These four words will make you look like a true NFL aficionado in any bar across the land tonight. They may also get you punched, but use this to your advantage by screaming ‘TOUCHDOWN!’ as you spit out your own teeth. You’ll be a god.
If any of the above sounded completely incomprehensible, don’t worry. You’re well on your way to becoming an expert. Tonight, thousands of otherwise self-respecting Brits will stay up all night watching fat Americans in spandex run headlong into each other again, and again, and again, until somebody is arbitrarily declared the winner about four hours later. If any sport sums up the modern USA perfectly it’s American Football:
1) It’s completely insane.
2) Nobody ever knows what is happening.
3) There’s a commercial break every 9 seconds.
4) The white guy stands back and takes all the credit while the black guys do all the hard work. (risky joke alert)
If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching the Superbowl before, it’s one of the most incredible sporting spectacles on the planet. The sport itself is a side issue, obviously, but the whole event is a rich homage to the American dream: loud, garish and lacking in any real substance.
Most importantly for people on this side of the pond, the Superbowl offer a rare chance to stay up drinking until four in the morning on a Sunday and not be judged or offered ‘help’. This collective piss-up is the single main attraction of tonight, but in order to experience it to the full I’ve put together some tips so you can enjoy the game in true American style whilst remaining a drunken credit to Britain.
The Rantraverelax Superbowl Survival Guide
1) Get drunk early. Stay drunk late. This is crucial. The drunker you are, the more the game will seem to make sense and the louder you will inevitably become. It is actually illegal in the US to watch a game of football without being ‘absolutely steaming’. Allegedly the game was created whilst heavily under the influence, explaining why it makes no real sense but is very shiny.
2) Pick a side. For your information, tonight’s choice is the ‘Steelers’ or the ‘Packers’. What this means is irrelevant, just pick one and stick with it. Loudly. Until they begin to lose, then hastily change and shout louder for the other team.
3) Dress sensibly. Body paint is a must for any fan. Lot’s of body paint. If this fails, a priest’s cassock is an option for the more avant-garde spectator. If you’d like to be seen as some kind of football guru, wear a giant foam hand. This will impede drinking, but will earn you the respect of every other charlatan in the place who’s only there to drink and shout.
4) Snack often. American football offers a two-pronged assault on the stomach. One, it’s immensely dull. Two, every second advert is for something fried in butter dipped in chocolate; equating to exposure to fast food every twelve seconds. Nobody can realistically survive this combination without access to a simply grotesque store of fatty goods. Keep a deep fat fryer to hand, at all times, and be damned sure to use it.
5) Avoid the game at all costs. It’ll crush your soul. Aside from the halting pointlessness of the whole thing, each team comprises at least three hundred players, so you’ll never see the same person twice. Case studies have shown that any person who has ever watched a full game of football has gone, in medical terms, ‘fucking bat-shit crazy’ within four hours. Don’t make yourself that person.
6) You’re all in the same boat. So you don’t know the rules. Who cares? Recent research suggests that for every million viewers of American football, less than none have any real idea what’s going on. With this in mind, get creative. Bring out your best bullshit. Scream the words ‘FIRST DOWN’, ‘OO-RAH’, ‘GREAT D’ and ‘SACKED!’ every now and then to add a sprinkling of authenticity to your wild, rambling opinions.
You’ve forgotten to mention the most important bit (and the only reason I ever have, or will, watch American Football, accidentally): the half time show. Although I think the standard has taken a bit of a nose dive this year with ‘The Black Eyed Peas’, even if they are featuring Slash. Early to bed for me.
Fair point, although the only ones I’ve seen have been the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, and they were heroically bad. Halftime show is overrated, but granted I’ve always been far too drunk by that stage to ever appreciate what’s been going on on the pitch…!