So you've not watched a football game since last year's Super Bowl party, when you embarrassed yourself by using saying, "So how many runs is that?" when a team scored a field goal, asking which team Dan Marino was playing for when putting in your dollar for the pre-game betting pool, or saying, "I dunno, I think it's possible that Ray Lewis was completely uninvolved in the murder of those guys." You want to avoid that again, so let ICN help you decide who to cheer for in tonight's World Series of Football.
If you live in Washington, Colorado, or Tennessee, you don't need to bother with this. Seattle and Denver are located in, respectively, Washington (state, not District of Columbia) and Colorado, so you can't go wrong cheering for the team from your state. If you're unsure which is which when they take the field, Seattle wears uniforms that include horrible green, some kind of cool-looking blue, and a terrible stylized bird thing on the helmet. Denver wears uniforms that include horrible purple (or something like purple), horrible orange, and some kind of terrible stylized horse on the helmet. They also feature John Elway walking on the sideline, who also looks like a terrible stylized horse (yes, that was a gratuitous shot from a Cleveland fan, but screw him, everyone knows Karlis missed that damn field goal).
If you're from Tennessee, you are contractually obligated to root for anything Peyton Manning is doing, whether it's playing football, opening a shopping center, or officiating a same-sex wedding, even though you already disowned whichever partner happens to be in your family.
But let's say you live in none of the above states, and you still want to look like you know what you're talking about at your Super Bowl party. Here are some things to consider:
Go Broncos!: Rooting for the Broncos means, essentially, rooting for Peyton Manning, a throwback to the days when quarterbacks ran their offenses way more than their coaches. He pretty much calls every play the Broncos' offense runs, and is one of the great quarterbacks of all time, having been the driving force in turning a Colts team that had spent most of its time in Indianapolis wavering between mediocre and godawful into a perennial contender and taking two teams that had almost no defense to the Super Bowl. Then he broke his neck or something and went to Denver. He is a very, very good player, and deserves his accolades. Unless you are Richard Sherman or Bill Belichick, you should be rooting for Peyton Manning.
But wait!: First off, Peyton Manning has a forehead that could be used as a screen for IMax movies. Seriously, look at that:
He's more forehead than man. Do you really want to root for that?
More to the point, this Super Bowl is, in a lot of people's minds, Peyton Manning vs. Richard Sherman, cerebral, old, white quarterback vs. brash, young, black cornerback. If Peyton Man—I mean, the Broncos win, there will be no shortage of people crowing about how Manning put Sherman "in his place." That won't be your fault, but it will happen.
So...go Seahawks!: If the Broncos aren't your thing, then go ahead and root for the Seahawks. They have Richard Sherman, who in addition to being maybe the best cornerback in football right now, is easily the league's best trash talker. Everyone, no matter what they say in public, whether it's in the editorial pages of National Review or at a Klan rally, loves Richard Sherman. Besides, the Seahawks had referees' calls go against them the only other time they were in the Super Bowl, so they're owed a championship now.
But wait!: Even though he's entertaining, let's face it, Richard Sherman is kind of a dick. Plus the Seahawks' coach might be a 9/11 truther. Also, you know who can go screw themselves? Fans who assume that every penalty is part of a vast conspiracy between [insert sports league here], "The Media," Freemasons, the Illuminati, and the Bilderberg Group to manipulate the outcome of a game that everyone is already watching in order to get better ratings...for a game that everyone is already watching.
Seriously, if you do this, you are not only wrong, you are a bad person. And lots of Seattle fans were bad people the last time the Seahawks were in the Super Bowl.
So what do I do? Tell, me, because I'm incapable of forming my own thoughts!: Rooting for whichever team is geographically closest to you is probably a good strategy. Failing that, pick whichever team has the prettier uniforms and cheer when their players look happy and scream, "Fuck you, refs and Goodell!" whenever they look sad.
Any other tips?: If none of the above options look good to you, you can choose the Humanities major option, which is spend the evening reminding all of your friends on Facebook and Twitter how you aren't going to watch large men giving themselves concussions to satisfy their corporate masters and the mouth-breathing fanatics in Red State America, and how the Super Bowl is just another example of corporate culture run amok (bonus points if you can work in the phrases "late capitalism") and how the Super Bowl distracts the masses from real issues of inequality, then take a break to unironically enjoy a soap opera about a bunch of rich people and their servants.
No, seriously, do that every ten minutes. Otherwise your friends might forget that you're not watching the game.