Like most major events, this year’s Super Bowl looks different than it has in the past. Raymond James Stadium’s 66,000 seats will hardly be filled, as only 22,000 fans will attend this year’s game due to COVID-19 regulations. Laws in most states prevent large gatherings, so viewing parties will have to significantly downsize as well. Even the advertisements will look different this year, as many companies are stepping back from their typically lavish promotions to use their money for more charitable causes. For the first time in 37 years, there will be no Budweiser commercial, as Anheuser-Busch will instead donate its ad money toward COVID-19 vaccine awareness.
The Super Bowl is just another event in a list of many that will have to be adjusted to fit the times. Although we’ll gather in smaller groups and unusual locations, one thing doesn’t have to change — the menu.
If you’re interested in a themed menu, both Kansas City and Tampa Bay have some interesting signature dishes. If you’re rooting for the Chiefs, you can’t go wrong with barbecue, such as these Kansas City-style pork sliders. According to Google, the most-searched food in Missouri last year was pizza, so if that’s what you go with, make sure you do it right. That means a thin and crispy crust, rectangular slices, and Provel cheese (a cheddar-swiss-mozzerella combo popular in St. Louis). For drinks, try out a classic Kansas City Ice Water or these KC-inspired cocktails.
For a Tampa-themed feast, a classic Cuban sandwich tops the list. If you want more of a Floridian seafood dish, deviled crab croquettes are a Tampa-born delicacy, and Tampa Bay shrimp works too. Because of Tampa’s large Italian population, pasta and Sicilian pizzas are a must as well.
And if you need something extra to celebrate, the NFL is sending 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers to the big game for free. So stay warm inside, smile about the vaccine and cook some good food.
Sadie Groberg is a freshman in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].