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Guide to watching that big football thing with all the funny commercials

Kevin Noonan | Wednesday, February 1, 2012

 

This is the Scene section, not the Sports section. I know that. If you read the Scene regularly, you know that. But this week is one of those rare times when the single most important event in the entertainment industry is a sports event ¾ the Super Bowl.

Now if you’re a Scene regular, there’s at least a mild chance that you’re not a big sports fan. But this being America and what not, there’s a great chance that at least some of your friends are and that you’re going to get roped into watching the Super Bowl with them.

This can be an uncomfortable experience; if you don’t care about the game, don’t know anything about football or both, it can cause tension between you and your friends. No fear, here are a few things to remember on Sunday to make for a smooth game for everyone.

 

This is football, not a fashion show.

There are few things more irritating while watching a football game than someone commenting on the style sense of the uniforms. If you don’t believe me, start doing it on Sunday and watch the collective rolling of eyes that you get in response. One team will be in blue. One team will be in white. That should be the extent of your concern about uniforms.

I know Tom Brady is married to a supermodel. I’m also well aware of his objective attractiveness. I’ll make you a deal, and I’m sure any good sports-loving man would agree with me here ¾ if you don’t talk about Giselle and fashion during the Super Bowl, then I won’t talk about Tom Brady and football while I’m watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show.Pick a quarterback to hate, you’ll fit right in.

Nothing bonds sports fans more than common hatred, and there is so much to go around in this game you really can’t go wrong. Just pick someone to actively root against and your friends will both be surprised by your sports knowledge and respect you as a person.

There are two safe bets in this game ¾ the two quarterbacks, Tom Brady (Patriots) and Eli Manning (Giants). Why people hate Tom Brady is pretty simple: He’s wildly successful. And if there’s one thing that people will hate you for in sports, it’s killing dogs. No, just kidding, it’s being successful. Ironically, being successful is also the only way to be forgiven for something horrific, like a dog fighting scandal. But that’s a topic for another time.

Eli Manning is a little more difficult to explain. He’s been portrayed, fairly or not, like an overrated, possibly selfish brat ever since he came in the league. He also plays in New York, and after being successful, the second best way (although slightly redundant) to get yourself hated in sports is to play for a New York team.

Moral of the story: Complain every once in a while when your player of choice makes a good play, and your friends will cut you some slack when you don’t understand what “first down” means.

 

If you don’t understand, just pretend. Dear God, please just pretend.

This is really a big one. It’s okay if you don’t understand everything that’s going on. You think I know what peep-toe heels are? Or who Valentino Garvani is? No, I don’t. And your sports fan friends won’t expect you to know every detail of the game either.

The best way to handle it is to just pretend like you know what’s going on. Cheer when everyone else cheers, boo when everyone else boos. Football teams only get three timeouts per half; maybe think about limiting yourself to three questions about the rules and gameplay per half.

 

The snacks aren’t healthy, we know.

Part of the Super Bowl tradition for most people is an abundance of food. No, it’s not healthy. We know that, we accept it and we move on.

Football is a dangerous sport. You take risks.

 

If all else fails, there is one thing that every football fan can agree on (outside Boston): Bill Belichick is evil.

Bill Belichick is the head coach for the Patriots. You can recognize him by the nasty sweatshirt he wears and the maniacal scowl etched across his face.

Belichick has a whole host of factors going against him. He’s successful. Boom, people hate him. He coaches in Boston, the second worst city in America in terms of the people-will-hate-you factor (also known as the “Johnny Damon” factor).

No matter how successful he is, he always comes off like an ungrateful jerk in interviews. And on top of it all, he’s really, really successful.

So if you ever find yourself in a tight spot, or make an egregious error (like calling a field goal a free throw, or saying that the Patriot’s uniforms are tacky), just cover it up with one of these: “Yeah, but Belichick is the worst, right guys?” And now you’re the most popular person in the room.