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4 alternatives to watching the Super Bowl

Restaurants, movie theaters and stores may seem like ghost towns on Sunday, so head on out. You might find special deals.

By MSN Money Partner Feb 3, 2012 4:15PM

This post comes from Matt Brownell at partner site MainStreet.


MainStreet on MSN MoneyLike 110 million of my fellow Americans, I will be spending my Sunday evening watching Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Still, that leaves an additional 200 million or so Americans who simply don't care about the biggest sporting event of the year.


If you've decided to abstain from the Super Bowl, what should you do with yourself that night instead? We're so glad you asked.


Find a deal

While grocery stores will be teeming with last-minute shoppers picking up supplies for bean dip and Buffalo wings, most other retailers will be largely devoid of customers. And if you don't mind haggling, that gives you the perfect opportunity to get a great deal. As we explain here, deal hunters would do well to visit stores during off-peak periods. THat's when salespeople and managers have time to haggle with you. And with a third of the country parked in front of the TV, you can bet that any store that's open on Sunday evening will be a virtual ghost town.


Meanwhile, a number of businesses are offering special Super Bowl promotions and deals. Even if you're not a football fan, you can still take full advantage. Post continues below.

Have dinner and a movie

Online reservation service OpenTable sees reservations drop by 50% on Super Bowl Sunday vs. other Sundays, which means that this is a great night to get into that restaurant that's always too crowded (just stay clear of sports bars). Want to see a movie? Theaters see a similarly deep drop in attendance, so you and your date can enjoy a quiet theater and the best seats in the house.


Watch the Puppy Bowl

For the uninitiated, the Puppy Bowl consists of a bunch of puppies frolicking on a small "football field," where they play with football-shaped toys. Puppies who poop on the field or participate in "unnecessary ruff, ruff, ruff-ness" are assessed penalties by the referee. This year is Puppy Bowl VIII, and for the first time we'll get to see the Piggy Pep Squad. Get excited, people. The event starts at 3 p.m. EST on Sunday on Animal Planet, so technically you don't have to skip the game to watch it. But it's worth checking out either way.


Get a good night's sleep

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas identifies the Super Bowl as one the top productivity sappers of the year, noting that revelers find it particularly difficult to show up to work on Monday morning after drinking heavily the night before. And a 2007 study by the Workforce Institute estimated that 1.5 million people miss work the day after the Super Bowl and an additional 4.4 million show up late.


Take this as an opportunity for workplace advancement: Come into work the next day rested and ready to work, and you'll present a nice contrast with your hungover or absent co-workers. While everyone else is making frequent trips to the bathroom and falling asleep at their desks, you'll be impressing your boss with your chipper attitude and productive ways.


More on MainStreet and MSN Money:

Feb 4, 2012 5:33AM

lol, its not like the world revolves around the SB. you COULD just go on with your life OR just not switch to the big game and watch something else on tv. i for one am going to watch the Super Bowl


They missed something... you could put Madden in your X-Box and play the REAL Superbowl that we should have had if not for some crooked refs... The Ravens and the 49ers!!!
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