February 1, 2006
Everything you ever wanted to know about sports on TV.At The Buzzer
Decided to Watch the Superbowl, huh?
Pittsburgh Steeler fans have a lot to cheer for. Their team made history, becoming the first side to win three road playoff games to advance to the Superbowl. Bill Cowher is the longest tenured coach in the NFL. Jerome Bettis, among the most popular players perhaps in the history of the league, may be in the midst of his final bus ride. And what better place for him to finish it than in his hometown of Detroit, host site of Superbowl XL and inevitably the riot that will ensue after the game ends (Sorry, Detroit. I just had to take that low blow).
So for those of you who couldn't imagine not watching the Superbowl (like me), even though you don't have a rooting interest in who wins (me again), here are a list of things that will hopefully ensure your viewing experience is entertaining:
- Okay, let's get it out of the way. The commercials.
Personally, I don't understand the country's fixation
with Superbowl ads. By and large, those most fervently
anticipating the new 30-90 second, multi-millon dollar
shill spots are also the same folks who curse
commercials for even existing at all. Honestly, 364
days out of the year, America passionately
hates commercials. Why the hell would anyone
care just because they're new? But I digress.
Commercials. List them, watch them, throw your beer at
the TV in disapproval of most of them. But most
importantly, deride them for extending the length of
the game by at least 45 minutes. Thus making the
Superbowl a near-five hour event. And that's not
including pre and post game coverage.
Ever watch the pre-hype feature to a boxing match featuring two boxers you've never heard of before — one Mexican, one Polish — and suddenly found yourself so excited to watch the fight? The very same thing could potentially happen here.
- Everybody loves gambling. Hell, it's legitimately
the number one reason why football is the most
popular, most watched sport in the country. As host of
your Superbowl party, it's your obligation to
institute a pool. There are many variations you could
take on this. Perhaps $10 an entry and whoever
predicts the winner and is closest to the actual
amount of total points scored in the game takes the
pot? Why not break it down to what the score will be
at the end of each quarter? Who scores first? And will
they do so via pass, run, special teams, or defense.
Bet the spread! Somehow, the Steelers opened up as a
four-point favorite despite the fact they barely
squeaked into the playoffs and Seattle finished with
the second best record in the league, has the MVP, and
absolutely dominated in the NFC title game. Think like
a Vegas pro on this one. Or, don't think at all. Go
ahead and charge $5 admission at the door so that you
can recoup on all the money you spent on snacks and
beet. You're only obligated to exercise that last
suggestion if you somehow overlooked suggesting your
Superbowl party be BYOB. If that happens, I'm sorry,
but sucks for you.
- Post game coverage? I'll tell you what, unless
you're a fan of whichever team wins the big game, you
can save some time and skip this entirely. Only a
victorious Steeler or Seahawk fan is going to want to
bask in this ceremonial tongue-bathing. If you're
ambivalent about who wins, this might be a good time
to either A) put your living room back together as it
has surely been devastated by Superbowl party carnage,
B) remain passed out on the couch with all the other
drunks, or C) rustle up an impromptu game of strip
- Finally, the most important tip to enjoying the game: Just sit back and watch. This match-up promises to be an exciting one. Ben Roethlisberger, 26-4 as a starting QB, vs. Matt Hassellbeck, Bill Cowher's square jaw vs. Mike Holmgren's jowls, Shaun Alexander, Walter Jones, and Steve Hutchinson anchoring the league's most dominant rushing attack vs. Joey Porter, Troy Polamalu, and the blitzburgh defense. You'll get to hear the name of linebacker Lofa Tatupu over and over, simultaneously acknowledging how impressive he is for a rookie. And, of course, how does the story end for Jerome Bettis?
There's plenty to watch in Superbowl XL. Just try not to let your lack of rooting interest get in the way.
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