Hannah Beier/The New York Times

Philadelphia Eagles fans at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia before the Super Bowl LVII between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12.

February 12, 2023

Local Businesses, Cornellians Kick Off Super Bowl Festivities

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From football fanatics to halftime show enthusiasts, many Cornellians will not be sitting on the sidelines for Super Bowl celebrations — across campus and Collegetown, students and local businesses are setting game plans for today’s festivities.

On what has become an unofficial national holiday, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs will square off in Super Bowl LVII in an hour.

To reach the Super Bowl, the Eagles breezed past the rival New York Giants, then won a highly anticipated heavyweight clash with the San Francisco 49ers when San Francisco lost both its quarterbacks to severe injuries. The Eagles have played in three previous Super Bowls, losing in 1981 and in 2005 and winning in 2018.

Meanwhile, Kansas City won a close game over the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars, then emerged victorious in a rematch of last year’s conference championship against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs have played in four previous Super Bowls, losing in 1967 and in 2021 and winning in 1970 and in 2020.

In anticipation of the droves of students gathering for the Super Bowl, local businesses around Collegetown are gearing up to handle the high food demand. Ned’s Pizza employee Robert Khawli told The Sun this morning that today would be the busiest day of the year for the pizza joint since their opening in September.

“It’s a very busy day. We already have many orders at a time, so we’re trying to keep up early in the morning,” Khawli said.

Similarly, Wings Over Ithaca employee Iolite Ocean said that the Collegetown late-night spot has to institute a special method for ordering wings due to the volume of orders that come in for the Super Bowl.

“We are taking pre-orders all the way up to Super Bowl start,” Ocean said. “After the Super Bowl ends around 8 p.m., we’ll be back to relatively normal life taking walk-ins again. But until after the Super Bowl, we’re just doing online orders.”

However, not all restaurants are facing the same strain. Ally Bauer, a front-of-house manager at Luna’s, said she does not anticipate increased traffic to the restaurant tonight — though, like Ned’s Pizza and Wings Over Ithaca, Luna’s has seen more deliveries than usual.

“We’re not really expecting any busier [than usual], mostly because we don’t have TVs in store — we just have one by the bar, and there’s only like five seats up there,” Bauer said. “So, we’re just expecting more deliveries. I know we have a couple more of them for tonight.” 

Students are also preparing for the Super Bowl in their own ways. For Max Hafner ’23, who hails from Emmaus, Pennsylvania and is an Eagles fan, this marks the first Eagles Super Bowl during his lifetime that he will not be watching with his family, who are also all Eagles fans. Being without his family for the big game also means not being able to participate in his family’s traditions.

“Every Eagles game, [my dad would] make up some snacks. So we’d make homemade pretzels, potato skins, nachos, that kind of stuff,” Hafner said. “And we’d just all sit together, watch the games and have a good time with family.”

Like Hafner, Izzy LaHaye ’24 also recalled fond memories of celebrating the Super Bowl with her family, even though they are not football fans.

“Whenever my uncle came over when I was younger for the Super Bowl, he would make 50 hot wings, and we would just be eating chicken wings and playing yard games,” LaHaye said. “My family just [watches] it to have something to celebrate, but none of us are football people.”

This year, for the Super Bowl, Hafner plans to watch the game at his house with friends, many of whom are not football fans.

“I’m gonna be watching it with a bunch of people, none of whom, except for one, my friend Henry — he’s an Eagles fan — cares,” Hafner said. “So I’m going to threaten them into being Eagles fans, and teach them all the Eagles traditions, such as booing Santa Claus and the ‘Fly Eagles Fly’ song.” 

As a Resident Assistant in Mews Hall, LaHaye is co-hosting a Valentine’s event for residents this Sunday. She and her fellow RAs forgot that the Super Bowl would take place on the same day, so they plan to play it on TV during the event to appeal to Mews’s football fanatics.

Eliza Gifford ’24 also forgot that the Super Bowl would take place this Sunday and does not plan to watch it, although she said she would tune in for Rihanna’s halftime performance.

“I can’t remember the last time I actually watched the Super Bowl, other than the halftime show,” Gifford said. “I’m probably just going to be doing homework on Sunday, but I feel like some people in my house might be having people over to watch it, so maybe I’ll watch it for a few minutes.”