Two of the most central commandments of the Torah are “Love Hashem” and “Love Your Fellow as Yourself”. Love consists of developing a deep connection to another. With Hashem we develop that deep connection by thinking of Him when we perform mitzvos. With our fellow humans, we develop that deep connection by appreciating their good qualities, praying with them, learning with them, helping them physically, financially and emotionally, and spending time with them.
Which brings us to the Superbowl Party. Many Rebbeim that I know feel that it’s ok to watch the Superbowl as long as you click it off during the commercials and the halftime show. In our hectic world, we need some down time, and watching sports is one of the more acceptable leisure activities. The Superbowl party adds the dimension of sharing some quality time with our friends. It’s a nice venue in that there are lots of opportunities to talk and connect during this 4 hour event with the game providing a good backdrop for small talk.
Attending the Superbowl Party is certainly not a positive commandment. However, if you focus on deepening your love and friendships, then the Superbowl Party, or any social event for the matter, is an opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of “Love Your Fellow as Yourself”. And it doesn’t matter who wins.