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Sports Authority

Zuba: In appreciation of non-football fans

| Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The best parts of the Super Bowl-watching experience are all the people watching who really don’t care about football at all.

They’re at the game watches for the buffalo chicken dip, halftime show and hysterical commercials, not so much the game. Most of all, they’re there for the company. That is, unless you really, really like chips and dip.

These non-football types are great to have around during the Super Bowl for several reasons.

This first one is a bit selfish, but you can’t deny that non-football fans provide a welcome distraction for your know-it-all friends.

You know, the friends who are the best thing that could happen to football if they actually played football. They know things about football and want everyone to know they know. They throw better than Peyton Manning, catch more reliably than Rob Gronkowski and tackle harder than Clay Matthews.

With authority (read: a loud voice), they will correct coaching decisions and claim they “could have caught that pass.” You know, the one that sailed two feet over Calvin Johnson’s head.

“Do you know how many yards Bart Starr threw for in Super Bowl III?” they’ll ask. “No? Pssh, well you’re dumb.”

Everyone has at least one of those friends. Never mind that those friends probably won’t actually tell you how many yards Bart Starr threw for in Super Bowl III, because they probably don’t actually know — they just like to pretend. And definitely never mind that Bart Starr did not even play in Super Bowl III.

You love those friends but don’t always want to give your undivided attention to their lectures. With non-football fans at your party, you don’t have to. Know-it-alls can smell lack of football knowledge a mile away and will key in on the person with the least as soon as they arrive.

Another advantage for you: Non-football fans likely will ask the questions you’re too embarrassed to ask. In fact, many others in the room probably want to ask the same questions but just won’t, for fear of falling into the hands of the know-it-alls.

Questions like: What is an out route? Who’s playing today? Why does Bill Belichick’s sweatshirt not have sleeves?

All this knowledge and more is at your fingertips when you have brave non-football fans in your midst — or Google.

But none of those explanations is the best reason to have non-football fans around at your Super Bowl game watch.

When I studied abroad, I was asked if the Super Bowl was a national holiday in the United States. I said it wasn’t but then thought a moment about how to describe it. I didn’t want to make the Super Bowl seem more important than it is, but it comes pretty close functioning like a holiday when you consider how much people drop whatever they’re doing to watch the big game.

A lot stops for the Super Bowl, and that’s pretty cool, not because we need to pay homage to the game and its players — we could probably do a bit less of that as a society — but because people get together for it.

How often do you see your entire group of busy friends together in one place? Hopefully, that’ll happen on Super Bowl Sunday. The day does not celebrate an important person or historical event, but if any day can slow a busy group of people down, it earns importance points in my book.

I’m a firm believer that any happy excuse to gather with family and friends is a good one. The Super Bowl gives me that excuse, and I get to watch a good game to boot.

As for all the people watching who don’t care about football? Having them around reminds you they’re really there for the people they’re watching with.

Either that or the dip and halftime show.

 

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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