PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- About half of the country tuned in to the Super Bowl last year, which means that more than half of the country didn't watch the game at all and couldn't care less about it.
Because the National Football League, its sponsors and its broadcast partners can't squeeze a dime out of people if they're not watching, the other half of the country's 314 million people becomes a non-factor when the game draws closer. Why weren't those people part of the 164 million people who tuned in at one point or another last year? Why couldn't they just suck it up and join the 109 million who watched the event the whole way through? They couldn't even be a part of the 104 million who watched Beyonce and Destiny's Child at halftime last year? How dead do you have to be inside not to watch Beyonce & Co. perform Single Ladies?
As it turns out, the rest of the country's national wonders don't just crumble into the sea on Super Bowl Sunday. Restaurants without door-sized televisions don't just close, theaters don't stop showing movies or staging plays (except on Broadway, where the Super Bowl is taking over surrounding streets and postponing shows) and gyms don't just assume everyone else is stuffing themselves with chicken wings, chips and beer and chalking the day up as a loss.
Even people who dedicate their whole lives to football aren't necessarily enamored of the idea of blowing one of their few Sundays off by watching a game. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning's longtime archnemesis and had a tough "U Mad, Bro?" exchange with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman after a loss in Seattle a few years back, but he's one of the most accomplished members of the NFL ranks and a scholar of the game. Even he won't be watching Sunday's game.So how do you do it? How do you avoid the Super Bowl when your local grocery store has stacked beer cases into the shape of goal posts and your local takeout places will all be saddled with hourslong waits on gameday? Any introvert knows that answer: Go where the people aren't. Bars, pubs, the local Buffalo Wild Wings: These are all terrible options for avoiding the game. If you head to the movies to catch up on Oscar nominees or see if Kevin Hart really does as much to balance out Ice Cube in Ride Along as U.S. moviegoers think he does, you have to at least attempt to seal yourself inside one of the mausoleums that are Super Bowl Sunday movie theaters. Last Feb. 3, movie theaters across the U.S. still took in more than $10.5 million, according to Box Office Mojo. That's down more than 66% from just a day earlier and still less than half of what they'd earn the following Sunday, but double the Monday total and higher than any Monday-Thursday date that wasn't Presidents Day or Valentine's Day.