So, yet again, you’ve accepted an invitation to a Super Bowl party and you’re not sure who to root for, since you haven’t watched a football game in your adult life and/or you’ve been too busy writing novellas about how much Justin Timberlake is responsible for everything bad that’s ever happened to anyone, ever, including murders that took place before he was born. And the game is tonight! And your boss will be here any minute! And you accidentally scheduled a date with two girls at the same time!
Since the game starts in about half an hour, I’m not going to try to turn you into a football expert like me (not to brag, but I have participated in a fantasy football league on a couple of occasions...how many people can say that?). Instead, here’s what you need to know so as not to embarrass yourself in front of people whose opinions you probably don’t care about while sitting in front of the television showing a game you also don’t care about.
The New England Patriots are one of the great dynasties in football history. A lot of people hate them because they deserve it, but they’re a very, very good football team and they’ll probably win. If your hostess/host asks if you want to chip in a dollar and bet on a winner, try to take the Patriots.
The Patriots also have one of the most loathsome fan bases in all of sports (I won’t differentiate between Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox...and I think there’s a hockey team up there, too—they all run together after a while). Seriously, I live in the south at the moment, where you’ll get hit with tobacco spittle as people scream about SEC football even when their particular team is awful, but they’re not as insufferable as Patriots fans. Every single one of them can suck it.
The Philadelphia Eagles, by contrast, are this year’s upstart team. They have a very good defense and before their quarterback got hurt, they were considered one of the best teams in football. Then he did get hurt, some other guy took over, and everybody thought they would be terrible, but they’re not. They still probably won’t win, but they’re a good story.
Remember how I said the Patriots had the most loathsome fans in all of sports? Well, about that...it’s absolutely true. I cannot stress enough how terrible those people are. With that said, Eagles fans also have a well-deserved reputation for being psychotic bastards. They once booed a drunk that got hauled out of the stands to play Santa Claus at a game. They throw batteries. They probably have dog fights in the parking lot. They are not to be trusted.
So there’s your dilemma: root for the Patriots, and you’ll probably be on the winning side, but that’s like cheering for chlamydia to be unpleasant. Sure, it will, but what will that prove? And you’ll be right, but at what cost?
On the other hand, root for the Eagles, and you’ll probably be disappointed. And if they win, you’’ll have to endure a good two months straight of goddamn Rocky references about the scrappy underdog from Philly who took down the champ.
Or you can, like me, opt out of the whole thing. I’ll be taking inspiration from reports of Philadelphia city employees greasing the city’s light posts to keep drunken idiots from climbing them (and, probably, throwing beer cans and/or urinating on revelers below) by spending the entire game doing Google Image searches of US Navy Academy students performing the annual ritual of trying to climb a greased pole on campus. It’s almost certain to be more entertaining than the game itself, and a far better use of four hours.