Braak’s Guide to the Superbowl, for Men Who Don’t Care About Football

Posted: February 7, 2010 in Braak
Tags: , ,

Here’s the thing about the Superbowl:  some people like it.  It is important to them!  I’ve never really understood this; it’s not like, if one team wins then their quarterback is made king of America.  It’s not like if the Saints win we’ll be guaranteed bountiful harvests for a year.  Shit, at least the fucking GROUNDHOG has CONSEQUENCES.

Since all of my letters to the Government suggesting that the coach of the winning Superbowl team should be given one of Washington DC’s two Senate seats have been returned (UNOPENED, I should add), I have decided to make this guide, for men like me, who will be expected to watch the Superbowl, even though we don’t give a rat’s ass about football.

1.  How Football Works:

There is a BALL.  One TEAM scores POINTS by taking it to the other end of the FIELD.  The other TEAM tries to stop them.  After a certain number of tries, if they have not gotten far enough, they give up, and let the other TEAM try to take it in the other direction.  Halfway through, they switch directions.  I don’t know why.  Whoever gets the most POINTS is declared the WINNER.

I have capitalized some relevant terminology here, so that you can use it in conversation with your football-watching friends.  Here is an example of a football sentence:

Oh, no, my TEAM has failed to take the BALL far enough.  They will not score enough POINTS to be the WINNER.

2.  How to care about this:

Don’t, it’s stupid.

3.  Dude, I have to, everyone is looking.

Okay.  If you have to, here are some options.

A)  Pick the team with a mascot that you like.  Maybe you like Vikings?  Then you should pick Minnesota.  Maybe you like paying your bills on time?  You should pick Buffalo.  I know these teams because I like Vikings, and I like paying my bills on time.  I don’t know who’s playing in this one, it doesn’t really matter.  Here’s an important thing though:  pay close attention to the CITY that the team is from.  If that is the same as your city, or if it is reasonably NEAR your city, root for that team.  To root for your team, try using the following football sentence:

My TEAM will kick your TEAM’s ass!

This is applicable in a wide variety of circumstances.  To mix it up, try replacing “My TEAM” with the name of the team you have chosen to support, or “your team” with the name of the team your friend has chosen to support.  Be careful to first establish that you are supporting different teams.

B)  Bet on one of the teams.  Again, it doesn’t matter which.  You won’t really be caring about the team, you’ll be caring about the money that you lose when they fuck up.

C)  Sometimes, if a guy has the ball, another guy will knock him down.  That can be funny.  If you pretend you’re watching a show about guys getting knocked down, it can be interesting.  Here is another football sentence you can use when that happens:

Oh man, that guy got KNOCKED DOWN.  Awesome!

D)  Drink.

4.  What snacks should I eat at the football party?

This is an important question.  Most football snacks are very messy, and will cause you to get salsa, buffalo sauce, or ranch dressing on you.  That is gross.  The best thing to do is eat the chips, and sustain you caloric intake with beer.  If someone asks you if you want nachos, you can try diverting attention with another football sentence:

Did you see that PLAY?  It was amazing!

A PLAY is the smallest unit of football.  It is important to only use this sentence when actual football is going on.

5.  Wait, football won’t be happening the whole time?

No.  Despite the fact that the Superbowl is four hours of television programming, only ONE HOUR of it will actually be football.

6.  What is the rest?

Part of it will be commercials.  You can recognize these because they will not take place on a football field (usually).  A good phrase to use when a commercial comes on is:


Alternately, if the commercial was not funny, you can say:


It does not matter whether or not it was; the point is to establish your awareness that there have been Superbowls in previous years, as well.

7.  What about the stuff that isn’t commercials?

That is COMMENTARY.  Commentary is when John Madden talks about the Goodyear blimp and uses COMPUTER-EFFECTS to draw steam coming off of a man’s head, while football men stand around.  Sometimes the men will be arguing.  Their conversations are unlikely to impact your life in any significant way.

A good way to seem engaged with the commentary is to use this sentence:


If your friends ask you why, you can say:

Because I do not believe that this TEAM has the SKILLS to pay the BILLS.

Important:  first establish that the Buffalo Bills are not playing in the game, as this can cause confusion.

8.  How will I know when it’s over?

Your friends will probably jump up and down cheering.  Alternately, if the team they have supported failed to score enough points, your friends may appear disconsolate.  Either way, you will probably be drunk.  A good way to establish that the game has conclusively ended is with the following football sentence:

Well, I guess that’s it, then.

