Tick, tock, tick, tock … The countdown to Super Bowl LII has begun.
In just a few hours, on the first Sunday of February, the NFL (National Football League) will celebrate its 52nd champions.
Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets! Who will win: the New England Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles?
This fanatical day is no longer limited to the United States and is no longer a men only event watched in taverns or remote suburban basements. This sacred Sunday is practiced around the world and entire families watch. Here at home in Canada, you may attend a Super Bowl party, in a living room, a home theater or at your favourite local bar, with family and friends and yes that includes women that are die-hard fans. Focused on the small or, more likely the large or jumbo screen, in communion with spectators throughout the entire planet, you will be watching the last game of the 2017-2018 American football season.
Yes, it’s all about the game but, you will also be witnessing the most-watched concert of the year, the half-time show.
Beyond the score and the superstars, let’s not forget, perhaps you are already licking your lips, the Super Bowl Sunday spread and snacks!
If you are invited to celebrate this global happening, here are some good to know conversation starters, guest dos and don’ts plus chicken wing eating etiquette.
FUN TO KNOW
1. The name
Originally called NFL-AFL Championship Game, the first game took place on Jan. 15, 1967, for the final game of the 1966 season.
According to Super Bowl folklore, it’s Lamar Hunt, a founder of the American Football League and also founder and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, who first used the name Super Bowl.
Inspired by the Super Balls (Yes, the same little rubber bouncy ones that have entertained you for hours) that his children played with, without the intent of officially christening the game, he spontaneously introduced Super Bowl in his correspondence and meetings. The media, along with the fans, quickly adopted it and made it popular.
2. The numbers
The number that follows Super Bowl indicate the championship’s year of existence. They are usually in Roman numerals.
3. The showstoppers
Kelly Clarkson will headline the pregame concert.
Pink will sing the national anthem. And if you plan to sing along with her and the other guests, here are the lyrics.
Justin Timberlake will provide the halftime entertainment. This will be his third performance at the Super Bowl. Contrary to his collaboration with Janet Jackson, don’t expect any wardrobe malfunctions this time around.
WHAT TO DO
4. Ask your host how you can contribute to the get-together, or what you should bring. If your host(ess) has everything under control, bring a host(ess) gift like a football themes serving dish and snacks.
5. Remove your team’s cap during the national anthem. You too, ladies, you are not at the Kentucky Derby.
6. Use your napkin, please. Yes, chicken wings may be eaten with your fingers, but finger licking should be a solitary activity. Nobody wants to high five orange sticky fingers.
7. Follow the chicken wing eating protocol.
I hear you. “What are you talking about, Julie? That’s nonsense.” Yes, it sounds funny but this process is very useful to eat a 100 per cent meat chicken wing. Try it and let me know:
- Locate the large end, the cartilage and remove it.
- Grasp the other end with your other hands’ fingers.
- With your main hand, hold the thinnest bone with your first two fingers and thumb; twist, pull and discard.
- Repeat, with the other wider bone: twist, pull and throw.
For a more elegant, less messy tasting, choose drumsticks only and eat around the bone.
Tip for host(ess): have a container of wet wipes for your guests.
8. Arrange for a safe ride home. Have a designated driver, call a cab or schedule your Uber ride. It’s a fact, year after year, in the hours that follow the Super Bowl, there are road accidents caused by exhilarated, fatigued, angry and drunk fans. Don’t drink and drive. Al fans, no matter whom they rooted for deserve to get home safely to their families.
9. Thank your host when leaving and the next day, on Monday morning; text, email or call.
10. Touch the remote. I repeat and your host(ess) insists — “Do not touch the remote.” It’s the host(ess)’s privilege.
11. Coach the players, unless you’re alone on your couch. Players are listening to their onsite coaches and the other guests want to hear the announcers’ commentary, not yours. Really!
12. Double dip. Once the vegetable, the chip or the nacho (no, not your macho brother-in-law) has been in the dip once, it never goes back. Do you need a reminder of the possibility of contamination? Watch this famous Seinfeld scene. Like the guy says to George: “Just one dip and end it.” The exception is when you have sauce in your individual plate. In that case, dip as you wish.
13. Take pics, don’t tag, tweet or instagram pics of your “deflated” friends. Before posting, do the two fridge test. Your job or your friends’ could depend on it.
14. Call in sick the next day. Don’t even think about it.