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A newbie's guide to the Super Bowl

Jan. 31, 2018
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You say you’re not a football fan? Well, that excuse might work any other day of the year, but on Super Bowl Sunday, you’re out of luck. It’s big. It’s loud. It’s extremely messy. I know what you’re thinking: It might as well be Thanksgiving! Well, replace the turkey with queso dip and trade in the cranberry sauce for a crap-ton of beer, and voila! You’ve got yourself a new American holiday. Can you smell the red, white, and blue yet? So whether you’re planning on watching the game at home alone or at an overcrowded bar downtown, here are a few things to know about the big day:

What is it? 

Super Bowl LII (that’s 52, for anyone who failed Roman numerals in school). The Super Bowl is the National Football League’s (or NFL’s) championship game, in which the National Football Conference (NFC) champion faces off against the American Football Conference (AFC) champion to decide the league champion for the 2017 NFL season.

When is it? 

Sunday, February 4th, 2018. The game kicks off at 6:30 PM Eastern on NBC.

Where is it? 

U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Brrr!) It will be the second Super Bowl in Minneapolis, which previously hosted Super Bowl XXVI in 1992, and Minneapolis will continue to be the northernmost city to host a Super Bowl. 

Who’s playing?

The Philadelphia Eagles (NFC Champion) will play the New England Patriots (AFC Champion). While the Patriots already have five Super Bowl wins under their belts (including last year’s Super Bowl LI), the Eagles have NEVER won one. Even better: this is not the first Super Bowl match-up between the Patriots and the Eagles. In 2005, the Eagles lost 24-21 to the Patriots at Super Bowl XXXIX.

Who’s performing?  

The Super Bowl is a tradition unlike any other “holiday” because it comes with live entertainment, a series of brand-new commercials, and untold celebrity appearances. This year, my girl P!nk will be kicking off the game with the National Anthem while the ever-fabulous, anti-aging Justin Timberlake will take the wheel when it comes to half-time entertainment. That’s the beauty of the Super Bowl—you never have to change the channel, because whether the game is on or not, there is always more to see. 

What to eat?

My favorite part of any Super Bowl celebration by far is the food. Personally, I’d take a crock pot of chili or a delivery pizza over any Pinterest appetizer—veggies and cold cuts on Super Bowl Sunday is the equivalent of tofurkey on Thanksgiving. This is not the day to count your calories! That being said, if you’re hosting, be sure to plan for more. More napkins. More beer. More mess. You’ll be thankful you have extra! 

Who do I root for? 

That’s up to you! I’m pulling for the Eagles, specifically because they’ve never won a Super Bowl, and a win against the Patriots would mean a loss for Tom Brady. Brady, the Patriots' quarterback, has five Super Bowl wins (and rings, because what better way to celebrate the championship win than with a bulky piece of jewelry?)—so at this point, I think he’s just getting greedy! However, the Eagles fans have a notorious reputation for throwing food, snowballs, and fists at referees, the players, and even Santa Claus. That’s right: the Eagles fans are anti-Santa.

Wherever you choose to watch, fan or not, the important thing is that you DO watch. There are sure to be plenty of bad game calls, a few hilarious commercials, and hopefully at least one unexpected surprise (the power outage of Super Bowl XLVII and Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at Super Bowl XXXVIII, for example). Besides, if all else fails, and you absolutely cannot stand it, there’s always the Puppy Bowl.