featured photo: Dave Adamson / Shutterstock

I love Super Bowl Sunday because it’s a real holiday and just as important as every real holiday.

What makes it extra special is that it’s a ‘no rules’ kind of holiday, which means we get to enjoy lots of great-tasting food! It’s one day that everyone knows what they’re doing, like New Year’s Eve. You feel a certain pressure to have fun.

Growing up in a restaurant family, Super Bowl Sunday was always exciting. We would either have a big party with family and friends at the house, or we would go to my dad’s restaurant. I have so many great memories of celebrating there. Crazy nachos, huge sandwiches, plenty of sweets … more food than you could imagine, with people yelling, all having a good time!  

And we would bet on everything. Not just who would win the game, but everything. We’d start with a bet on how long the National anthem would go, and take it from there.

"What I’m really looking forward to this year is the commercials … because my mom (Caroline Manzo) is in one!"

- Chris Manzo

Somewhere To Watch: My Favorite Places In New York City

Watching the Big Game is just one of the many things that you can do in New York City on Super Bowl Sunday. But Super Bowl doesn’t put the city on hold because there’s always so much going on. The great thing is, you can find just about any kind of watch experience in the city. There’s something for everyone, even those that don’t watch the Super Bowl. 

I won’t be at home this year. I’m heading to Nashville where my girlfriend lives and can’t wait to see how that party town celebrates. People travel to Nashville just to celebrate things like Super Bowl. I’ve only been once, but the music, the fun atmosphere – Nashville feels so all-American, with a lot more space than New York for celebrating! And because Nashville’s close to Kansas City, I think a lot of visitors will actually be interested in the turnout of the game. So I’m excited to be in the mix. 

Now, if I was home this Super Bowl Sunday, I’d make plans to find a place in New York City to meet friends and watch the game. I prefer places that are not overly crowded. And good food is key – nice sampler platters, wings, nachos, cheese fries – the works. Above all, I want to watch the game, so big screens and good sound are important. I have a few favorite places around town that are just right for game-watching.

Mad River (1442 Third Avenue) – My Wisconsin friends introduced me to Mad River. The food’s great, it’s friendly and feels like a small town bar, which is a great find in Manhattan.

Printers Alley (215 West 40th Street) – We have lots of fun here because you can play sports while you’re watching games. It’s in the heart of Times Square, so there’s plenty of action and it always feels like a party. 

The Standard Biergarten (848 Washington at 13th Street) – This is a popular go-to spot on every game day. It’s a big, wide-open space that’s not at all intimidating and just right for hanging out with friends and meeting new ones.


Something To Look Forward To: The Halftime Show

I always love the Super Bowl halftime shows. I can think back to the ones I remember, like the show with Aerosmith and Britney Spears with ‘N Sync. Bruno Mars is another favorite – especially his first halftime show here at MetLife in 2014. He’s such a great performer. 

I probably remember the halftime shows that were disappointing a little more (laughs). But there are always memorable moments, and this year’s halftime show will be great with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. For us, it’s extra special because Jennifer Lopez is synonymous with New York – she’s from the Bronx. It makes you wonder, where would J.Lo watch the Super Bowl if she was in New York?


Something To REALLY Look Forward To: The Commercials, Especially My Mom’s

What I’m really looking forward to this year is the commercials … because my mom (Caroline Manzo) is in one! I mean there’s no other way to actually ‘get in’ the Super Bowl, unless you’re really good at playing football. And she’s in the Super Bowl!  

When it comes to starring in a Super Bowl commercial, you have to do something pretty great to have your face chosen to be associated with a brand when most people are looking at the brand. 

Honestly, our family has come to a point where nothing really shocks us anymore. It’s been a wild ride and amazing things keep on happening. But now that the show is done, to get something this big is really special.  

So, yes, I’m probably more focused on my mom’s commercial than anything else. Once I see her face, I’ll be able to relax. And then it will probably hit me that even with all of this excitement, she’s still my mom who spent most of her time telling Albie and me to clean our rooms.

 

Check out the teaser below:

Something To Share: This Fun Fact

Super Bowl Sunday is the number one avocado consumption day of the year. So when someone asks me, “What do you think of when you think of Super Bowl?” For me? Avocados.


Making plans for the Big Game?

Check out these Super Bowl Sunday events in New York City:

 

Brooklyn Bowl Super Bowl LIV (All Ages)

5:00 p.m.
61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn

Strike it big in Brooklyn with the Super Bowl on 14 HD screens featuring full concert sound, with plenty of food and fun for the family.

Get Tickets

Super Bowl Singles Party at the Empire Rooftop (21 & Over)

5:30 p.m.
44 West 63rd Street

See the view from above when the Empire Hotel brings together sports and singles for a super party on the rooftop.

Get Tickets

Loft 51 Super Bowl Viewing Party

5:00 p.m.
627 West 51st Street

It’s all about experience – catch the Big Game on giant screens, play board games and groove to top NYC DJs.

Get Tickets