I love the Super Bowl more than Bengals fans love being clueless, Rob Gronkowski loves partying shirtless with floozies and Jackson Mahomes loves reminding everybody that he exists.
It's a national holiday for me. I love old highlights, Roman numerals (You sucked 2016 for their elimination), somebody going to Disney World and the trophy procession at the end. At my count (45), I’ve been mentally cognizant of every Super Bowl since Dallas crushed the orange out of Denver in Super Bowl XII. For every Bradshaw bomb, Montana rally, Manning miracle, Brady drive and Emmitt Smith scamper, I could tell you tales of Jack Squirek’s pick-six, Tim Krumrie’s dangling ankle, Eugene Robinson’s hooker, David Tyree’s helmet-hallelujah, Timmy Smith’s big day and The Philly Special.
Yesiree, the Super Bowl is my special day. But, like everything that’s awesome, there are things which ruin my bliss. Back in the nineties, I knew a serial clubber. This woman knew nightclubs like Mahomes knows cashing commercial royalty checks, but she stayed home on New Year’s Eve because she called it “amateur night”. To me, that’s what the Super Bowl has become. The people that never watch a down of football invade gatherings that reduce Super Bowl fever to a touchdown tummy-ache, and that’s what sucks the summer out of my sausage.
With this in mind, I've compiled a list of things that I hate about the greatest day of my year, whether it be live or on social media.
Uncoordinated food at Super Bowl parties
If you’re going to a Super Bowl party, find out what other people are bringing. We don’t need four crock pots of Li’l Smokies, or some weird dip that Guy Fieri dreamed up on a coke binge. Also, buying a bag of Tostitos and tossing it on the counter is unimaginable and shows little respect for the game.
Healthy Choices at a Super Bowl
Stop it!! Tofurkey and three-bean salads have no place on my pigskin table. I know my colon needs cleansing, but let’s talk about that later. It’s the Super Bowl, you need a seven-layer dip that will help clear out the room at the night’s end.
You hate the halftime show. The broadcast team made an error pronouncing Sony Michel. The game isn’t played the way it was in its pure form in 1972. Joe Burrow’s hands are way too small. You don’t like the spot, the camera angle or OBJ’s cleats. I get it, but do you have to list every gripe on social media. You don’t. Stop it!
The “I only watch it for the commercials” proclamation
It’s not the actual advertisements that I abhor—I actually enjoy some of them. Plus, the fact that morons shell out more than $5 million for a 30-second comedy bit is pretty amazing. But if there’s one boner that bothers me more than sand in a condom, it’s those "I only watch it for the commercials” people.
If that’s you, and you’ve ever said that in your lifetime, you need to grab a bucket of wings and apologize to the fan to whom you said it. It's as offensive as a thong at a funeral. I’ll say it again...OFFENSIVE!
Plus, my dad and my friend Darrin actually critique the advertisements like they’re actually on the Clio committee. Then there are the media outlets that rank them. This is not what the game was created for when it was conceived in 1966.
These guys are playing their hearts out for a championship, and there are people that want to absorb every throw, catch and tackle. To diminish that by saying you don't care about the game and would rather chuckle at a clever way to peddle corn chips is disheartening. Even if it's true, please keep it to yourself.
Showing off your Super Bowl meal on social media
I understand that a lot of us aren’t going to get an opportunity to hang out together at a Super Bowl party this year. But sending out snapshots of your clam dip or brisket is just bragging. I don’t send out pics of the Maruchan Ramen Noodles that I’m prepping for my big day.
Equal time for dogs on Super Bowl Sunday
I love dogs. There’s nothing like the companionship of a furry buddy—and I'm not talking about your sister-in-law with the moustache, or your neighbor that really needs to shave his back. But whoever decided it's okay to not only televise a dog show on Thanksgiving, but a fake game with spooked dogs meandering around on a green carpet on this the most sacred sports day of the year, should be spayed and neutered themselves.
