A Super Bowl How-to for Non-fans of Football

Feb 1, 2015 by


          It has taken years and it is an ongoing work-in-progress, but I, a girl who tunes out sports like commercials (which was a much better analogy when commercials were prevalent), am grasping the basics of football. With a best friend who loves NFL football as much as mine, post-game commentary is a life given for me from September to the first Sunday of February, and I’m much better at timing my fins up (Miami is my team, because Miami is her team) when I understand what she’s saying. For those of you who, for whatever reason, will be watching the Super Bowl despite not having a clue about football, I am not your guide to the game. I am, however, your resource for a good time!

1. Be a bandwagon football fan!

          The first thing you need to understand is that game time is no time for chatter. Don’t speak. Your voice will be drowned in a tsunami of screams directed at the screen. Fans are lost in their passion for the game, as they should be. Game time belongs to them. Don’t compete with it. Go with it! I may not find sports entertaining, but I love being a part of the excitement that they generate. Screw hating the game! Pretend to love it for a day! Yell and bang on a table like you care! It’s fun!

2. Pick a team!

          Even if you don’t give a shit about who wins the Super Bowl and you’re really just watching out of support for someone else/in hope of igniting your dating life, it’s much more fun when you have a team to cheer for. If you don’t know which one to choose, go for the team that has the more attractive players or eenie-meenie-miney-mo it. If you don’t understand what’s going on (been there) or you lose track of what colour your team is (been there too) or your eyes just fucking glaze over (always there!), that’s what the numbers on the screen displaying the score are for! See? You got this!

          This year, I’m going for Seattle. Other than the fact that it would be best-friend treachery to go for the Patriots (she hates them, so we hate them), I picked the Seahawks for a few reasons. First and foremost, their comeback against Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game was amazing! They were consistently down until, with little more than two minutes left in the game, they scored one touchdown followed by another touchdown with a two-point conversion for the lead! Green Bay tied the game with a field goal, bringing it to overtime, during which Seattle scored a touchdown for the win! Even I, a chick who finds football dead boring, got excited! (I kind of sound like I know what I’m talking about, right? Full disclosure: I wrote down my dad’s commentary.) Secondly, they won the Super Bowl last year, so winning this year would make them the eighth team to win two consecutive Super Bowls, last accomplished by the Patriots in 2004 and 2005 and twice accomplished by the Steelers in the 1970s. Finally, I love that Seattle fans wear number 12. NFL games have 11 players on the field. The Seahawks refer to their fans as the 12th MAN. The 12s are the loudest fans in the NFL, making them a highly impactful, positive force during home games. #Spiritof12

3. Bet!

          Officially, I’m going for the Seahawks, but if my numbers favour the Patriots, I have no loyalties. (Sorry, best friend.) Ultimately, I go for whichever team wins me money. Football is long. Every minute is really, like, ten, because “time management” is detrimental to the outcome of the game. That clock is stopped more often than not. Think you can handle an hour of football? Oh sweetheart, 60 minutes of play time typically translates to over 3 hours, which means you have to do whatever you have to do to make those 3 hours entertaining. You have to bet.

          Betting is learning! (Because that sounds responsible, I feel obligated to follow with a warning to gamble responsibly. You know not to risk your savings or your retirement plan or your house on a game, right? Right.) I understood more about football after betting on one game than I did after years of my best friend and her brother trying to explain the rules as I zoned out. The correlation between gambling and learning is obvious. Suddenly, you actually care, because you have $5 on the line that could mean $125 in your hand, if one team could just score two goddamn fields goals and the other team could just stop running toward the end zone – or any combination of scores that’ll match your square numbers by the end of the fucking quarter!

          Essentially, fellow non-fans of football, enjoying the Super Bowl is all about getting your head in the game. If you become a one-day fan, cheerlead a team with the enthusiasm of a 12, and spare some petty cash, you are bound for an exciting Super Bowl XLIX! As for the ignition of your dating life, pick up a hottie at the bar during halftime!

Special acknowledgement: Thank you to Olivia, who I absolutely called while writing this to confirm the accuracy of my football terminology. Fins up, girl! Miami will make it to the playoffs again eventually!

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