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More Than Just the Game — Football, Fashion and Food!

Game day football party table with chips and salsa
The Color Purple 2023

These days, “the big game” is about more than just the game itself.

From world class fútboll (soccer for those in the United States), to the global appeal of arena basketball, to mania caused in the U.S. for its Football National Championship: The Super Bowl.

Believe it or not, American Football is international, and has been since October 2005, when the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers faced off at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Dubbed “NFL Fútbol Americano,” it was the first regular season game held outside the United States, according to National Football League (NFL) operations at NFL.com.

We will cover the international history of “American Football” in Culturs’ Spring 2023 issue.

Prepping for the Big Game

INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION

The expansion in popularity of the NFL goes well beyond international ties, however. Highly anticipated halftime shows with epic entertainment have long been an NFL staple, and those performances continue to become more diverse as well. More on that later.

But we CANNOT forget the association with football and food!

In decades past, the ubiquitous nature of the game was more associated with men; however it now has a huge female following. With that following has come creativity well beyond pizza, beer and hot dogs. 

FOOTBALL FANATICS

“When I do sports parties, I’m all out, like crazy all out,” says Mistine Varela, who is a native of Kansas, U.S.A. “Anything football-shaped, anything to look like the stadium. Like making a football shape out of croissant dough with cream cheese and artichokes inside, and you pull it off.”

Football fan Mistine Varela enjoys festive game day foods.
Football fan Mistine Varela enjoys festive game day foods.

Varela goes into intricate detail describing a decadent cream cheese, sour cream, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic and spinach dip that’s a fan favorite at her parties. She stuffs that into hand-twisted croissant dough and creates a football shape.

“I don’t go by the recipe, I just go by how it tastes when I make it. I used to go crazy all out like that — doing too much,” she says, reflecting on the themes and variety of foods at her game day parties. “But if I did it now, I would have four things: Brisket, baked beans in a football-shaped server, a wing board with a lot of different chicken wings and sauces and make a football-shaped board for it. And a dessert that looks like a football.”

Yes, we see how that’s simpler.

TURN UP THE MUSIC

It’s not just the fans who go all out.

Every year it seems, the NFL tries to one-up itself with amazing entertainment at halftime. The Superbowl is known for amazingly creative commercials, but halftime entertainment is truly next-level and more diverse as the years pass, from U2 to Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and Beyonce.

Latine groups finally were recognized with a JLo and Shakira halftime show in 2020.

In 2022, hip-hop legends Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar filled the stadium with hard-rockin’, turn-of-the-century music nostalgia. BetMGM’s “The Roar,” in its article “The Best Super Bowl Performances of All Time” says that performance was the first halftime show ever to win a top program Emmy for an outstanding variety special.

DIVERSITY HITS THE STAGE

The anticipation for this year’s half-time show artist is as prominent as her cross-cultural roots.  It marks Barbadian singer Rihanna’s long-anticipated return after making her mark in the business industry, becoming a billionaire. She also took time to grow her family and become a mom. Now, the wait is over.

Rihanna takes the stage at the first-ever Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show on Sunday, February 12, 2023.

The Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show is expected to not only entertain fans at home and in stadium, but if RiRi’s much-lauded fashion statements during her pregnancy or the Apple Music official halftime show trailer are any indication, it will be a feast for the eyes as well. 

“Rihanna is one of the most prolific artists of our time, and we, along with her many fans across the globe, cannot wait to see her take the stage at the first Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. The company has launched “Rihanna’s Road to Halftime,” offering new ways to experience the performer’s music catalog.

Rihanna is one of the most prolific artists of our time.

Fans are going all-in on social media, dressing up and showing out in anticipation of the multi-Grammy-winning singer’s long-awaited return at Super Bowl LVII when the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles go head-to-head. 

In anticipation of Super Bowl 57, blinged out fans from all 32 NFL football teams came together in a compilation of one of Rihanna’s greatest hits. Click above to watch the Instagram reel.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Sunday, February 12, 2023 marks the 57th Super Bowl championship game and will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, U.S.A. Kickoff time is 4:30 p.m. MST (UTC-7). Click on the images below for more info.

Apple Music Launches Rihanna’s Road to Halftime Ahead of Super Bowl LVII

Apple Music is bringing Rihanna fans new and exclusive ways to experience and celebrate her musical genius as they gear up for the highly anticipated Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show on Sunday, February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Earlier this month, Rihanna teased fans with a first look trailer: 

Apple Music Rihanna Essentials Playlist:

All About the Super Bowl on NFL.com:

Super Bowl week on the NFL Network:

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