The Super Bowl is one of the American public’s favorite events of the year. For the football fans, even those whose team didn’t make it in, the annual championship game of the National Football League held in February is a chance to watch the two superior teams face off and see what promises to be an exciting game. For everyone else, it’s an excuse to socialize, eat a ton of food, share a drink with friends or family, and be entertained by the commercials and halftime show.
You probably know that the Super Bowl is the most watched televised event in the United States, but what you might not know is that that Super Bowl is actually dangerous – not just for players on the field, but for football fans at home. The night of the big game, there is, on average, a significant spike in drunk driving accidents, cardiac arrests, and emergency room visits due to kitchen-related injuries, and the day after the big game is marked by football-related injuries (for the general public). Super Bowl-Related injuries occur more often than you may believe!
This year’s Super Bowl, Super Bowl LV, is historic, not only because it is the first time in history that a team is going to play in their own stadium (Go Bucs! – and we can say that because we’re Florida lawyers), but also because it’s taking place during a pandemic, at a time when hospitals are already struggling to keep up with treating patients due to COVID-19.
Here are some fascinating facts about Super Bowl-related injuries that might surprise you, as well as some tips for avoiding these injuries yourself this coming Sunday:
- Over the past 20 years, data has shown that football fans were more likely to suffer a TV-related injury (TVs dropped, kicked, or punched) on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year.
- That same data found that 72% of all reported kitchen injuries during Super Bowl weekend were in the form lacerations or burns. The most common culprits? Ovens, slicers/choppers, blenders, microwaves, and knives. Another really interesting fact? Avocado-related injuries are much higher than you might think – between 1998 and 2017 an estimated 50,413 people visited the ER because of injuries sustained while making guac.
- Cardiac deaths also spike during and in the following week(s) after the Super Bowl, either due to the tension of the game and rising blood pressure or due to the amount of excessive alcohol, fried foods, cheese, and sugary treats consumed.
- The number of football-related injuries almost always increases the day after the Super Bowl, sometimes as much as 140%! Monday ER admissions rose by 12.3% on average the day after the Super Bowl for these injuries, suggesting that people are trying to recreate the glory moments or are a little too excited to tackle one another after witnessing it on live TV.
- Researchers found a correlation between the Super Bowl and the flu – deaths caused by the flu increased by 18% for people over the age of 65 when their local team played in the Super Bowl. The data suggests that the biggest culprit for spreading the flu is at-home Super Bowl watching parties.
- During typical TV events, people regularly get up to go to the bathroom when they need to, but because the Super Bowl commercials are considered important, and because people are drinking more than usual, many people develop urinary retention, which is a condition where the bladder gets so full that the muscles are not strong enough to generate a stream.
The Super Bowl isn’t a “holiday”, but the accident & injury rate sure makes it comparable to one. During this Super Bowl LV in 2021, here are a few ways that you can ensure that your viewing party stays safe and sensible and avoid Super Bowl-related injuries:
The biggest concern this year is obviously COVID-19. If flu deaths increase due to Super Bowl watch parties, COVID-related deaths certainly will if people do not take social distancing seriously. Consider watching with just the members of your household who live with you – that is the safest way to prevent the virus from spreading to vulnerable people. If you must have people over, wear masks and try to spread out the viewing as much as possible – use chairs instead of couches so people aren’t crammed together, or watch outside on a projector (though it will probably be chilly). Don’t share dips or drinks; make sure everyone has their own food and does not touch anyone else’s.
Keep your emotions in check. Remember that it’s just a game and that no game is worth a trip to the emergency room due to punching a TV, or a wall, or a person. If you struggle with your temper during football games, consider watching with people who you know you have to behave around (such as your children) or doing some yoga/taking a walk before the game to calm your nerves!
Take extra care in the kitchen. Pay attention to what you are cutting and cooking while you are doing it – not the game or the commercials. Use sharp knives and oven mitts to reduce burns and cuts. Make sure the kitchen stays traffic free, particularly because of COVID, but also so you avoid bumping into people and spilling hot materials. Before you rush out of the kitchen to enjoy the game, turn off all kitchen appliances to avoid fires.
When it comes to food and drink, consume in moderation. You don’t need to eat everything that is offered to you, especially if you are older or if you already have heart conditions. No nacho dip is more important than your heart health. Also, make sure to use the restroom as you need to; don’t hold it for the commercials, or you risk bladder issues. Bring your smartphone with you to the restroom if you absolutely can’t miss a minute.
Don’t drive buzzed, tipsy, or drunk. Drunk driving accidents will hopefully decrease this year as more people are staying home to watch the game, but if you’re out at a restaurant or friend’s and you have had too much alcohol, stay the night where you are at, wait a few hours until you are sober, or call an Uber. It is never okay to get behind the wheel while under the influence, and time – not coffee, not food, not water – is the only thing that will sober you up.
The Florida Law Group’s personal injury lawyers wish everyone in Tampa and the entire state of Florida a safe and exciting Super Bowl LV (again, Go Bucs!). If you are incur Super Bowl-related injuries that were due to someone else’s negligence, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn about your legal options.