January 29, 2009

The Sanford Super Bowl Rule Book

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I have nothing against the winter — well at least not against the winters back in New York City. But on a day like Wednesday, when the snow was raising hot chocolate sales, skidding cars along College Avenue and diminishing even further my desire to make the snowy slog to class, I more and more wish I was in Tampa. Why Tampa? Well, for one thing, it’s warm. Two, the Super Bowl is being held there this Sunday. Three, see reason number one. The dream of going to the Super Bowl this year to watch the Giants go back-to-back is, of course, crushed, faded, non-existent. Instead, I’ll be watching it somewhere in Collegetown, trying to ignore the fact that the Giants beat both of the Bowl’s teams at some point during the regular season. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still have fun, but it’s not going to be my most enjoyable Super Bowl.
Last year around this time, I wrote a column venting my frustration about watching the Super Bowl with bandwagon fans — bandwagon fans being the people who just watch the “Super Bowl” and not football in general. Take, for example, the guy who is only interested because he has put money on the game. Or the girl who just sits there while on her phone. Or — this guy is the worst — the one who doesn’t know who is playing. Apparently, my message was conveyed so strongly — as it should have — that there were some people who were afraid to come to the party at my house because of my clearly stated feelings.
Generally, I watch big sporting events with a small group of “sports heads” who have ESPN turned on when they wake up and still going when they go to bed. Last year was a learning experience for me because while I had a lot of people over for the Super Bowl, not necessarily everybody there was fully interested in the game. Granted, it would have been nice to watch the game with only true sports fans but it still felt good to celebrate with a large group of Giants fans. So, this time around, I’ll pass on a set of rules — a guide some might say — for all you Super Bowl fans, so that we can all enjoy the game in harmony together.

1. Please come informed. Nobody is asking you to know stats and records and all that. But you could at least know the names of the teams. There is nothing worse then somebody asking, “Who is playing?” as everybody else is starting to get settled in. And don’t ask me which team is wearing what color either.

2. All phone conversations are off-limits during the game. If you want to make a communication, text — and even that is up to the host. The only voices that should be heard are commentators or cheering — throw in a little trash talk, here and there if you feel the absolute need.

3. I learned this last year, drinking games during halftime are encouraged. But don’t be that guy trying to get that “rematch match game of beer pong” as the third quarter starts. Take your loss like a man and wait until post-game for any rebuttals.

4. Do not speak during the first 10 seconds of a commercial. Super Bowl commercials are a big part of what makes that whole three-to-four hour experience crazy. So don’t ruin any. And even when you get confused by them, don’t be that “Wait! I don’t get the commercial” guy, just play it off.

5. Do not engage in analysis of the game if you don’t regularly watch football. If you don’t know the game well, that’s fine. I can look past that. But please, don’t tell me that a team should throw the ball on 4th and inches or something of that magnitude. How would I sound if I just rolled up into a law school class and just started dishing out my own “expertise?” I mean, I might know a few things, but overall, I’m not going to come across as the smartest student in the world. So, stick to what you know best: stay in your lane.

6. If you liked the Cardinals before the game started, you liked the Cardinals by the end of the game. No “switch-siding” allowed. Don’t all of a sudden transfer team allegiance once you realize “your team” is losing. Imagine that. The Steelers go up two touchdowns and out of nowhere Big Ben is your favorite quarterback. Please.

7. Finally, no discussions of school related work during the Bowl time frame. That should come without saying.

Prediction: The Cardinals only have one or two touchdown drives in the first half. After halftime, their offense will still only be able to score because of good field position, a big turnover, a trick play or by going no-huddle at the end of the game. With that being said, I still don’t think they will ultimately put up enough points to win. Steelers 24, Cardinals 17.