Five Reasons to Care About Super Bowl XLVIII

As Super Bowls go, this Sunday's is, well, not terribly exciting. There's no Miami connection; the Dolphins aren't in it and the city's not hosting. The teams -- the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks -- don't inspire the kind of devotion many once felt for the New Orleans Saints, or the kind of hatred many continue to feel for the New York Jets or the New England Patriots. Even the halftime show sounds pretty lame. Unless Bruno Mars literally catches a grenade thrown at him by an over-excited Richard Sherman, it'll likely be a big ol' yawn.

But don't plan to tune your TV to Downton Abbey just yet. (Though you really should record it.) There are plenty of compelling reasons for Miamians to get pumped for Sunday's big game.

5. The Pity

The Jets aren't in the Super Bowl, because this year they played like, well, the New York Jets. But that doesn't mean they won't give Dolphins fans another reason to feel superior to them on Sunday. The game's played at MetLife Stadium, the Jets' home base. And that means viewers can look forward to a barrage of shots of that stadium and its surroundings -- all of which are a) in New Jersey, and b) caught in the middle of a second consecutive polar vortex. You'll never be happier to call Miami home.

4. The Parties

Will the game be boring? Only if you're doing it wrong. Plenty of places around town have prepared parties designed to get you drunk enough to care about this game.

Sandbar Grill has UM's football-watching crowds covered with a Super Bowl viewing party starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 3 a.m. Expect liquor giveaways all night long and specials on beer. Might as well just call in sick now. Visit sandbargrove.com.

Brother Jimmy's in Brickell will also be showing the game on its jumbo TV screen, plus 30 additional screens around the bar/restaurant. Between plays, fans can groove to the sounds of DJ Vertigo and shmooze with Lisa Morales of Miami Model Citizens. The fun starts at 4 p.m. Visit brotherjimmys.com.

And if you wanna get all fancy about it, Hyde Beach at the SLS Hotel is getting all dolled up for the big game, literally; servers will be dressed as cheerleaders, a special BBQ menu will be on offer, and the club's adding two jumbo screens where fans can watch the action. DJs Danny Stern and Lady Sha will provide gridiron grooves. Visit hydebeach.com.

3. The Pricey Commercials

Face it: At the office tomorrow, the commercials are all anyone's going to be talking about anyway. From the ad Miami students created for Vapor Zone to a Full House reunion in support of yogurt, this year's looking good.

2. The Peyton

There's only one love-it-or-hate-it aspect of this game, and its name is Peyton Manning. Some think he's a charming example of quarterback perfection; some think he's an annoying, egotistical Papa John's sell-out. Either way, if you can channel all your energy into either rooting for him or rooting for him to get brutally sacked on every play, you'll make it through the game easily.

1. The Puppy Bowl

When all else fails: PUPPIES.

Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.

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