If your friends respond in the affirmative to this, it is appropriate to say:

That was a GOOD GAME.  I think that BOTH TEAMS played very well.

9.  Okay.  Anything else?

It is generally considered inappropriate to take leftover beers without being invited by your host.

10.  Hey, fuck that shit, man.


  1. wench says:

    I suggest an alternate tactic: dress as a woman when your friends come to your house. Answer the door with a coy expression on your face, and in a falsetto voice, say “He can’t come out to play, guys, he’s all… tied up. Tee hee!”

    If they recognize you, they’ll be so confused they’ll retreat. If they don’t recognize you, they’ll think you’re a stud. It ‘s all good either way.

  2. Erin says:

    In past years, I’ve found that the Superbowl is a good time to bid on closing eBay auctions or go to the zoo.

    Also, that article was brilliant.

  3. Jeff Holland says:

    I will be rooting for the Saints, because a) hasn’t New Orleans had a hard enough time of it lately, b) if Indianapolis gets to be popular because of football AND racing, then that’s just too much, and c) Carol at work will yell at me if I do not.

    That said, arbitrarily choosing a team to root for – as long as you remember which team this is throughout the whole game, which can be difficult if the colors are not profoundly different – can actually make the game more exciting. Particularly if you choose one player (whichever the most interesting name is – and man, there will be some interesting names) to be responsible for each and every play, no matter what his position is.

    So good luck, Pierson Prioleau, Safety (yes I looked it up) for the New Orleans Saints. All my hopes and dreams are riding on you. DO NOT DISAPPOINT ME!

  4. Zak says:

    My friend told that when in doubt, say “I wonder how the Colts will do without Freeney”. I’m presuming that Freeny is some kind of horse.

  5. braak says:

    Is it possible that a Freeny is a horse-related object? I’m given to understand that riding a horse requires a great deal of paraphenalia, many pieces of which have outlandish names. Could a Freeny be, perhaps, a kind of stirrup?

  6. Dennis says:

    Actually according to Wall Street Journal story, there’s only 11 minutes of actual football being played.

  7. Hop says:

    This reminded me of a Perfect Strangers episode in which Balki kept winning the office pools. He picked the Bills over the Chargers, because “no matter how much you charge, they’re always going to send you the bill.”

  8. braak says:

    I remember that episode. Every time someone talks about the Buffalo Bills, I remember that episode.

  9. Jim says:

    Any sports fan could take your argument and replace all the football references with references to art or theatre. You would likely object that the outcomes in art have real consequence in your life but you won’t accord the same equanimity to sports.

  10. braak says:

    Interesting point! It is true that sports fans could do this, though they don’t appear to have done so — possibly because sports fans are well-equipped with a sense of humor? Future study is merited.

    The likeliness of my response to such an argument, though, is disputable. On what basis do you assess that? Have I demonstrated a past history of arguing that the consequences of “art” (a broad category that must necessarily include things that don’t matter, even if we accept that art as a whole might) are more material than the consequences of football? I cannot recall having established such a pattern (though I’ll admit it’s possible); lacking that evidence, is it your position that you have access to real data regarding potential future outcomes? Some kind of capacity for prognostication, as via some kind of complex predictive model, or ESP? Otherwise, your position on my future position is purely hypothetical, and could easily be countered with the argument “No, I wouldn’t.”

    With regards to my equanimity, I think on the subject of sports it has rarely been disturbed. If you mean that I do not extend to sports the equal consideration that I give to art or theater (an unorthodox definition of the term, to say the least), I should point out that to say that I have failed in some way by extending to both fields equal treatment, you must necessarily show that both fields deserve equal treatment.

    The fact that certain words could be switched out in my “argument” (in this case, a “humor essay”, which I think is another unorthodox definition) and the meaning would remain largely the same is hardly evidence of such. The entire crux of the humor of the piece is that it discusses football in as generic a way as possible (literally written as though by someone who had only the most superficial knowledge of “Superbowl”); naturally, you could switch out “Football” with similar terminology from ANY FIELD, and the piece would have the same meaning. That is what “generic” means.

    In conclusion: what is the point of your argument at all? It’s certainly not very funny, which is plainly the intention of the article. Is it to defend football from me? That would be a peculiar tack, I think, on the grounds that, on The List of Things That Might Destroy the Institution of American Football, “Chris’s Blog Posts” probably doesn’t make it into the top ten.

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