n Andersen Air Force Base: Top of the Rock Club opens at 7:30 a.m. $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers. Breakfast buffet in morning, tailgate party with pizza and submarine sandwiches at noon. Contests and prizes, including 40-inch plasma TV and sound system. DSN 366-6166.
OkinawaAir Force (18th Services)n Kadena Air Base: Banyan Tree Club (enlisted) opens at 6 a.m. Free continental breakfast, football foods. Prize giveaways including NFL jerseys and new recliner. San Francisco 49ers cheerleaders to appear 8-8:30 a.m. DSN 634-0644. Rocker (NCO) Club opens at 6 a.m. Free breakfast buffet, halftime snacks, prize giveaways including recliner and $500 NFL.com shopping spree. DSN 634-3828. Officers Club Weekender Lounge opens at 6 a.m., officers only, free breakfast buffet, football pool, trivia, games, prizes. DSN 634-3663. Chili’s Bar & Grill opens at 6 a.m., prizes, contests, giveaways. DSN 632-4454.
n Okuma Recreation Center: Doors open at 7 a.m., free continental breakfast and football foods, prize giveaways. DSN 632-4386.
n Torii Station: Coral Cove opens at 7 a.m., free breakfast 7-10 a.m., free hors d’oeuvres 10 a.m.-end of game, drink specials, door prizes. DSN 644-4256.
Navyn Camp Shields: Crow’s Nest Club opens at 6 a.m., $7.95 breakfast buffet 6-8 a.m., football trivia, giveaways. DSN 632-4012. Club closes after game ends.
n White Beach: Mean Gene’s Burgers in front of Port of Call complex opens at 6 a.m. Menu breakfast items (prices vary), football trivia, giveaways. DSN 642-2345.
n Marine Corps Community Services: Doors at MCCS clubs open at 6 a.m., $5.95 admission, breakfast served at 7 a.m., complimentary snacks served throughout, prizes, contests, giveaways.
n Camp Schwab Beach Head DSN 625-2053, Awase Meadows Golf Course DSN 645-8463, Camp Foster Tengan Castle DSN 622-9413, Camp Foster Globe & Anchor DSN 645-3666, Camp Courtney Bayview DSN 622-9300, Camp Hansen Palms DSN 623-4375, Futenma Air Station Thirsty’s E-Club DSN 636-3046, Camp Kinser Surfside DSN 637-3137.
Japann Misawa Air Base: Collocated Club opens at 6 a.m., members only. Free breakfast buffet and stadium food. Prizes, contests, trivia, giveaways. DSN 222-9512. Mokuteki Community Center ballroom, “Football’s Over” party and potluck, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Bring favorite dish and enjoy food, camaraderie, games, prizes and entertainment with other non-football fans wishing not to watch the Super Bowl. DSN 226-4128.
n Yokosuka Naval Base: Officers Club (DSN 243-5090), Chief Petty Officers Club, Club Alliance (DSN 243-5951), Seaside Restaurant, Single Sailor Spectrum Lounge (DSN 243-7284) and Liberty Loft open at 6 a.m.; free admission. Buffets and giveaways at Officers Club and Club Alliance; Club Alliance also offering 10-cent wing special. Two Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders to visit all clubs.
n Yokota Air Base: Enlisted Club Oshawa Ballroom opens at 6:30 a.m., enlisted only, free for members, $10 for nonmembers. Breakfast buffet, drink specials, door prizes, pick-a-square pool game, trivia. DSN 227-8820. Yujo Community Center nonalcoholic family party opens at 7:15 a.m., free breakfast, door prizes. DSN 225-7713. Officers Club opens at 6:30 a.m., officers only, free for members, $10 for nonmembers, breakfast buffet, snacks, contests, games, prizes. DSN 225-8526.
n Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni: Club Iwakuni Ballroom and Landing Zone Lounge open at 6 a.m. Door prizes before kickoff and at halftime. Specials on breakfast, hot wings, poppers; free sandwiches at halftime. Eagles Nest Lounge also open for those desiring a cozier atmosphere. DSN 253-3237.
n Sasebo Naval Base: Harbor View Club ballroom opens at 6:30 a.m. Breakfast buffet $7.95 for adults, $4.95 for children ages 4 to 10. Hot dogs and chicken wings available for purchase. Prize drawings. DSN 252-3965.
n Camp Zama: Community Club opens at 7 a.m., adults only, breakfast buffet, snacks, guest appearance by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders, contests including King of the Quarter for second and fourth quarters, giveaways including two airline roundtrip tickets to Hawaii, two pairs of tickets to NFL American Bowl in August at Beijing, two iPods, gift certificates for food, merchandise and phone calls. DSN 263-5995.
n Naval Air Facility Atsugi: Club Trilogy opens at 5 a.m. Adults only. Free breakfast and lunch. Prizes, including one Xbox 360, and contests, including football square game, Madden 2006-07 Sudden Death video game tournament and La-Z-Boy guests of honor. Two Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders to appear for handshakes and autographs. DSN 264-3574.
n Camp Fuji: Roadhouse Club opens at 7 a.m. Free light snacks and brunch. Contests and prizes, including surround-sound system, iPods, CDs and DVDs, books, T-shirts, bags, etc. DSN 224-8356.
n Ikego Heights Naval Housing Facility (Zushi): Opens at 6 a.m., $5 breakfast and finger foods, trivia contest, prizes and giveaways. DSN 246-8075/77. Dining facility opens at 7 a.m., $3.75 breakfast, donations of $4 for hot dogs, chips, soda, beer accepted. DSN 767-3817.