As you are probably aware, or will soon be when one of your friends or family members extends you an invitation to come over and watch the game, the Super Bowl is just 10 days away.
It’s a day when millions of Americans, many of whom haven’t watched a football game all year and understand little about the sport, gather to watch a game, not to mention the commercials, while consuming copious amounts of deep-fried food and barley-based beverages.
Even though there are move TV options than ever, it remains the most-watched program in America.
Last year’s game between the Ravens and the 49ers drew 108.4 million viewers, making it the third-most watched program in America ever.
You know what number one and two are? Super Bowls, of course. The Super Bowls in 2010 and 2011, last year’s game and the series finale of “MASH” in 1983 are the only programs in the U.S. to ever break the 100-million viewer mark.
These numbers mean approximately 70 percent of the TVs that were on those Sunday afternoons were tuned to the Super Bowl.
With that said, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to find yourself in front of a TV next Sunday watching football.
For serious football fans, the Super Bowl means paying attention to things like nickel defenses, play-action passes, press coverage, zone blitzes and time of possession.
But many people at these parties won’t know what any of these things mean.
So, if you’re one of these people and would like to sound like you know what you’re talking about at next Sunday’s party, here are a few tips:
• Every time there’s a turnover, which is a fumble or interception, just say, “You have to win the turnover battle. You know, 86 percent of the time the team with less turnovers wins. You can look that up.” That figure is completely made up, but if you say it with enough conviction, that loud mouth who won’t shut up and thinks he’s a coach will believe it.
• When one team appears to be gaining some momentum, say, “Man, they just want it more right now.” I would suggest you say this early in the game because you will hear this said by somebody during the game. It’s like an unwritten rule.
• Remember to talk about hills. For example, when a running back runs over a couple of guys, call him a “downhill runner.” When one team falls behind, say they have an “uphill battle ahead of them.” Trust me, the football nerds will be impressed and possibly upset they didn’t say it first.
• Thick-headed football fans seem to have little understanding of basic mathematics. If you’re going to fit in, you’ll have to forget most things you learned in school. When someone is playing well, say, “He gives 110 percent every play.” Not 115 or 120. You must say 110. It’s another unwritten rule. I know it’s impossible to “give 110 percent,” but it will make sense to the football fans in attendance.
• Whenever possible, use war metaphors. Equating an actual war with football is pretty ridiculous, but that’s how football people talk. Midway through the first quarter, say, “Boy, it’s a war out there.” Try to work in a “marching down the field” comment when you can. Before the game even starts, call one of the teams “battle-tested.” It doesn’t matter which team you call that because it makes no sense anyway.
• If the lead keeps going back and forth between the teams, say this: “This has been a definitive game of ebb and flow.” It’s one of your lesser-known football expressions, but one of my personal favorites. It just sounds smart, though means very little, like any good football cliché.
Before you head to your Super Bowl Party, cut out this article and put it in your pocket. When nobody’s looking just take it out, choose a cliché and you’ll fit right in.