We already know the first big name who will probably be making the rounds at this year's Super Bowl parties: Dane Cook.
The superstar comic doesn't tour like he used to, but he's starring in a blockbuster Super Bowl concert Saturday night, Jan. 31, at the St. Pete Times Forum. As with his "Vicious Circle" show, Cook will be performing in the round, meaning the entire Forum — some 21,500 seats — could sell out. (Is it too much to hope that the Cowboys make the Super Bowl, so QB Tony Romo's flame Jessica Simpson — Cooks's rumored ex — might be in the house?)
Tickets are $30 to $100; they go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 27. (813) 301-2500, stpetetimesforum.com.
Stars: They party, just like us
What, you haven't already started making your Super Bowl XLIII party plans? Get with the times, man. Several local notables are already thinking about where they'll be on Feb. 1, 2009.
"I certainly hope my schedule will allow some Super Bowl fun, but it's really not up to me at this point," said Lutz native Jenn Sterger, the former FSU Cowgirl who is working this season as a pregame host for the New York Jets. "And it's not like I'm going to turn down a gig for the big game. I can say with certainty that I won't be spending this year's Super Bowl the same way I did last year's game — in the hospital with viral meningitis. That was misery."
Radio host "Big Dog" Steve Duemig of 620-WDAE said he plans to be at the game, if he can. "I'll be watching it," he said, "but part of my job is to watch it." He's also looking at potential Super Bowl parties at The Venue, the Clearwater club in which he is an investor. "We're still interviewing people for potential buyouts for parties for the weekend. We've been talking to a bunch of people for taking it over."
One guy who won't be hosting a Super Bowl party? Ian Beckles. The co-host of The Ron and Ian Show on 620-WDAE is known for his lavish Super Bowl bashes, but he's not planning on hosting one this year. "It's just too many people," Beckles said. "I had 350 people at my house last year. Never again." Beckles did say he might throw a party for his clothing company, AS-i-B, or A Star is Born.
Gasparilla krewes gets Super
Tampa Bay doesn't have to worry about a repeat of 2001, when city organizers decided to hold Gasparilla on the same weekend as the Super Bowl. Talk about a congestion nightmare.
Next year's Gasparilla Pirate Fest is slated for Feb. 7, after the Super Bowl. The Children's Parade, normally held the week before the main event, will take place Jan. 24. That gives krewes a weekend in the middle to host a kickass Super Bowl party.
Inter-Krewe Council chairwoman Sheila Ryan said there will be parties every night leading up to Gasparilla. On Super Bowl weekend, she suspects some krewes might get together and throw a big party.
"There'll be a parade of events, one after another,'' Ryan said.
So far, only one event has been announced. The Thieves of San Lorenzo will hold a Pre-Super Bowl Social on Friday, Jan. 30 at Quaker Steak and Lube, 10400 49th St N, Clearwater. It's free and open to the public, and there will be a live band starting at 6 p.m. on the patio. The krewe plans to stage some games and raffle off some Super Bowl-related prizes. Info will be posted soon at thievesofsanlorenzo.com.
More party tidbits
• One hot party at the 2008 game in Arizona was the Hearts and Helmets bash co-hosted by Pamela Anderson and NBA star Shawn Marion. Details are just beginning to emerge on next year's followup, but the Hearts and Helmets MySpace page (myspace.com/heartsandhelmets), it'll take place on Wednesday, Jan. 28. The page lists the party's location as "Clearwater/Ybor City." Way to commit, guys. Calls and e-mails to organizers this week were not returned.
Contributing: Jay Cridlin, Susan Thurston, Dalia Colon, Lennie Bennett.