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Super Bowl 50 steals crowds from Uptown restaurants

By Kelly Burns, Dmitriy Kizhikin, For The Miami Student

On a typical weekend, the streets of Uptown Oxford are packed with students and local residents. But on Feb. 7, otherwise known as Super Bowl Sunday, that was not the case.

Instead of the usual crowds, small groups of students rushed in and out of restaurants and stores, picking up takeout and last minute snacks. Even after the game began, dozens of people continued to place and pick up orders of wings from Buffalo Wild Wings.

"Takeout's the worst right now because everyone's watching at their houses and parties," remarked a student as she joined the line to pick up her food.

Restaurant employees could be seen sweeping up the floors and washing empty tables at 6 p.m. Most of the restaurants that were not a bar-and-grill type were deserted.

In order to avoid this, maintain a celebratory atmosphere for the big game and say thank you to its regular customers, Buffalo Wild Wings hosted a VIP party in the bar area of the restaurant.

The restaurant began planning and sent out flyers and information to their customers long before the game began.

"People have been getting seating for over a month and a half," said general manager Matt Stelletell.

Oxford families and other regulars were treated to a buffet-style meal of chips and salsa, wings and other food as they enjoyed the game. The central bar area was filled with parents, children and a generally festive attitude.

Groups of Miami students occupied the outer booths and tables, grabbing a bite to eat before heading over to a house or back to a dorm to watch the game.

When the game finally began, the VIP area tables burst into chants as fans supported their favorite team. The college students cheered along, as well, but were far more invested in their friends and conversations than the game itself.

Meanwhile, sororities celebrated Bid Day with the game playing in the background. For them, the game came second to welcoming new members to their organizations.

Delta Delta Delta kept the game on during their welcome party and the girls watched while getting to know each other.

"We were cheering along with the game while everyone talked and danced and the DJ played," said first-year Jessica Statler.

The DJ called out updates on the score for anyone not adamantly watching the game.

For students who lived on campus, TV rooms and dorms provided the space for watching the game. Halls like Havighurst had wings and food for anyone who wanted to watch. Students also gathered in less organized ways, congregating around the largest TV they could find to watch with friends.

First-year Peter Hano took the opportunity to get together with his friends in his dorm.

"It was fun because we all just rushed," Hano said. "So we hadn't seen each other in a while, but we all got back together for the football game."

Caroline Hellman, a sophomore, had a more informal experience. She and her friends ordered pizza and crammed 12 people into a single dorm room so they could all be together while watching the game and, more importantly, the commercials.

"The commercials were kind of bad this year, especially the Budweiser one," said Hellman. "It was so disappointing."

Even though the streets Uptown were empty, throughout Oxford families and students gathered to watch the halftime show, the commercials and the Broncos' 24-10 victory over the Panthers.

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