DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl
What it is: A celebrity flag football game featuring athletes and entertainers. In only its third year, this event has turned into an affordable, but still star-powered, public event.
When and where: A pregame show starts at 1:30 p.m, with kickoff at 2:30 p.m. and a postgame concert at 3:30 p.m. at Al Lang Field in downtown St. Petersburg.
Who will be there: Everyone. From the world of entertainment, Christian Slater, Kevin Dillon, Gossip Girl's Blake Lively and Penn Badgley, Brody Jenner, Frankie Delgado, all three Kardashian sisters, NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, Odette Yustman, Dave Annable, Zach Gilford and 2008 Playmate of the Year Jayde Nicole. From the world of sports: Reggie Bush, Eli Manning, Steve Young, Warren Moon, Maurice Jones-Drew, Eddie George, Merril Hoge, Jamal Anderson, Matt Forte, Andrew Siciliano and Inside the NFL's James Brown, Phil Simms, Warren Sapp and Jenn Brown. Finall, LL Cool J will perform a live set after the game.
Can you get in? Yes. The event is free and open to the public.
What else? Most of us can only imagine participating in an event like this. For Ron Lawrence of Chesapeake, Va., it's a reality. Lawrence, a Cowboys fan in Redskins territory, won DirecTV's Ultimate Displaced Fan Contest, which means he'll get tickets to the Super Bowl, the chance to pal around with the Cowboys' Jason Witten, and a roster spot in the Beach Bowl. "It's crazy some of the people who are going to be there," said Lawrence, 37. "It's cool to meet the celebrities, but I'm more interested in the football players." Spoken like a true displaced fan. — Jay Cridlin
Saturday Night Spectacular
What it is: Kevin Costner (top right) is a baseball kind of guy: Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game, not to mention that pep rally song he penned for the Tampa Bay Rays last season. But Costner lays down his bat this weekend, co-hosting one of the premier parties of Super Bowl XLIII, the Saturday Night Spectacular. Former New York Giants All-Pro defensive end Michael Strahan joins the actor, in case he needs any tips on the 4-3 blitz package.
When and where: 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. at the Pepin Hospitality Centre, 4121 N 50th St., Tampa.
Who will be there: Costner is the biggest name on a celebrity guest list that keeps growing. So far, the stars expected to attend include late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien (bottom right), Hollywood uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Patricia Arquette. Jocks who have RSVP'd include Cal Ripken Jr., three-time reigning NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, and cornerback Philip Buchanon and kicker Matt Bryant of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Entertainment includes a performance by Starship Supergroup, a band of classic rock veterans including Mickey Thomas (Jefferson Starship), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Jimi Jamison (Survivor) and Skip Martin (the Dazz Band, Kool and the Gang). The Cirque USA troupe will perform with bungees and aerial silks. Costner won't pass up the chance to perform with his country-rock band, Modern West. Maybe he'll work up a jam session with another expected band: Canadian rockers Nickelback.
Can you get in? Probably. Attendance is expected to approach 500 partygoers, with nearly 100 of them fitting into the "celebrity" category. Tickets are $875 apiece at saturdaynightspectacular.com.
What else? Bryant has a deeply personal stake in the Saturday Night Spectacular. Each year's proceeds are donated to charity. This year's beneficiary is the Matthew Tryson Bryant Foundation, named in honor of the kicker's 3-month-old son, who died unexpectedly last September. The foundation benefits the March of Dimes, research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and families affected by the disease. — Steve Persall
What it is: A Playmate-happy party hosted by Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro.
When and where: 8 p.m. at the Hula Bay Club (formerly Rattlefish Raw Bar and Grill), 5210 W Tyson Ave., Tampa.
Who will be there: Navarro will perform with J-Mello, and you can expect to see Playmates Lindsey Vuolo, Shannon James, Amber Campisi and Erica Chevillar. DJ Reach will also perform.
Can you get in? Yes. Tickets are $150 apiece.
What else? Be sure to stop by the Hula Bay Club early. On Saturday afternoon, there's a poolside bikini contest with host Cliff Floyd of the Rays and celebrity judges including Gary Sheffield, J.P. Peterson, Toby Hall, Brad Culpepper, Nick Sorenson, Clifton Smith, Playmate Stephanie Larimore and Gabrielle Young, a.k.a. "Dr. Diva." First prize is $5,000. It's 1 to 7 p.m.; tickets are $35-$50. — Jay Cridlin
Snoop Bowl VII
What it is: The annual youth football game pitting Snoop Dogg and his Snoop Dogg All-Stars against a team of local youngsters coached by former Buc Mike Alstott. The game has become a popular, kid-friendly part of Super Bowl week.
