Why Americans go crazy over the Super Bowl

More than 100 million people across America are expected to watch the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles vie for the coveted Super Bowl football championship on February 4.

American football is considered the most popular sport in the U.S., but that’s not the only reason Super Bowl Sunday is a favorite day for so many Americans.

Here are three more explanations:

A day of parties and eating

Snack foods decorated as American footballs (Shutterstock)

The game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time in the United States (that’s 23:30 UTC), but many Americans will have Super Bowl parties that last throughout the day and night.

On the menu for many: nachos, hot wings, chips and dips, and any food that can be made into a shape of an American football, including hard-boiled eggs (as seen above).

Halftime show with big celebrities

Justin Timberlake standing with microphone in front of red smoke and yellow concert lights (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

In the last 20 years, the Super Bowl’s halftime show has attracted some of the biggest names in music. This year Justin Timberlake (above) will entertain viewers while the two teams take a break at the midway point of the game. (U.S. football games consist of four quarters, each consisting of 15 minutes.)

Previous years’ halftime shows have included Beyoncé, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars.

When Paul McCartney was the featured halftime performer in 2005, he said, “There’s nothing bigger than being asked to perform at the Super Bowl.”

Some awesome commercials

Small crowd jumping and cheering (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

The TV commercials aired during the Super Bowl have become nearly as big a draw as the game itself. Nearly 20 percent of adults have said that the advertisements are the most important part of the event.

The ads are often clever and funny, but all of them cost a lot to air. A 30-second televised ad during this year’s game costs $5 million. Commercials in the first Super Bowl in 1967 cost $42,000.