You shouldn't have to look far Sunday, Feb. 2, to find a television tuned to Super Bowl XLVIII. Whether you settle into a booth at the neighborhood pub or the La-Z-Boy in your living room, the match-up between the Seattle Seahawks (first in defense) and Denver Broncos (first in offense) should be one for the ages.
If not, at least you'll have the commercials to look forward to.
More than 85 percent of Americans are projected to gather with friends and family to watch the game. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on Fox. Of course, commentary and analysis will begin hours before, as do many of the parties scheduled around town.
Expect food and drink specials at your favorite bar. If you're looking for a change of pace, consider the following three events, which include a six-story Imax screen tuned to the event in Chattanooga and a chili cook-off in Cleveland.
* EPB Fiber Optics Wish Bowl: Make-A-Wish East Tennessee will receive proceeds from this annual event, now in its 10th year. Wish Bowl X features dinner, silent and live auctions and the big game shown on multiple screens, including the six-story big screen at the Tennessee Aquarium's Imax Theater, 201 Chestnut St. The party starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75 for individuals, $1,000 for tables of eight. A separate $100 raffle ticket offers the chance to win a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. For reservations, call 423-629-9474 or visit etn.wish.org.
* Big Game Pre-Party: Thunder Creek Harley-Davidson, 7720 Lee Highway, will host this celebration during normal business hours Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The casual gathering will include finger foods, nonalcoholic beverages and music. Admission is free. For more information, call 423-892-4888 or visit www.thundercreekharley.com.
* Chili Showdown: American Legion Post 81, 227 James Asbury Lane in Cleveland, Tenn., will be filling chili bowls on Super Bowl Sunday. The cook-off, open to all comers, will start at 4 p.m., with judging at 6 p.m. Samples will be served for a donation to the post. A kickoff party will follow, with the post's resident chef, Mark Carter, providing the menu, with specials priced individually. Cook-off entry is free. To put your recipe in the running, call 423-476-4451.
SUPER BOWL XLVIII AT A GLANCE
* Teams: Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos
* Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, on Fox
* Venue: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
* Singing the national anthem: Soprano Renee Fleming
* Halftime entertainment: Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers
5 FAST FACTS
* No devastating storms are in the forecast, but the weather is unseasonably cold in New York, with highs in the teens this week and the wind chill hovering below zero degrees.
* This is the first time in NFL history that an offense ranked first in points and yards (Denver Broncos) will face off against a defense leading the league in points and yards allowed (Seattle Seahawks).
* Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is the only player on either team who has won a Super Bowl. Three other Denver Broncos have been to the game without winning, while no current Seattle Seahawk has ever made it to the title game.
* Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has called Manning "one of the best football players to ever play the game" and an "example" to follow. Wilson has been following that example for the better part of a decade, ever since attending Manning's passing camp.
* This is the largest age gap between two starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history. Manning, a four-time MVP, is 37. Wilson, a second-year quarterback for the Seahawks, is 25.