by Eric Paolini
The Super Bowl is more than just the culmination of another NFL season. Unlike the championship round in basketball, baseball, and hockey the one game format lends itself to parties. Instead of being an event for just the legion of NFL fans to see how the season ends it has become something for everyone. Companies spend ridiculous money in an attempt to create entertaining commercials to those not entertained by the game. The always star studded half time show attempts to do the same.
But here's the problem with the Super Bowl. The combination of diehard football fans with non football fans that are more interested in 30 second spots for Budweiser, Snickers, or McDonalds does not mesh perfectly. Here is a quick etiquette guide to those who don't know the Ravens are from Baltimore and the 49ers are from San Francisco.
Commercials. To every person at a Super Bowl party who cares first and foremost about commercials, calm down. The only difference between a commercial on Super Bowl Sunday and one from March is the cost of airing it. Super Bowl commercials are rarely funnier than any other commercial. The amount of forced laughter at these commercials you would normally fast forward through boggles my mind. And I will have a breakdown if I attend another party where someone rewinds so someone else can see a commercial they missed while getting more chips and salsa. I can guarantee that someone in the party will have a smartphone that can connect to YouTube so you can watch the commercial mere minutes later. This really becomes an issue if you are 30 or 60 seconds behind and want to check Twitter.
Questions. I'm opposed to any distractions that occur when I'm trying to watch something. That is unless it makes me laugh. So cool it with the simple questions during gameplay non football watchers. The appropriate time to ask a question would be during commercials, halftime, or between plays. But that does not mean any question can be asked. Sports are fairly exclusive. Essentially fans have a club (all fans of a particular team) where membership is not easily attained. You can't just proclaim that you're a fan of a given team. You need to have some knowledge about that team and sport. How does this relate to the Super Bowl? Because this is the one game when everyone cares about the sport. The majority (at least it seems this way) of Super Bowl watchers are non fans. They are impeding on the most important day of the season. That alone may be frustrating (not for me) but when compounded with general knowledge questions is downright upsetting. Many questions can be answered with a quick Google search. After you're done watching the M&M's commercial you can search for how tall Joe Flacco is. Generally I am in favor of non sports fans watching sports. Perhaps they will become a fan someday which is good. But questions like ,"How much does Haloti Ngata weigh?" makes me question if it's a good thing.
The halftime show. They are not good. Sometimes they are terrible (remember the Black Eyed Peas). They are too long and I can't comprehend why fragments of songs are only played. Instead of pieces of all the allegedly great songs, wouldn't it be better to play only a few of those songs completely? That way we would be able to experience the entirety of one of these allegedly great songs. If you proclaim the halftime show is the best part get ready to feel my disdain. Or at least a dirty look. The game is the best part. It isn't close.
Side conversations. I understand the party aspect of Super Bowl Sunday. It is an opportunity to get together with friends and/or family for an afternoon/evening. There should be a bubble around the television and the devout viewers who care about the game. Inside that bubble talks about celebrity gossip, personal gossip, pet stories, etc are not tolerated. Instead I would like to hear the nothingness coming from Troy Aikman's mouth. Luckily this doesn't happen often for me but there's always a possibility. Plus, wouldn't you rather hear Jim Nantz talking about Ray Lewis' last game or Taylor Swift's latest failed romance? Don't answer that. I'm tired of the Ray Lewis marathon of praise too.
Food. As long as there is a lot of it I'm okay.
The Super Bowl is first and foremost a sports day. Another season comes to an end in a spectacle that tries to include everyone. If something (or all of it) above seems harsh remember this non sports fans: everything you enjoy about Super Bowl Sunday can be recreated the next day, the next week, or whenever. You can always invite people over for a bunch of food and conversation. But there is an aspect of Super Bowl Sunday that can't be recreated, the game. It is very important to the obsessive sports fans even if their favorite team is not involved.
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