A Man’s Guide to Watching the Super Bowl
By E. Max Bonem Esq.
It’s that time of year again where us Bengals fans are reminded that the NFL season is still going on and teams that actually win in the playoffs are still marching through their seasons with the potential of raising the Lombardi trophy high into the air. Ah, what it must be like to see your favorite team, the team that you grew up with, the team you reference as if you in fact were on the roster (“we sucked this week,” “we gotta get back to fundamentals”), march through the playoffs, slaying all foes that step before ye. And lucky for us, the NFL is designed to be cyclical with new teams ascending to the summit of Mt. Goodell each year, while once prosperous teams slowly lose momentum and rebuild. That’s why this year’s match-up between the New York (don’t lie, you play in New Jersey) Giants and the New England Immaculate Hair/Married to Gisele-riots is so refreshing and, wait a second, no it’s not, didn’t these EXACT same two teams face each other in the Super Bowl a mere four years ago!? Actually, that seems like a while in terms of pro football – time, but seriously, who is excited to see this game outside of the northeast?
Obviously I lost interest in the playoffs after the Bungals lost to the flippin’ Houston (most original team name ever) Texans, but even after that detrimental disaster, I was able to adopt a new team in the Saints (note – I work with a few VERY enthusiastic Louisianans and I’ve taken quite a liking to the HBO show Tremé, which takes place in the Crescent City), and then they lost too.
I openly despise the NFC East and the fact that their games get the prime time TV slots basically every week. I didn’t care about the supposed “unstoppable” Eagles. The Cowboys (and their ridiculously overly confident fan base) are laughable. But most of all, who gives a flying f*ck about the Redskins? Seriously. Anyone? Do people in Washington even care anymore? The Giants I guess are mildly entertaining, but my only interest in them died when Tiki Barber retired (Maybe they’ll sub in the team’s owner’s granddaughter, Rooney Mara (from such films as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), now THAT would jack up the ratings).
Conversely, the Patriots are one of the most remarkably unimpressive teams to make it to the Super Bowl in years. Sure, they got Brady and his fleet of random-ass role players and super-human TEs, but really, how do they expect to take down Lil’ Manning and co. with one of the (statistically) worst defenses in the league (not to mention the presence of Señor Ocho Cinco on the sideline (there’s no way he’s getting a ring with Goodell still at the helm))?
Alas, I am no Mark Clayton or Ron Jaworski. I am, however, the co-creator of a sweet blog with a vast knowledge of how to properly enjoy a sports-viewing experience. With that in mind, let’s break down the most optimal way to enjoy this year’s Super Bowl-TBJ style.
This is How to Watch the Super Bowl like a Man.
Now as a disclaimer, there is one major aspect that I need to point out before going into the proper Super Bowl watching experience. I live in Texas and, as I’m sure you’re aware, neither of the teams playing in this year’s game are from anywhere near here. Additionally, none of the stars on either team hail from the grand Republic (Although the host of the party where I’ll be watching is a Patriots fan, I don’t imagine her getting belligerent and telling people to “S Her D” when/if the Pats are victorious. However, I could be wrong (which would be hilarious and I hope to record such things on video)). For those of you out there who are strong supporters of either of the participating teams or will be attending very divided parties, most of these suggestions may seem like after thoughts, but just remember, it’s the details that make any Super Bowl experience just slightly more awesome.
Avoid The Bars.
Sure, if you have no where to watch the game (which is sort of unfortunate) then go to a bar, but if you have any choice in the matter, avoid them at all costs. They WILL be packed. They WILL jack up the prices. They WILL be incredibly noisy. The Super Bowl is a game to be viewed in the comfort of someone’s home, to be enjoyed with friends in a forgiving environment. I’ve watched many-a-game this year at bars, and it’s been a lot of fun, but it gets real expensive real quick when you’re sitting there dropping anywhere from $3-$5 per beer for the better part of three hours, not to mention food and the bet-related shots that begin to mount on account of the boring nature of the game. Trust me on this, find a spot to post up in and get comfortable, you’ll thank me I promise.
Have enough beer/food.
This is clutch. Obviously, if you’re the host of the blessed event, stock up on snacks, chili, wings, pizza, or whatever it is you want to serve. However, do NOT feel like you have to provide everything for everyone. You do NOT want to run out of supplies at a Super Bowl party. Drinking makes you hungry and eating (often times very salty items that are available almost within reach when you’re draped over the arm rest of the sofa after thinking it was a good idea to start drinking every time one of the commentators referenced Tim Tebow’s 2012 performance (which, my friends, will be a lot)) makes you thirsty. If you are attending a party at someone else’s home, contribute to the cause. Whether it’s stocking up on beer, making sure that you got two, rather than one, industrial-sized jars of queso, or bringing the Skyline Chili Dip (by far THE best thing to weird non-Ohioans out with when bringing food to home-viewed communal sporting events), make sure you bring something that people will enjoy and that will help take some stress off the host/hostess themselves.
Lose the liquor.
Look, I love a cocktail just as much as the next guy, but vast quantities of liquor for large groups of people over the course of four hours can go in a lot of hypothetically angry, nasty, or preposterous directions. I’d recommend not bringing/supplying a bunch of liquor for the party simply because it can lead to many unpleasantries (don’t worry, we’ll get there) and overall over-the-line rough housing. Now, if you’re a sophisticated group/there are folks attending that just refuse to drink beer (if this is the case, you need new friends), then that’s a different story. Just remember kids, unless you’re a New Orleanian and the Saints have just won another Super Bowl, you’re going to have to work on Monday and a hangover to kick off the week isn’t really something to be overly proud of.
Hook it up technology-style.
Wherever it is that you end up watching this years Super Bowl, make sure you’re experiencing it as awesomely as you can. I know next to nothing about TVs and stereo equipment, but what I do know is that with sports, the BIGGER, the BRIGHTER, and the LOUDER – the better. I’m talking HD 720P (or is it now 1080?). LED screens. Enough treble to scare off a heard of angry wolves and enough bass to terrify the (obviously white) geriatric couple next door. This is the time to bring out the big guns (but not literally though, firearms + high emotions + binge drinking = a big trip to Plexico-town).
Sure, it’s always good to be comfortable when sitting around the TV with your friends, but remember this is a LONG game. I’m talkin’ five to six hours if you include pre-pre game, pre-game, commercials and everything else that comes with it. Make sure you got a comfortable couch (personally, I prefer those in an “L” shape for Super Bowl viewing) or lazy boy at your disposal and make sure you guard your spot with pride, there are always traders lurking, looking to get that prime spot with access to a foot rest, the beer cooler, AND three varieties of Cheetos-like products.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but seriously folks, people get ROWDY during football games and even more so during the ridiculously overly testosterone-fueled GAME TO END ALL GAMES (at least until next year’s said-game). Those family pictures you have on the mantle? Remove them. Your Grandfather’s telescope? Save it before it’s too late. Your replica Stormtrooper that you bought off eBay? It might make things less legendary, but you do NOT want to unleash the wrath of the empire when that girl from upstairs who wasn’t even invited stumbles into it after a few too many jello shots and ends up cracking the helmet. No one wants you to make a scene and you shouldn’t want to have THAT breakdown in front of everyone. Remember: don’t be a pooper, safe guard your stormtrooper. Words to live by. Write that down.