10 Totally Safe Remarks to Make on Super Bowl Sunday if You Don’t Know Shit about Football

2 Feb

The Super Bowl is on Sunday.  This is a big game if you like football.  If you don’t know what football is, or you got invited to a Super Bowl Party by some guy/girl you’re crushing on, or if you wake up from a nap on Sunday to find a crowd has gathered around you to watch “the game,” here are a few things you can say to create the illusion that you are aware of/interested in what’s going on:

"Sports!  Throwing! Touchdown!  AHHHH!"

“Sports! Throwing! Touchdown! YEAHHH!” (via Youtube)

  1. “Now this is football!”  – This is good, because it expresses a general, intense appreciation for the sport everyone is currently watching.  It also shushes the haters who might be thinking you’re into the other, more European kind of football (by which I mean soccer).  Which you do not want to be.  Not on Super Bowl Sunday.
  2. “How much time is left?” – This question is good because it can be used at any moment in the game.  If you ask early on, maybe you’re wondering when the action will start.  Midway through, maybe you’re wondering if there will be an upset.  Plus, you don’t have to even be familiar with how football games are divided (I think there are four quarters, but I couldn’t tell you how long each one is).  Whoever responds will answer the question they think you’re asking.  You can’t lose.
  3. “What’s the score?” – This lets your peers know you’re interested, but it conveniently avoids revealing a preference for either team (you don’t have one; you don’t know anything about football).  A good way to ask this question is to leave the room briefly, maybe for snacks, and then ask it when you walk back in.  It can also be used several times.  Just don’t overdo it (the score is usually displayed in pretty large letters near the bottom, I’ve noticed).
  4. “Who have we got for halftime this year?” – It’s all about the casual “we” in this sentence: Let people think that you, too, consider yourself a member of this Sports-Watching Collective.  No one actually gives a shit who performs at halftime.
  5. “We better not have any delay-of-game bullshit this year.” – This one requires just a hot second of outside knowledge, but fortunately I can tell you here: At last year’s Super Bowl, the lights went out in the stadium (I don’t remember which city) and they didn’t go back on for a while (not sure how long, I used the power outage as an excuse to leave the party I was at).  So that’s what you’re referring to when you say this.  A little outside knowledge can go a long way.
  6. “Alright!” – To be said after a touchdown.  A “touchdown” is when one of the gentlemen running with the ball succeeds in making it to the large painted square at the end of the field.  When the first touchdown is scored, see who else cheers, but don’t say anything.  Look around and see who is excited and who isn’t, and then figure out what the majority is amongst your friend group.  And then say this after the next time the better-liked team scores.
  7. “Man that is some BS!” – Say this after a shitty call is made.  A “shitty call” is when a referee (one of the guys on the field that’s wearing zebra stripes) enforces a rule that is unpopular or moves contrary to the momentum of the game.  You’ll know when to say this, because someone else around you will say some variation of this, too.  You may also hear booing if you listen closely to the television.
  8. “I liked their old uniforms so much better.” – You can say this about either team, because it’s pretty likely they’ve both changed something about their uniforms in the last five years.  If anyone asks you what you specifically liked better about the old uniforms, just say, “the colors,” like they asked you the most basic question and they should be embarrassed.  Even if the uniforms have never changed, your confidence will make anyone questioning you question themselves instead.
  9. “Nah, he’s gonna miss.” – Say this when one of the teams is getting ready to kick a field goal.  “Kicking a field goal” is when one of the guys kicks the football like a soccer ball (do NOT make this comparison on Game Day, see #1) and tries to make it go through the giant yellow fork at the end of the field.  There’s a 50% chance you’ll make an accurate prediction, which will earn you some Sports Karma.  And if they actually score the field goal, say something dismissive like, “Oh, I guess there’s some wind,” which shows that you know that weather can affect sports (which it can).
  10. “These new hitting rules are such bullshit.” – This one, too, requires some outside knowledge, but I’ll give it to you, pro bono: A lot of people (read: moms) are concerned about football players getting hit in the head.  The NFL (this stands for National Football League) has responded by making it a bigger offense to hit someone in the head with your body (I think).  Really, the point of this comment is that you like hitting, which shows that the role that aggression plays in the game is not lost on you.

Certain parts of the game might not make sense (don’t ask what a “down” is; I honestly couldn’t tell you), but just roll with it.  There will likely be snacks and alcohol wherever you find yourself.  Swallow your fear, smile, and cheer on cue.  Everything will be okay.

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