When and where: 1 p.m. at Gaither High School, 16200 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa.
Who will be there: The Snoop D-O-double-Gizzle, fo' shizzle. And Alstott. Beyond that, coaches are expected to include the Bucs' Michael Clayton, Kevin Carter, Torrie Cox and Greg "Stylez G." White; as well as Bryant McKinnie, Joshua Cribbs and Raheem Brock.
Can you get in? Yes. Tickets are $20-$50. See snoopbowlvii.com for details.
What else? Snoop will be a busy man this weekend; he's performing at the Bud Bowl on Friday night and is expected at Antonio Tarver's Under the Veil Party on Friday and Saturday. But youth football is a surprising passion of his — so much so that in addition to the game, the rapper is sponsoring a pair of youth cheerleading clinics this weekend. The first is at 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Lightning City Gymnastics and Cheerleading in Tampa, 14214 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa; the other is 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Gaither on Saturday, prior to the Snoop Bowl. Registration is closed for both clinics. For details, see capture-events.com.— Jay Cridlin
Taste of the NFL
What it is: This annual fundraiser for hunger relief has become a signature event of Super Bowl weekend, as top-notch chefs from every Super Bowl city come in to prepare tasty dishes for attendees.
When and where: 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, but with a VIP ticket, you can get in at 6 p.m.
Who will be there: We're told Martha Stewart, Faith Hill and Stacy Kiebler are "maybes" to attend. The big confirmed name is Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, but you'll also enjoy music by Max Weinberg and the Max Weinberg 7 just a day before Max performs at halftime with the E Street Band. Miss America Katie Stam will be there, as will current and former players from each NFL city, including Chad Hennings, Karl Mecklenburg, Earl Morrall, Ken Dilger, Chad Greenway, Paul Warfield, Jack Youngblood and Scot Brantley. But for serious foodies, the stars are the chefs themselves, from Tampa's own Marty Blitz of Mise en Place to Jack McDavid of Jack's Firehouse in Philadelphia to Shin Tsujimura of NOBU in New York. Many have won James Beard Awards, the industry's highest honor.
Can you get in? Tickets are still available for $500, or $600 for early-admission VIP. tasteofthenfl.com.
What else? You don't have to shell out big bucks to help with hunger relief. The NBC Sunday Night Football Cookbook, which has more than 150 recipes for tailgating and game gatherings, is available on the Taste of the NFL Web site for $16.95. — Janet Keeler and Jay Cridlin
SPP Sports Celebrity Flag Football Challenge
What it is: On a weekend when most celebrity events charge an arm and a leg for admission, this one is cheap, accessible — and on the beach. Football players and entertainers will compete in this seventh annual flag football matchup.
When and where: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tradewinds Island Grand Beach Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.
Who will be there: Doug Flutie, who will perform with his Flutie Brothers Band, as well as players including Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson, Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Julius Jones, Bernard Berrian, Jon Beason, Phillip Buchanon, Earnest Graham and Tae Bo master Billy Blanks.
Can you get in? Definitely. Tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door. Parking is available at the City of St. Pete Beach public lot at 155 Corey Ave., and the Sweetbay parking lot at 7625 Blind Pass Road. There will be a shuttle from both lots to the Tradewinds running from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
What else? The day will also feature giveaways, a kids' scrimmage, hospitality areas and meet-and-greets for select VIPs, and more. And the cameras will be rolling — SPP Sports is producing a 30-minute broadcast from the event that'll air at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 7 on FSN Florida. — Jay Cridlin
Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XI Game
What it is: On a weekend where celebrity basketball games are the norm, there aren't many A-list ones to choose from. But this one, with Terrell Owens and Vida Guerra, is the biggest.
When and where: 6:30 p.m. at Jefferson High School, 4401 W Cypress St., Tampa.
Who will be there: Besides Owens and Guerra, you'll see Rick Ross; Girl Next Door Kendra Wilkinson and her fiance, the Eagles' Hank Baskett; actors Boris Kodjoe, Brian J. White and Columbus Short; players Ovie Mughelli, Calvin Pace and Phillip Buchanon; Danity Kane's Dawn Richard; Big Tigger; Quanell Mosely and more.
