Because the NFL is abandoning its position as sole reason for anyone to know Roman numerals for next year's Super Bowl 50, partly because there's no reason to know Roman numerals, and partly because, well, Super Bowl L.

Thanks for the tips last year, ICN! I totally didn't embarrass myself at last year's Super Bowl party!

That's great. Now here are some things to know for this year's game.

No need; I've still got my Peyton Manning jersey, so I'm good to go!

You might want to hold off on that. Peyton turned 100 this year, so the Broncos didn't make it to the Super Bowl. If you wear that jersey, people are going to think that you're either a die-hard Broncos fan, which will lead to embarrassment when they ask you about what changes to expect as the team moves from Adam Gase's offense to Gary Kubiak's—


Exactly. Either that or they're going to think that you're the adult equivalent of the broke-ass kid who kept wearing a Cleveland Browns 1987 AFC Central Division Champs t-shirt to school well into the early 1990s.


That's an oddly specific example. Did you—

Shut up. Besides, why would you think the Broncos would be in the Super Bowl this year just because they were in it last year? People don't just show up in the same thing every year.


What about Meryl Streep at the Oscars?

Okay, fair enough. But—

Or Benedict Cumberbatch in badly written homoerotic fan fiction on Tumblr?

Also true. But—

Seriously, why would Sherlock even be in the same bathhouse as Frodo and Harry Potter?


Jesus Christ.

It's cool—it's Harry from the end of the series, when he was an adult wizard.

Still, that's an odd combination.

Right? Even though hobbits are clearly a homonid species, it's still bestiality, isn't it? Besides, even if their genetalia are similar to humans', you're looking at a considerable size diffe—


We're getting sidetracked here.

This is important to me!

Focus! If you don't want to embarrass yourself at this year's Super Bowl party, you're going to have to decide whether to root for the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahawks.


But the Seahawks were in it last year, Mr. "You Don't Automatically Go Every Year"!

You don't know how football works, do you?

Not as such, no.

Okay. As I was saying, let's break the teams down a bit, so you can make an informed decision:

Team key words and concepts:

New England: Scrappiness, sticktoitiveness, meritocracy, white people

Seattle: Brashness, trash talk, Skittles, refusing to accept the government's bullshit narrative of 9/11


The team's coaches:

New England:


Wait, even I know that's bullshit.

You're absolutely correct. Bill Belichick has never smiled in his life.

What's your deal with Belichick?

Putting aside everything else, back in the early 1990s, when...some people...were still wearing our their Cleveland Browns 1987 AFC Central Division Champs t-shirts to school, Bill Belichick was the Browns' coach.


Hey, he's won a lot of games! He must have done a great job!

You'd think that, wouldn't you? He did succeed in getting rid of every veteran on the team, replacing them with less-talented players who would be beholden to him. And one year, despite the fact that he's a defensive coach, and has always been a defensive coach, he decided he didn't need an offensive coordinator, so he called his own plays. When you get more familiar with football, Google "Metcalf up the middle" sometime. Oh, and at the last draft he ran for the team, he got so pissed off that he couldn't draft Kyle Brady that he traded out of the top ten, and all the way down to #30, where he took Craig Powell.


Wait, who—

Sorry. There's been some trauma. He turned into a very successful coach, but at the end of the day, the nicest thing that even die-hard Patriots fans can say about the man is, "He's a prick, but he's our prick."


Anyway, that's New England. Here's Seattle:


Aside from his running a pretty corrupt football program at USC—even by big time college football standards—Pete Carroll has been surprisingly good at Seattle, especially when you consider the fact that he was a two-time loser in NFL head coaching gigs in the 1990s, and seemed like someone who jumped back to the league just to avoid getting hammered by NCAA sanctions.

Favorite Fan Conspiracy Theory:

New England: Every other team in the NFL does it; they* just hate the Patriots and want to bring them down.**


*-Be sure to emphasize "they" here. Leave it as vague as possible.

**-You don't need to identify a specific incident; the Patriots get investigated for shit every two, three weeks, so by halftime of the Super Bowl, they will probably be linked to at least three or four terrorist attacks in South Sudan.


Seattle: The NFL totally decided to hand that Super Bowl to the Steelers because they're the "golden child" because of the Rooney Rule.* Also, 9/11 was a false flag operation.

*-You don't have to understand any of these terms. Just say it, and the people wearing Seahawks jerseys will nod and say, "Goddamn right they did."**


**-For those of you who do get the reference, I have absolutely seen people make this argument.

Representative non-football comment made by fans elsewhere online:

New England: I'm just saying, if you really think about it, Danny Ainge ended up having a better career than Michael Jordan, if you factor in his front office work.


Seattle: I guess some people think they need sunshine, but, you know, whatever.

How to annoy their fans:

New England: Point out that Eli Manning is just one Super Bowl ring behind Tom Brady, then say that he'll probably catch up the next time they play. Also, ask, "With all those championships and Super Bowl appearances, they're pretty much the New York Yankees of football, right?"


Seattle: Vaccinate your children, go about doing your job without being a loudmouth dick about it all the time.

At the end of the day, root for ____ to win if you:

New England: Like defense and really well-run franchises, are interested in seeing Skip Bayless have an orgasm on live television.


Seattle: Like defense and exceptionally talented players who aren't afraid to be themselves, are interested in hurting sportswriters and/or that one racist uncle you only see at Thanksgiving and who is just trying to tell a damn joke, so stop being offended by everything.