It’s that time of year again. The time when America literally shuts down to watch football. What’s to happen February 2nd has become the ultimate unofficial national holiday. Everyone watches, from business tycoons to people crowding into dive bars.
Football fans range from the devout to the indifferent. Some can recite the playbook in their sleep, while others are still trying to grasp the concept of a ball that isn’t round. This article is for neither. The first group already knows what I’m going to say. The second group is probably beyond help. They should watch a simpler sport, like soccer, or basketball. This article is for the middle ground. The people who know about the game, but haven’t followed all the ups and downs of drama this season. With these tips, you can easily fake it.
1. Omaha. No, not the largest city in Nebraska. Omaha is what Peyton Manning yells right before the ball gets snapped. If that doesn’t make sense, then just follow these instructions. When the Broncos (Orange Team), are on offense, shout “Omaha” every 30-40 seconds. It’ll be hilarious. If anyone asks why, just say you’re a huge fan of Omaha Beef. The indoor football team, or the steak. For further explanation, watch Manning’s response to questions about the play here.
2. 12th man. No one knows where the legend of the 12th man originated. Some say it’s the average age of a Seahawks fan. Some say it’s stolen from Texas A&M. All we know is, the media won’t shut up about how loud the Seahawks stadium is. This is absolutely irrelevant to a game that’s being played 2856 miles away. Expect the 12th man to play a big part in the media coverage of a game being attended by mostly business executives and CEO’s.
3. Super “Bowl”. Two states have completely legalized marijuana. Colorado and Washington. Depending on who you talk to, this either means pot is a wonderdrug with no side effects, or it’s a funny coincidence. With legalization a hot button issue, expect a variety of reefer puns in all the broadcasts. You can do your part with suggestive hand gestures, air quotes for “Bowl,” and shoveling food in your mouth.
4. Good vs. Evil. The two teams in this Super Bowl couldn’t be more different. The Broncos are a team of quiet professionals. Led by Peyton Manning and Champ Bailey, two seasoned veterans who do their jobs effectively, and silently. Then we have the Seahawks…the team of flash. Their public faces are Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch. Sherman is their cornerback who made national history by nearly scaring Erin Andrews into retirement. Lynch is a running back with a penchant for grabbing his crotch during games, and an alarming addiction to Skittles. The two teams couldn’t be more different. The neutral fans tend to split along predictable lines. The older crowd tends to support the Broncos, the quiet professionals. The young ones support the Seahawks, the flashy and loud team.
5. Legacies. Peyton Manning has dominated the NFL landscape for nearly 15 years. He’s been called everything from the greatest of all time to a playoff choker. He’s also 37 years old, and has only one Super Bowl title. This may be his last chance to win a ring, and improve his legacy. The Broncos are an old team. They have many seasoned veterans, and for many of them, this Sunday is the last game they’ll ever play. The Seahawks are a young team. Many players are still on their rookie contracts, and the future looks bright. For the Broncos, this is a last hurrah. For the Seahawks, it may just be the beginning.
There you have it. All of the major storylines for Super Bowl XLVIII. Keep spouting these lines, and you’ll seem like you know what you’re talking about. Even if it all means nothing.