Also, what the freak is the Puppy Bowl? Somebody please explain this one to me. The idea of a schnauzer throwing a pick-six, or a Pomeranian punting inside the 20 is, to quote Wallace Shawn from The Princess Bride, “Inconceivable!”. If I want to watch anything doggy style...I’ll put on some old school MTV and watch me some “Gin and Juice” or...never mind.
Extended Halftime and the subsequent entertainment that follows
I hate to bad mouth the Super Bowl that allowed me to actually see Janet Jackson like never before, a bizarre Indiana Jones stunt show and Katie Perry’s terribly uncoordinated “Left Shark”, but this is becoming crappy. Whether it's the outrageously geriatric Who or Rolling Stones making me do nothing but curse the depressing effect of Father Time on once-cool bad-asses, or Beyoncé attempting to make a political statement, it runs far too long and numbs my brain. Three years ago, the show was even more political with Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi being criticized for agreeing to perform. Last year, was just plain bizarre with whatever The Weeknd (yes that’s spelled correctly) was doing. This year, kids will find out just how disturbing it is to witness their parents getting their grooves back.
For the love of John Facenda and everything that’s holy, can we please bring back “Up With People”? Well, that might be pushing it.
The person who never watches sports but complains that athletes get paid too much
I know we should be paying teachers better, helping to feed the homeless instead of paying Van Jefferson so much per year. I get it. But I can't control the spending habits of the Brown Family and the Kroenke’s, and frankly, I don't want to discuss it during the game. When the Red Zone’s a rockin’, don’t come a squawkin’.
Talking about real life
Buddy...I get that Covid and politics are still something that you may be compelled to force your opinion down everybody’s collective throats. I’m sorry that schools won’t put litter boxes in restrooms because your son identifies as a Siamese cat, Uncle Stan lost his spleen, your wife left you for the barista at Starbucks with the man-bun and that Jim from Accounting just stole your promotion. That really sucks. But can we not bring up when Cooper Kupp is loose is in the open field? Real life sucks sometimes and I know we don’t see one another that often, but Jalen Ramsey just ripped out somebody’s larynx. We can Instagram, tweet or do lunch...let’s just not sap my will to live. Joe Burrow is slated to do that in just a few hours.
The amateur color commentator
Also, I should probably mention the Cliff Clavin in the room or on Twitter that brings up little-known facts and stupid bits of trivia that nobody cares about. But I’m that guy and I’m really trying to get that under control...but it won’t be this year.
When somebody puts their kid’s name on a gambling square...and the kid wins
I’m usually the guy pushing the squares and I get where that could be annoying sometimes. But nothing helps a one-sided game more than hoping misses an extra-point so you can win back some frog-skins. Still, there’s always that couple who puts little Cody’s name on a square and that little ‘effer’ wins three quarters in a row, while you pray that your Ford Festiva gets you home to heat up some Ramen for your work Thermos.
Lusting after linebackers...and so on
I get it! Aaron Donald looks yummy in those tight yellow pants, but I don’t need to hear about it or his tight end... and I’m not talking about Tyler Higbee.
Nobody wants to hear your meanderings on how the game is fixed and why the NFL wants either the Bengals or Rams to win. If you’re going to go down this road, then the political conversation is on deck. No! Not today, Frank. Not today.
After a huge play or a big gaffe, nobody wants to hear, ”I told you that was gonna happen. I knew it!”. They also don’t want to hear your Tony Romo impression and predict the next play. Hell, nobody wants to hear Romo do it anymore either. Thank goodness it’s on NBC.
The School Night Exodus
I know little Rory and Chloe have school the next day, but the game is over around ten-ish. It’s one night out of the year, don’t make Dad go home early because they need to be up early for the bus. It’s actually a better learning environment to experience the social experiment that is the Super Bowl. Plus, there’s plenty of life lessons in maneuvering after a late night, If they need that extra hour to comprehend common core math, then an academic scholarship isn’t in their wheelhouse anyways. They can benefit more by having a better social game. Even if you are staying home this year, let them stay up a little longer and watch. Plus, you know that they are just sneaking a device under the covers and watching Outer Banks for the 80th time on Netflix.
So, take my advice and avoid these situations and people. That way you have a fighting chance to enjoy the game.