If you're anything like me (and I recognize that most Arizonans--nay, most Americans--are not), you don't get football.
The overall appeal, the rules, the weird players-slapping-each-other-on-the-ass thing--it's all a bit baffling. But, there are a surprisingly large contingent of us who still attend Super Bowl parties every year for two overwhelming reasons: the food and the beer. If there were ever two more noble reasons to attend an event you wouldn't otherwise be caught dead near, those are the two. But food and beer alone cannot sustain someone for four-ish hours while everyone else is glued to the television. Here are some other Super Bowl party activities for those who would rather skin a pig than watch a pigskin:
1. Terrorize the pets. Are you attending a Super Bowl hosted by a pet owner? Excellent. Animals don't give a crap about the game. If you put an actual cardinal in front of the television on game day, it'd probably crap on your carpet, then fly into your screen door in its attempt to escape. So, yknow, make one of those lime football helmet things for the cat. Or dress the dog up in Cardinals regalia. The saying "Misery loves company" never applied more than it does here.
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2. Start a fight over Bruce Springsteen. Chances are, about half the guests at your Super Bowl party will be fans of the Boss and be super excited about his performance, while the other half will say he's overrated and over the hill. Fan the flames of a potential fight (drunk people discussing "good music" vs. "bad music" will inevitably end in either tears or bloodshed) by loudly proclaiming that Bruce Springsteen is the most overrated musician ever and that he jumped the shark after Born in the U.S.A., and then let the fun begin. As an alternative, tell everyone you're a huge Steelers fan and that the Cardinals blow.
3. Rate the commercials. Commercials are pretty much the only entertaining part of Super Bowl Sunday for me. Convince your friends to participate with you during the breaks and decide the best and worst. You'll still be able to get into the whole "spirit of competition" thing without having to watch the actual competition. Hell, you can have a whole party based around the commercials if that's how you roll.
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4. Have a best ass contest. This can be done in your head or with like-minded friends. Cmon, we all know part of the deal with the skintight pants is to get more chicks to watch. So we might as well take advantage of it. My horse in the race is Larry Fitzgerald. You can bounce a quarter off of that thing.
5. Actually pay attention to the game this year. Yeah, I know it sort of contradicts the whole "not paying attention" thing, but we're in Arizona! Nobody thought the Cardinals would ever make it in the post-season, let alone make it all the way to the Super Bowl. Having been in Chicago when the Bears were in the Super Bowl in both 2007 and 1985, I can tell you that there are fewer things more exciting than an entire city pumped up around a team. Hell, I was three in 1985, and I could still tell something cool was going on (it was either that or the thrill over my new My Little Pony). Anyway, now is as good a time as any for some Phoenix pride. I'll try to be excited if you will. Deal?