#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s According to Adam
Statistically speaking, if you’re reading this website, you’re a human being who is alive and has some kind of worldly knowledge. If that’s the case, then you probably know there’s a pretty big football game being played on Sunday — and no, I’m not talking about Lingerie Bowl VII.
The Indianapolis Colts will face the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV (or 44 for the Roman numeral-challenged). Across the country millions of Americans will gather at parties to watch this game, and you, the sexy, happening, socially-capable modern nerd, might find yourself at such a party despite a complete lack of football knowledge.
That’s where your good buddy Adam comes in (and no, Adam isn’t the kind of guy who normally refers to himself in the third person, and he promises not to do it too often in this column). I happen to be even more well-versed in all things football than I am in the minutiae of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. I own multiple jerseys for every NFL team and I have 39 of the previous 43 Super Bowls in their entirety on my iTunes Library.
So I’m here to help you survive Super Bowl Sunday.
First things first: the Super Bowl audience consists of more non-football fans than football fans. It’s an event more than a game, so don’t feel the need to verse yourself in the meanings of a skinny post, a crackback block or the Wildcat formation.
What you should know is that the Colts are the team in blue with the white helmets. They are considered the “favorite” in the game, which means the bookmakers in Las Vegas believe they are more likely to win (there are actually more complexities to what being the favorite means, but that goes beyond football into the way legalized gambling works to maximize profit for the casino, which is a nerd lesson for a different day). The Colts won the Super Bowl just three years ago, and have generally been one of football’s best teams for the last decade. Their best player is quarterback Peyton Manning, who you may recognize from his commercials for DirecTV, Sprint, Sony, MasterCard, Gatorade, Wheaties, Reebok, Oreo and every other company that’s ever aired a commercial ever.
The Saints will be wearing white jerseys and gold helmets on Sunday. They were historically one of the NFL’s worst franchises, but had an incredible season this year, led by quarterback Drew Brees. Unlike Manning, Brees is not the most famous player on his team. That honor falls to Reggie Bush, who isn’t actually as good as Brees but has the good fortune (or misfortune, depending on your perspective) of dating reality TV “star” Kim Kardashian. You are guaranteed to see Kim almost as often as you see Reggie this Sunday.
“uh, Hi Kim.”
I could go on and on about actual football background, listing statistics and historical trends, but trust me, it’s not going to help you on Sunday. If you’re not a football fan, you’ll stand out like a sore thumb if you try and engage in meaningful football conversation. The best advice I can give you is to gauge the sentiment of the room early on and figure out who the majority of people are rooting for. Support that team. The game is more fun if you’re winning or losing along with everyone else. You’ll be surprised how quickly you get invested in what’s happening even if you don’t understand it.
Some of the football fans may try and strike up a conversation with you (particularly if you’re a hot nerd like the proprietor of this site), so just keep it simple. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know. Men claim they hate trying to teach women about football, but really, men like any opportunity to show their superiority at anything, so don’t try and fake your way through a football conversation.
But, on the other hand, don’t be that person who’s sitting there watching the game and asking “what just happened” or “who’s that” or “why are they all yelling at that guy in the striped shirt”. Think about when you’re watching “Star Wars” with a non-nerd and they’re constantly asking about everything, or even worse, criticizing every little thing about the movie. That’s pretty annoying, right? Well, that’s how football fans feel about overly asky non-football fans on Super Bowl Sunday. Especially if they ask why the NFL uses Roman Numerals instead of regular numbers, mostly because no one knows — the only things on the planet that still use Roman Numerals are Super Bowls and Rocky movies. “Rocky V! That was the fifth one. So, Rocky five plus Rocky two equals…Rocky VII! “Adrian’s Revenge”!” (one truth: both nerds and football fans love Simpsons references).
Finally, under no circumstances should you utter the phrases, “I just watch for the commercials” or “I’m more excited for the halftime show”. You’ll be shouted out of the room faster than you can imagine, even by other people that share that sentiment. It’d be like me going to fashion week, sitting front row by the runway and saying “I’m only here for the boobs.” The fashion people would not be pleased. So come Sunday, don’t be the boob person.
February 4, 2010