Can you get in? Yes. Tickets to the game vary from $40-$60 for general admission to $250 for VIP floor seating. Admission to an outdoor tailgate party is $10.
What else? Is it just us, or is Guerra everywhere this week? The Cuban-born model is exactly the type of pinup promoters like to boast will be at their parties. Already, she's named on the bill at this game; the Revolution Tampa party Friday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino; and Mansion, an elaborate affair with go-go dancers and exotic performers at A La Carte Pavilion. What, couldn't she find a local bar mitzvah to headline while she's at it? — Jay Cridlin
22nd Annual Super Bowl Breakfast
What it is: For the first time, organizers opened this awards ceremony up to a wide audience — and local residents definitely bit. Warrick Dunn, Kurt Warner and Drew Brees are nominated for the Bart Starr Award, to be handed out here by Starr himself.
When and where: 8:30 a.m. at the USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa.
Who will be there: Starr, of course, and probably Dunn and Brees, though not Warner, since, you know, he's got a game the next day. Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Lee Roy Selmon, Anthony Munoz and more will also attend.
Can you get in? No. For a while, organizers were worried tickets weren't selling fast enough, but sure enough, as the game neared, the event — reasonably priced at just $20 — sold out. Get details at superbowlbreakfast.com.
What else? If you're one of the lucky few who has a ticket, you'll receive a box breakfast. — Jay Cridlin
The Champion's Ball
What it is: Billed as not just a party, but an event, the Champion's Ball is hosted by undefeated welterweight boxer Floyd "Money" Mayweather and will feature performances by Keyshia Cole and Robin Thicke.
When and where: 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday at The Cuban Club in Ybor City. 2010 N Avenue Republica De Cuba, Tampa.
Who will be there: In addition to Mayweather, Cole and Thick, you'll see Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, Vivica Fox, Ray J, Cato June, Darren McFadden, Jim McMahon and more.
Can you get in? Tickets are available, but the price is steep, $250 for general admission and $650 for VIP.
What else? Included in the cost are free food and drinks, and each level will feature a different DJ. For details, visit championsball09.com. — Joshua Niederer
Models & Bottles
What it is: A chance to walk the red carpet with entertainment elites, including no fewer than 11 former Playmates. The real headliner, though? Organizers say Paris Hilton has requested a table.
When and where: 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday at Jackson's Bistro, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa.
Who will be there: We're told Hilton will be walking the red carpet. Beyond that, Good Charlotte's Benji Madden will DJ, and partygoers will get to rub elbows with hosts including 2008 Playmate of the Year Jayde Nicole, 2007 Playmate of the year Sara Jean Underwood, the Ikki Twins from MTV's A Double Shot of Love, WWE diva Kelly Kelly and many more.
Can you get in? Yes. Tickets and cabanas are available, with prices ranging from $45 for a single female ticket to more than $1,500 for a private seating area for eight. Call (813) 265-1234 or visit piedpiperproductions.com.
What else? Despite the potential presence of Paris, Corey Riina of Pied Piper Productions said the celebs hosting the event are very sociable. She said getting up close with beautiful people will separate this from other parties. "Just cause you have a celebrity there, does not mean there will be interacting," she said. "The party will be very interactive." — Jared Leone
The Giving Back Fund's Big Game VIP Event
What it is: A private, A-list fundraiser to benefit the Giving Back Fund, an organization that assists in managing athletes' and entertainers' charitable efforts and foundations.
When and where: The event is 5:30 to 8 p.m. at a private, waterfront mansion in South Tampa. Organizers are reluctant to divulge an exact address, lest they invite in swarms of paparazzi and autograph hounds.
Who will be there: Ashton Kutcher, right, is the party's host, and guests are expected to include Demi Moore, right, Maria Menounos, Cole Hamels, Tiki and Ronde Barber, Drew Brees, Warrick Dunn, John Lynch, Matt Cassel and many other athletes and personalities.
Can you get in? Yes, but at what a cost. Space is limited to 250 people, and tickets are $1,000 apiece. The good news is, $900 is tax-deductible. What a deal! Get details at givingback.org.
What else? The Giving Back Fund's list of celebrity clients includes Yao Ming and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. We would kill to know if the two of them have ever co-hosted one of these parties. — Jay Cridlin