Game Day Prep
I am the first to admit to being a fair-weather fan of any sport whose season culminates in a big game everyone wants to watch. The excitement in the air, the fascinating stories about world class athletes, behind the scenes drama and most importantly, it's a reason for me to cook for a bunch of my friends.
The Superbowl is 9 days away. It’s the biggest sporting event of the year in the United States and no less than a big deal in this hockey-crazed country. That’s especially true in the west right now, since we’re geographically close to one of the contending teams. In case you’ve been living under a rock, this year’s matchup will see last year’s Superbowl champs the Seattle Seahawks attempt to defend their title against the New England Patriots.
Having watched a few big games in my day, I’ve learned a thing or two about game day etiquette when you’re taking in the fun from the comfort of a living room surrounded by people who are passionate about what’s happening (aka The Real Fans). I also consulted a super fan or two (thanks CW!) about how to ensure you get invited back next year.
Remember the following:
Do have a few fun facts about the players, the teams and the game at the ready. (Fun fact #1: New England has won the Superbowl three times before and each of those times they won by 3 points. Fun fact #2: If the Seahawks win again this year, they will be the first team to do a repeat since the Patriots did it in 2004/05.)
Don’t ask a lot of dumb questions. Learn the basics of the game in advance. If you have to ask what a first down is, keep quiet about it and use your smart phone to find the answer. Football has a lot of downtime. Get caught up then.
Do get involved. Pick a team and cheer for it, even if you really don’t care that much. Wear team colours. Face paint optional.
Don’t talk during play. No one wants to hear about the weather, your new shoes or how hot you think Tom Brady’s wife is. (Ok that one’s the exception. Fun facts about Gisele Bundchen, the former Victoria Secret model and wife of the Patriots quarterback: She’s 34, she’s been the highest paid model in the world since 2004 and she pioneered the “horse walk”, whereby a model picks up her knees high and kicks her feet out front. Her picture above is what made you read this post.)
Do take a shower. This may be a casual event, but it is also a social one. (Single ladies, go to a sports bar!)
Don’t be grabbing the remote if you’re not the driver.
Do indulge in Superbowl fare. This is not a day to be counting calories. You can go to the gym tomorrow. I’ll be attending a potluck and bringing a spiral ham and meatballs (the best recipe can be found on page 109 of the cookbook, Ottolenghi, The Cookbook. If you don’t own the book and if you ask nicely I’ll email it to you). I hear nachos and chicken wings are also on the menu. I will be wearing green and blue stretchy pants.
Don’t block the TV screen by passing trays of food. Wait for a commercial break then just set trays on the table. No need to pass.
Do complain about not being able to see the American commercials. It’s tradition! (This only applies to Canadian viewers.)
Please let me know if I’ve missed any important do’s or don’ts as I would hate to get in the way, offend or embarrass myself. But then again, I’ll be the one with the excellent meatballs.