1. Step One: Pick A Team
This is important. If you’re going to fake your way through this party, you’re going to need to choose a side. And furthermore you’re going to have to have a reason you’re supporting that team. Here are some sample reasons you can give that will make your support seem legitimate, but also end the conversation so that you don’t get tripped up by a follow-up question. (If someone asks a follow-up question pretend to feel your phone go off and take the call. Answer it as though it is your father calling to talk to you about the game.)
Reasons for supporting the 49ers:
• “My dad grew up a 49ers fan.”
• “They’re one of the greatest franchises in all of sports.”
• “The whole way the Ravens left Cleveland just rubs me the wrong way.”
• “Ray Lewis totally killed that guy.”
Reasons for supporting the Ravens:
• “My grandpa grew up a Colts fan.” (Trust me on this one. The Indianapolis Colts used to be in Baltimore. Surviving Colts fans make for die-hard Ravens fans.)
• “It’s Ray Lewis’ last shot at it. I want him to go out on top.”
• “After the anti-gay stuff, I just can’t pull for the Niners.”
• “The Ravens are hot. They have the momentum. And they’re fun to watch.”
2. Step Two: Follow Other People’s Leads
Okay, so now you picked a team. Great! The next step is to find a few people who you know are also supporting that team and watch the game near them. When they cheer, cheer. When they get mad, get mad. It’s a simple but effective way to fake it.
3. Step Three: Use Key Phrases
This is probably the toughest step, because it will rely on a little bit of context from the game itself but I’m going to try to make it as simple as possible. Situations are in bold, what you should say is in italics.
Your team’s quarterback (the guy who starts offensive plays) gets tackled behind his lineman.
We’ve got to give him some time!
The other team’s quarterback completes a big pass.
We’ve got to put pressure on him!
Your team’s receiver gets hit and drops a pass.
Pass interference! (Note: It does not matter if there actually was pass interference on the play. As long as you say this immediately and with frustration, people will accept it. If you’re wrong, it’s written off as passion.)
The other team’s running back runs the ball for a big gain.
Did we forget how to tackle?
Your quarterback throws a deep pass that hangs in the air for a long time.
Standing up Come on… Come on… Come on… (And then react either positively or negatively based on the result. Remember, follow other people’s leads.)
The other team’s quarterback throws a deep pass that hangs in the air for a long time.
Standing up No… No way… No way… (And then react either positively or negatively based on the result. Remember, follow other people’s leads.)
The game goes into overtime. (Note: The announcers will talk about it. It’ll be hard to miss.)
Ugh. I hate the new overtime rules. Why can’t we just do it like college football?
Any time there is a big hit and a player takes a minute to get up.
God, we have to do something about concussions.
If you’re not sure what’s happening, but it’s clear something bad has happened for your team.
What are we doing?!
If you’re not sure what’s happening, but it’s clear something good has happened for your team.
There we go! There we go!
AND REMEMBER… If anybody asks a follow-up question, pretend your phone vibrated, answer it and say, “Yeah, Dad. I saw it. I know. I know!”
4. Step Four: Party Etiquette
You’re pretty well on your way to pulling this thing off. But here are some tried and true ways to seem like you know what’s up.
• Every once in a while, shush people during the game, if the noise gets loud. Don’t hammer it too hard, or people will think you’re really intense about it, which will most likely lead to someone wanting to have an in-depth football conversation with you. DANGER. But if you do it sparingly, you’ll fit right in.
• Don’t pay too much attention to the commercials. Use commercial breaks to get food and drinks and catch up with friends. This allows you to break away when the game comes back and rush back to the TV, which is a great looking move.
• Seem disinterested by the halftime show, but mention how it’s better than the talking head bullshit on regular Sunday halftimes. Don’t hammer this too hard. It’s a fine line. Everyone loves to pretend to hate studio halftime shows.
5. Step Five: Bet
Keep it simple, but you are definitely going to want to bet. Even finding someone to bet you $20 on who wins will do. But the simplest way is to get in on the betting squares.
These are betting squares. Most Super Bowl parties will have them. All you have to do is buy a square or two (the price will depend on your party) and write your name in the squares you buy. Before the game, whoever is running the squares will write numbers along the sides (as you can see above). That gives your square coordinates. For instance, my name (Jack) is listed above at Ravens 1 - Niners 1. That means that I will win the money if the game ends with a score like 31-21. The goal is to have the coordinates of your box properly line up with the furthest right digits of the final score (some parties also do smaller prizes for the score at the end of each quarter). So using the above squares, if the Ravens beat the Niners 23-19 or the Niners beat the Ravens 19-3 or any other score occurred where the last digit of the Niners’ score was a 9 and the Ravens’ was a 3 , then Sally would win the pot. But don’t act like you care too much about the bet. Gambling, but still watching the game as though the bet isn’t the only thing you’re thinking about makes it look like you know and care about football.
7. Step Six: The Respected Opposition
A great way to seem like you know what’s going on is to pick a player from the team that you are not supporting and when he does good things, you say good things. The respected opposition will further sell your legitimacy.
Here are some samples to use.
If you are supporting the Ravens:
“He may be killing us, but how can you not like watching Colin Kaepernick play football? He’s fast. He’s exciting. He’s good for the league.”
If you are supporting the 49ers:
“I can’t believe this is it for Ray Lewis. You know I’ve never been a fan, but he’s one of the best to ever play in the league. It’s cool his last game is the Super Bowl.”
8. Step Seven: The Secret
If you look back through this post, you will find a common theme in many of the sample lines of dialogue to use. The words “we” and “us.” This is crucial. Pick your side and then ride the first person plural for all it’s worth. I know it may seem dumb, but it’s key. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation about one of my teams where I didn’t at some point say “we.” If you’re feeling really brave, call attention to it in a self-deprecating way.
For instance: “We have got to find a way to get to the quarterback… Ugh. I say ‘we’ like I’m out there.”
It’s tricky, and you may feel like it calls too much attention to yourself, but if you feel comfortable going for it, it’ll go along way to selling the lie.