The Super Bowl is going down this weekend and if you’re a football fan, it’s a crucial showdown worth bragging rights for an entire year. If you’re not a football fan…well, it’s just cutting into your time catching up on episodes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta you missed while watching the Golden Globes and SAG Awards . But even if you don’t care which team wins, you can’t deny that Super Bowl parties are fun. What red-blooded American doesn’t relish in the chance to drink beer and eat heartburn-inducing snacks around the tube?
Still, Super Bowl parties can be tricky when everyone around you is invested in the game and you’re just there for the booze and maybe to see the extended version of Kim Kardashian’s T-Mobile commercial. But never fear! We’re here for you non-football fans and we’re going to make sure your Super Bowl game etiquette is so flawless, they’ll be asking you to come over every Monday night next season.
We asked four football fans to tell us what clueless spectators can do this weekend to not be that annoying person at a Super Bowl party. To both football newbies and those who actually know what a third down is (more on that below), you’re welcome.
Know Which Teams Are Playing
It’s a basic rule, but still, you don’t want to be that person in the middle of the game that’s like, “Wait…who’s playing again? Which team is which?” This year, it’s the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, aka the team Gisele Bündchen’s hot husband plays for.
Understand Basic Scoring
Since we don’t know the first thing about football scoring, we asked broadcast and media analyst for BSports Chi Nwogu to explain it to us:
“A touchdown is when a player gets into the end zone while having both feet in bounds (worth six points). After a touchdown, the team that scored can elect to kick an extra point (worth one point) or run another play to score again (worth two points). A team can also kick a field goal before getting the ball into the end zone (worth three points).”
Not so hard, is it?
Don’t Ask Too Many Questions
Just as you wouldn’t want someone asking you a billion questions about every model coming down the runway at a fashion show, football fans do not want too many queries during the game — they’re trying to take it in, after all. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask questions at all, just wait for a better time when everyone’s not focused on the game. “I don’t mind someone wanting to get a better understanding of the game,” football fan Eddie told us. “But don’t ask during the play, maybe wait until the commercial.”
Understand What First Down, Second Down, Etc. Means
Again, we needed Nwogu to help us with this one: “Football plays come in sets of four. The offense has four plays to cross the magical yellow line. Once the offense crosses that yellow line, they get a new set of four plays. Crossing the yellow line is called getting a ‘first down.’ Also, know that third down is very important. Third down simply means the third play in the set of four plays a team has to cross the yellow line.”
Don’t Change the Channel — Not Even During Commercials
Yes, the Puppy Bowl is very cute, but most people at your party probably aren’t there to watch it. If you’re the type that doesn’t care for Super Bowl commercials — deal with it. Go get a beer from the fridge or something if you’re bored, but restrain yourself from punching in the numbers for Animal Planet, tempting as it may be.
Don’t Make It Obvious That You’re Just There for the Commercials
Commercials are the highlight of the Super Bowl for many people, but the main event is the actual game. Try to be respectful of other people’s joy and for goodness sake, don’t shhh people once the commercials come on. “Remember, you can watch all the commercials you want the next day on that thing called the Internet,” Nwogu told us.
Keep the Hot Guy Ogling to Yourself
One of the saving graces of football for some of us non-fans is being able to see guys with sweaty muscles fall all over each other. Yes, watching Richard Sherman remove his helmet and shake out those beautiful locks can be really, really hot, but you don’t need to tell everyone about it. Let your loins stew in silence.
Don’t Keep Asking for the Score
It is on the TV screen for goodness sake.
Don’t Walk in Front of the TV During a Big Play
Would you walk in front of Patrick Demarchelier’s camera when he’s shooting Naomi Campbell? Hell, naw. Apply the same principle here. If you’ve got to make a bathroom run, hold it in or find a way to not obstruct the television. Or, at least first ask if an important play is about to go down before you make your move.