So you don’t know anything about football. And you’re going to let that stop you from going to a Super Bowl party? Smarten up!
Sure, you don’t know the difference between the Patriots and the Seahawks — except that a patriot is something you learned about in high school, and a sea hawk is probably just a bird that flies over the ocean, right? — which is why we prepared this fool proof, 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed cheat sheet to help you fake your way through a Super Bowl party.
Who to Root For: There are a few superficial ways to choose this, which you should feel more than welcome to utilize. Split the country in half, if you’re east of Nebraska, root for the Patriots. If you’re west of Colorado, root for Seattle. Or do you look better in blue and green (Seahawks), or blue and red (Patriots)? Maybe which team has the hotter players? We say Patriots, but decide for yourself.
Then there are a few “more informed” methods: Do you want to root for the team that will probably win? Go Seahawks, who statistics predict will win! Or do you want to root for the underdog? Go Patriots (though, can you really call a team that’s been to the Super Bowl seven times and won three an “underdog”?) Does a team that has been accused of but has not necessarily been proven guilty of deflating balls make you think they’re more dedicated to winning or just cheating? If that doesn’t bother you, go with the Patriots!
Talking Points: If you don’t know the basic rules of football, perhaps peruse a Wikipedia page or two before Sunday. That’s more than we have time to teach you. Otherwise, here are a few phrases you might find helpful: “Open your eyes, ref!” “HIT HIM!” “What is this ref DOING?!” “Go, go, GO!” “This ref is blind!” “Throw the ball!“ “Get a condom, ref! You’re screwing this game!”
And the big topic of conversation is probably going to be the aforementioned Deflate Gate. The basics: Tom Brady and the Patriots have been accused of deflating footballs to below regulation size, making it easier to throw them. If you are rooting for the Patriots, defend them by saying something like, “They still won, 17-0, in the second half with new balls.” If you’re for the Seahawks, anytime something bad happens, just say, “At least we don’t have to cheat.”
Players to Know: Keep your eyes out for these four, so when they’re onscreen you can shout their name out. Which will either convince other people you know the entire roster, or that sometimes you just randomly yell names.
Tom Brady, #12 on the Patriots: You probably know Brady — he’s basically a model who moonlights as a football player sometimes — plus, he’s quarterback, so he’ll be easy to pick out on the field. Why he’s important: The Patriots have the best offense in the league, but Brady will need to play even better than usual to get past the Seahawk’s best defense in the league.
Richard Sherman, #25 on the Seahawks: Sherman is the most outspoken player on the Seahawks, if not the entire NFL. He’s a cornerback, which means he’ll tackle a lot of people. Why he’s important: The vice versa of what we said about Brady. And maybe he’ll rant at Erin Andrews again. That was funny.
Rob Gronkowski, #87 on the Patriots: He’s the frat daddy of the NFL (he once hung out with Justin Bieber, and that’s all you really need to know about him). He plays tight end and is a biiiiig boy, so once he has the ball, he’s damn hard to stop. Why he’s important:Everybody loves The Gronk.
People to Avoid: For best results here, situate yourself somewhere between the snack spread (for easy access to taco dip, obviously) and the TV. The couch is prime real estate reserved for true devotees of The Game, so if you sit there, don’t be surprised if you get grilled.
If you don’t want to be outed as a phony, stay away from anyone wearing more than two (2) pieces of official NFL merchandise, anyone who is actively betting on the game, and the guy who yells “F&$^! S!#*!! D*@&!!!” whenever his team has a bad play — but also, maybe just avoid that person forever.
And if all else fails, cheer when other people cheer. Why not?
Now, check out which team celebrities are rooting for this Super Bowl: