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For Super Bowl XVI, even bartenders got into the competition

For the 16th edition of football's biggest game, Detroit bartenders invented drinks that they hoped would win them tickets to the match.
A contest is on in Detroit, and the winner will be going to the Super Bowl. 1:30

The Super Bowl was coming to Detroit, and everyone wanted to get in on the action.

Three weeks before the big day in January 1982, a hotel ballroom played host to a different kind of contest.

"Bartenders from around Detroit got together today and competed for Super Drink, which will be Michigan's official welcoming drink for the game," said CBC Windsor reporter Percy Hatfield.

The drinks they came up for judges to sample had names like the Option, the Blitz, Pigskin Punch, the Fizz and Sour Bowl. 

The Referee's (off-field) Revenge

Three drinks would compete to become Michigan's official drink of the 1982 Super Bowl. (CBC Archives)

And then there was the Referee's Revenge.

It had Bailey's Irish Cream, Frangelico, orange juice, ice cream and an Oreo cookie garnish.

Why an Oreo?

"It's the black and white stripes, like a referee's jersey," explained its inventor, who was identified only as Fred.

Local bars would serve the three drinks chosen as semi-finalists and drinkers would fill out a ballot.

On top of the glory of claiming Detroit's favourite drink, the winner would be awarded a pair of tickets to Super Bowl XVI, which would pit the San Francisco 49ers against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The CBC's Tom Alderman sees how the city is getting ready to welcome the big game. 1:12