How to Sound Competent Talking About the Super Bowl in 5 Minutes
Because we know you're busy.
So, everyone is talking about football and commercials. Does that mean the Super Bowl is this weekend?
Yep! The big game is Sunday, February 2 at 6:30 PM EST.
Where is it?
Normally, the Super Bowl is held in a warm city like Miami or San Diego, because it's winter, and people shelling out $3,000 for a ticket want to sit somewhere warm to watch football. Makes sense, right? Well, this year they decided to hold the game in New York. OK, technically New Jersey.
Won't it be cold (and possibly rain, snow, or sleet)?
Sure will. Average temps this time of year in NYC are a balmy 25 degrees with a 30% chance of something wet and uncomfortable falling from the sky. Things are looking clear for today, but the NFL did have contingency plans to hold the game on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or the following Sunday if needed.
Whew. Okay, so who is playing?
This year, it's the Denver Broncos versus the Seattle Seahawks, the two best teams in the NFL this season. Looking at the analytics, we find that it's a matchup of the #1 DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) ranked offense versus the DVOA #1 ranked defense. This rarely happens, meaning this could and will most likely be an epic game. Now, the particularly interesting thing is...
OK, stop. Can you cut it with the nerd speak and just tell me the key players I need to know?
Rude. But fine. The most notable start in the game is Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. You probably know him from hawking such fine products as Oreos, Buick Cars, DirectTV, and Papa Johns (both the pizza and Papa himself). He is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game and could cement himself as the best if he wins this Super Bowl.
The best quarterback ever? I bet people are going to debate that.
You bet. You'll probably hear a lot of things like, "If he is the best, why does Mr. So-and-So have more championship rings?" These conversations are pointless and mind-numbing. It's just a way for people to inject themselves into sports and be authoritative in a place where they have no authority nor deserve any. It's okay. Just close your eyes, cover your ears, and slowly back away when people start shouting about this. Or change the subject. Pizza in NYC is delicious, and you can grab a slice on virtually ever corner. See, we've already moved on.
Is there anyone else I should know about?
People are also talking about Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman.
Hmmm, sounds familiar. People are yelling a lot about him on television right now. What's his deal?
Well, the short version is that he is probably one of the best cornerbacks ever and the defacto leader of one of the most feared defenses in the game. It would be great if the story stopped there.
But he is also quite loud. Both the volume of his voice and the things he talks about. See for yourself. He quickly became one of the more divisive figures in football in the past few weeks, and people will wax moral about his behavior. Ignore these talks, because they won't go anywhere good. Instead just watch him play football. He is insanely talented and a joy to watch.
Got it. Any strategies for those pools where I'm supposed to know the score for every quarter for the chance to win a Starbucks gift card?
Sorry, no. We aren't Nostradamus, and anyone who claims to have a "strategy" is full of it. Avoid scores like 11 and 22. Try scores that are multiples of 3 and 7. It's all a big guess, and no one knows.
Darn, I really wanted to win that gift card this year.
We all do, friend. We all do.
OK, so any generic things I can say about this game at a party if I need to sound competent?
You can never go wrong with asking people who they want to win. People love talking about their own thoughts. Look, I'm doing it right now! Just be prepared to answer back.
Right, so who do I want to win?
Some things you'll just have to figure out on your own. Well, OK: If you like lots of touchdowns, rooting for the favorite, and Papa John's pizza, then Denver is probably your team. If you're more of a grunge music, underdogs, coffee, and amazing defense kind of person, then Seattle is for you. Otherwise, just tell everyone you are cheering for great commercials.
Will The Muse have a Super Bowl commercial this year?
Ha, no way. One, we don't have $4 million for a 30-second commercial. Two, if we did have that kind of loot, we'd probably buy a giraffe to chill in our office, because that's way more awesome.
But seriously, even though this is going to be an amazing game, everyone will be watching for the commercials. This is probably the most important part of fitting in at the office on Monday. You'll need a hot take for each commercial including a ranking of your favorites. Then, be prepared to argue with Linda in account services about how much you hated the one commercial with a monkey stripping while a pop icon from the '80s sings. I have no idea if that is a commercial this year, but it should be.
OK. Anything else?
Try a couple prop bets with your friends. It's more fun than betting on the actual game, and you can put a wager on pretty much anything. Try: Over/Under Time it Takes to Sing the National Anthem, Will the Final Score be an Even or Odd Number?, and How Many Times Does The Announcer Say "This is for all the Marbles?"
Photo courtesy of Football Schedule.
Elliott Bell is The Muse's Director of Marketing. He is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, but opted for start-ups over 16-hour days as a line cook (for the better hours, of course). Previously, Elliott spent 6 years making Seamless.com into a nationally known brand, and 1 month as a culinary assistant on Iron Chef America. When he isn't Musing, he can be found playing tennis, making chicken stock, or understanding the meaning of rap lyrics on rapgenius.com.More from this Author