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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 7, 2010

No need to stay home to watch Super Bowl


By Paula Gillingham Bende

It's not exactly a national holiday, but my less-than-scientific research on years of Super Bowl Sunday in Hawai'i has concluded several things: Bars, sports bars and retail electronics departments fill with rabid sports fans. And beaches and surf breaks are little pocket ghost towns. Nice.

Unless my hometown favorite Philadelphia Eagles football team is in a Super Bowl, then I watch for the commercials and the halftime show. I guess it's like buying a magazine for the articles, LOL.

It's probably the case in every neighborhood in Hawai'i, where we all live pretty much in each other's armpits, that about 87 percent of the people are watching the same sporting event on TV. You can tell when UH football is on and when someone scores a touchdown or scoops an interception. If your skylights are open, you can hear who cheers for who, who is really disappointed, and whose team just won.

But if you want to get out of the hale and aren't going to a party, how about checking out East O'ahu establishments for some HDTV NFL thrills?

Therapy Bar & Grill and Kona Brewing at Koko Marina Shopping Center instantly come to mind. So does Cha Cha Cha Salsaria and The Shack over at Hawaii Kai Shopping Center. That new place at Hawaii Kai Towne Center, Malia's Thai Cuisine, has an awesome TV hanging above the bar. Stuffed chicken wing dance? Who knows? Even Costco Hawaii Kai might be a few fans deep in the electronics ghetto.

But don't rule out a less than obvious option: 24 Hour Fitness anyone? I find that 24HF Hawaii Kai, especially on the weekends, is SportsTV central. Lots of guys, lots of sweat and four TVs brewing with sports and the funniest commercials on the air. Instead of grinding on gumbo or chomping on chili, you can watch and burn a ton of calories while the Super Bowl and I'll bet money on this will be on every TV hanging in 24-Hour Fitness Hawaii Kai.

I'll let you in on a little secret: ESPN gets a little tedious and seems to repeat its cycle way too fast, but when it's college sports, you can bet every wahine in 24HF Hawaii Kai has her eyeballs trained on a TV. What a great cover for breaking a sweat.

I used to get really ticked when some guy would change the TV station from Headline News or CNN for sports, but I'm over it. During the week, when the butt-crack-of-dawn folks are there from 3-5 in the morning, we sometimes break our news routine to watch professional tennis at Wimbledon or le Tour de France. I draw the line at wrestling and dirt bike riding. Extreme Sports? Wince!

Whatever you do on Super Bowl Sunday, have a blast, be or designate a driver, and ... who's playing again?