A Non-Football Fan’s Guide to the Super Bowl

This weekend, America’s most famed Sunday sports event will be upon us: the Super Bowl. Have your football savvy friends been debating what kinds of wings to serve on the big day for the past few weeks and how else to celebrate? Has talk of 2-4-5 defense, fears regarding Black Monday, and the name Ray Lewis been infiltrating your lunchtime conversations? Maybe you too are a huge football fan and are eagerly counting down the minutes until 6:30pm Sunday. Or like me perhaps you would prefer watching Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl.” 

So how are you to survive your friends’ Super Bowl party when your knowledge is lacking? Just review this guide and you’ll be all set for game day.

The Basics

Who’s playing?

           The Baltimore Ravens vs. the San Francisco 49ers

What are the team colors?

If you’re rooting for the Ravens wear purple, black, metallic gold and white. 49ers fans should wear red and metallic gold.

Where is the game?

            The Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

What’s this about the “Harbaugh Bowl,” “HarBowl,” “SuperBaugh,” and the “Brother Bowl?”

This is the first Super Bowl where the two coaches are brothers. Baltimore’s John Harbough will face off against his brother, San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh. The two teams played one another in the 2011 Thanksgiving Classic in which the Ravens beat the 49ers 16-6.

Who is Ray Lewis?

Ray Lewis is a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. Drafted in 1996, he has spent his entire career with the Ravens and will retire after Sunday’s game.  

Fun Facts about Sunday’s Game:

·      This will be Super Bowl XLVII

·      This is the first Super Bowl in which the two opposing teams are undefeated Super Bowl champions. The 49ers have won all five of their previous Super Bowls while the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV against the New York Giants. Whoever wins Sunday’s game will be the only NFL team to play in multiple Super Bowls and win each one.

·      This is also the first game in which both teams are descendants of the All-American Football Conference. The Ravens come from the Cleveland franchise which become part of the NFL at the same time as the 49ers after the demise of the AAFC in 1949.

·      The national anthem will be sung by Alicia Keys.

·      Beyoncé will perform the halftime show and will possibly be joined by the other two members of Destiny’s Child as well as Jay-Z.

·      According to CBS the price of a thirty-second commercial is $4,000,000.

·      Adbowl (a company that tracks people’s opinions of commercials during major television events) is introducing Catbowl 2013, which will see how this year’s commercials compare to online videos of cats.


Now that you know the background and some fun facts about Sunday’s game you’re ready to sound like you know what you’re talking about. Try using these football terms to impress your friends.

“I can’t believe the audible Flacco just pulled!”

Audible: When the quarterback changes the play at the last minute.

“Watch Ray Lewis run the blitz and try to tackle Kaepernick!”

Blitz: When four or more defensive men run towards the quarterback in an effort to tackle him.

“I can’t believe he tried to clothesline him when the ref was right there!”

Clothesline: An illegal move in which a player puts his arm out so another player runs into him and is hit in his neck.

“That was so scary! He looked like he was about to fumble.”

Fumble: When a player drops the ball.

“Look at the hail mary thrown by Smith!”

Hail Mary: When the ball is thrown an exceptionally long distance, somewhat out of desperation. If it’s caught, the quarterback instantly receives heroic status.

“And that’s a dead ball if I ever saw one.”

Dead ball: the time period when the ball is not in play.

“Look at Smith do that down and out.”

Down and Out: When a receiver runs straight down the field and then abruptly runs towards the sideline.

“Did you see that completion by Moss?”

Completion: When a receiver catches a pass.

“What a spectacular first down for the Ravens!”

First down: When a team moves the ball 10 yards. After the first down the team receives a new set of four downs.


Now that you know the basics and some terminology you are all set to not only enjoy that Super Bowl party, but impress your friends too!