Omaha! For many across the nation — like yours truly — it’s Christmas Part 2, or, otherwise known as Super Bowl Sunday.
After 17 weeks and three rounds of playoffs, the dust has settled, and only two teams — Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos and Richard Sherman’s Seattle Seahawks — remain to battle for the majestic Vince Lombardi trophy that will declare the champion of America’s favorite sport.
Considering this most sacred and holiest of days, I’ve decided to toss out a few tips on how to be the Super Bowl champion of whichever Super Bowl party you go to.
Before I go further, I must offer a quick disclaimer: I’m a New England Patriots and it pains me to not see my team in the big game this year, when, for the second year in a row, the Pats were a half away from potentially their seventh Super Bowl since 2001 a couple weeks ago.
Yes.. I’m a spoiled fan. You hate me. You know it’s true.
Just to be clear, though, I’m not your classic bandwagon fan. I’ve supported the Patriots since third grade after my elementary school crush traded me a Drew Bledsoe — then quarterback of the Patriots — rookie card. From that moment on I rooted for them and watched them lose to Brett Favre’s Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. Thankfully, my sorrow was avenged years later when a quarterback by the name of Tom Brady (you may have heard of him) won three titles in four years and went on to two more Super Bowls after that.
Oh, and if you’re a Kansas City Chiefs fan reading this right now, please understand that I know your hatred for me has now reached epic, Darth Vader levels. I get it, and may the Force be with you. That meltdown against the Indianapolis Colts was B-R-U-T-A-L.
My mom is a diehard KC fan, and I want nothing but happiness for this dear, saintly woman. Chiefs fans, I believe, have suffered enough. It’s time they get in the big game, too.
Wait… where was I again? Oh. That’s right. Super Bowl party etiquette.
Like the slogan of a prominent beer brand that you’re sure to see hundreds of times tonight goes, “Here we go.”
1. CONTAIN YOUR COMMERCIAL LOVE
We get it. You just watch the big game for the commercials. But please, for the love of Fran Tarkenton, let’s not remind your fellow watchers — and most importantly your host — every commercial break.
You know where broken records go? In the trash. Don’t trash tonight’s party.
While it’s of course understood that your host will have snacks handy — chips and dip, most importantly — nobody likes a freeloader. If it’s a beer-friendly gathering, it should also be understood that the host has at least a 30 pack of something in the fridge, also.
However, it’s simple courtesy to bring something to the party. That doesn’t mean you need to go big, either.
No one is expecting you to make a big enough Subway order that the sandwich shop is going to close early for the night. But a bag of chips, a couple 2-liters of soda or a six-pack of beer of your own choosing shows your host that you’re no Terrell Owens. It shows you’re a team player.
3. RESPECT THE GAME
As I suggested before, it’s no secret that many people watch the Super Bowl solely for the commercials, fanfare and excuse to party on a Sunday night. However, be sure to gauge the room quickly. If there are some hardcore football fans honestly engrossed in the game — and especially if there are actual fans of the teams playing — resist your urge to distract the room with your tales of anything not related to the game at hand.
Sorry, but this isn’t the time to talk about your struggles with your car insurance company or your thoughts on Tuesday’s State of the Union address. For football fanatics like myself, this is the last NFL game for over seven months.
Cherish the moment. Take a drink every time Peyton Manning yells “Omaha!” Join in on the joke about Seattle head coach Pete Carroll’s pristine khaki pants. Better yet, acknowledge the simple fact that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman backs up his talk with incredible performances.
4. RESPECT THE REMOTE CONTROL
Under no circumstances — NONE — shall you infringe upon the homeowner’s remote control to the TV. Is it permissible to request a change in volume? Of course. Odds are you’re not watching the Super Bowl at North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s pad, so feel free to voice your concerns. That said, just because you ask doesn’t mean you’ll receive.
When it comes to matters such as these, volume judgment overall goes to the Great Leader of the house.
Oh, and a request for a change of channel — even for “just a little bit” — can (and should) result in your removal from the party. (And if the channel request is to switch to the “Puppy Bowl” I’m quite confident* that results in a call to the police. Oh, and may God take pity on your soul.)
5. LIMIT YOUR TRAFFIC
I’m not advising anyone to pull a Chris Christie, but let’s keep the traffic that bridges the living room to the kitchen limited. It’s distracting for everyone else (God help you if you keep walking in front of the TV), and you’ll miss big moments in the game or that hilarious commercial you’ll be tired of seeing in two months. Battle this obstacle by keeping your snacks and refreshments close.
Personally, I load up on enough goodies that will last the half, then, during the running of a commercial that has already aired, I’ll stock up for the home stretch. I’m a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, and I’m also interested to see what Bruno Mars has up his sleeve for the halftime show, so this food and drink run (and bathroom break, if there’s time) must be strategic.
At the very least, stock up by quarters, if you like to gamble.
And there you have it: my quick Bible on Super Bowl party etiquette. Feel free to refer to this list for Super Bowl parties to come.
If you follow these tips, I’m confident that no matter what actually happens in the game, everyone at the party you’ll attend will all be winners at the end of the night.
*I’m not confident that’s the case at all.