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Super Bowl 101: Your guide to the 2020 showdown

By: Cami Mondeaux

It only happens once a year. The day is counted down for months in anticipation. No, it’s not New Years — it’s the Super Bowl championship.

Regardless if you’re a football fan, odds are you are probably going to be watching the Super Bowl. Or you’ll be in the same room as someone watching the Super Bowl while you’re more focused on the snacks in front of you and the occasional commercial break.

I see you.

Even if you don’t like football, the Super Bowl can still be a fun time. Getting together with friends to break diets and engage in some friendly competition (and smack talk, obviously) while partying for a few hours is the perfect way to spend the weekend.

So, for all you sport fanatics out there (and those of you that are less-than-thrilled spectators), here are some tips to get the most out of the game:

First things first…

  1. Know who’s playing.

This year, the San Francisco 49ers are facing off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami, Florida. The last time the 49ers went to the Super Bowl was in 2013, but the Chiefs haven’t appeared since 1970. The 49ers have won five Super Bowls with the Chiefs only winning one.

2. Know when the game starts

The game is Sunday, Feb. 2 starting at 4 p.m. MST. Don’t miss the kickoff. Some people consider that the most important part.

3. Understand how the game works, and have a general knowledge of some of the players

For example, the Chief’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes has gotten a lot of attention lately, especially bringing the team back to the Super Bowl in a very long time.

The food

The snackage at your Super Bowl party is arguably the most important aspect of your night. Seriously. Don’t mess that up.

  1. Chips and queso/salsa

A classic. You can never go wrong with tortilla chips and an array of options to dip into. Even if you have nothing else — like a lack in football knowledge — this is where you’ll become your own winner.

2. Potato chips, pretzels, the works

Again, you can never go wrong with a salty snack. Potato chips are practically a staple in the world of watching sports. You can get fancy and go with different flavors — like Doritos Cool Ranch, Hot Cheetos, Lays Sour Cream and Onion — or you can even go classic with plain potato chips and some dip. You really can’t go wrong with providing some options.

3. Pizza… of any shape or size

Seriously. You can go with an actual large pizza from any local pizza shop, you can whip up some Pizza Rolls or pizza bagels — whatever you fancy. But, there’s no denying that there is nothing as unifying as pizza while watching football.

4. Wings with a vegetable tray on the side

This is getting a bit on the fancier side, but a winner nonetheless. Everyone loves a good chicken wing — buffalo, barbecue, or even plain — with some dipping sauce. And, to be able to justify your eating habits for the night, you can throw in a vegetable tray on the side.

Nothing screams ‘I’m sticking to my diet, I swear’ more than a couple celery sticks and carrots on your plate next to your pizza and wings.

5. All the dessert items

Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, you name it. Without dessert, it isn’t a party. Okay, maybe that’s dramatic but seriously: desserts help keep the party going. After the initial pizza and wing eating is over, your guests will need something sweet to hold themselves over as they watch the game.

The commercials

Arguably one of the greatest parts of the Super Bowl are the commercial breaks throughout the show. Some people watch purely for the commercials. And this year, there are rumored to be some of the greatest. Here are a few to keep an eye out for:

  1. Cheetos and MC Hammer

Warning: This song may be stuck in your head for the duration of the game. But, the commercial takes a humorous take on the origin of his hit song. And, it’s obviously relatable because who hasn’t tried to touch something with Cheeto dust on their fingers to realize it’s all in vain?

2. Mr. Peanut

In this commercial, the beloved Mr. Peanut of Planters sacrifices his life and dies. So, why would the brand do this?

In an interview with MSNBC, the brand said they wanted to show how the Internet mourns the death of fictional characters who have become a large part of their lives, pointing to the example of Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame.

The commercial will be followed up with another commercial in the middle of the game that shows the funeral of the beloved legume.

3. Doritos

The Doritos ads are always a fan-favorite and this one may be no different. A humorous play on the popular song “Old Town Road” the commercial depicts a run-down, old Western bar where a cowboy comes in performing a monologue reciting those lyrics.

It’s as confusing as it sounds. But it wouldn’t be a Doritos commercial without the utter confusion.

Sodastream

Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!

Sodastream is playing with a crowd favorite here: Bill Nye the Science Guy. Teasing something big that’s happening, probably whatever their commercial is going to be, this tease makes us excited to see what our favorite science guy is up to.

5. Pepsi

The soda company teased ahead to the halftime Super Bowl show, where Shakira will perform. Of course Shakira’s catchy tunes always cause us to break out in dance, and now it’s finally caught on film.

The half-time show

Again, some could argue this is the greatest part of the night. And this year should be no different.

This year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira fans will unite as the two Hispanic stars perform the halftime show for the first time in both of their careers.

The two won’t be paid for their performance, but will gain a lot of fame as they are added to the limited list of celebrities who have had the chance to perform.

Games to play during halftime… or when you get bored

Let’s be honest. It’s not always the most exciting time. For some, watching the game is a must rather than a want. Regardless, these games are fun for everyone involved — even the most engaged football watchers.

Play during commercial breaks, halftime or during some of the huddles.

  1. Touch or tag football

Why not get in on the fun? During halftime, if sitting still and watching a concert isn’t exactly what you’re into, get outside and get a game going. You’ll already be in the mood to play and it can help you de-stress.

Maybe it will send good vibes and some luck to your team if they’re losing. Just saying.

2. Betting on who wins

This is something you can set up before the game begins. Have all of your guests (who have a bit of a gambling spirit) write which team they think will win, what the final score will be, which players will do the best, etc.

3. Super Bowl trivia

See who is actually a super-fan by asking some history trivia on the Super Bowl championship. You can ask questions in between commercials, during halftime, etc.

4. Don’t say it

This can get competitive, and also tongue-twisting, but it’s fun. Choose a word (or a couple words) your guests can’t say for the duration of the night.

Words like, “football”, “Patrick Mahomes”, “Shakira”, etc.

Choose a punishment if it slips out. It can be doing a cartwheel, smashing a cupcake in your face, whatever.

Once you’ve won… or lost

We all know you have those celebrations ready to go. Here are some ideas if you haven’t taken the time to think about how you’ll rub it in:

  1. Post on Facebook

Okay, controversial. But also, what’s more fun than seeing your friends and family get upset your team won over them? Priceless.

2. Mourn the monthslong hiatus from football

As happy an occasion it can be when you win (and heartbreaking when you lose), nothing quite gets you like when you realize it will be months before you get to watch the sport again.

That hits different.

3. Prepare to hit the gym

Let’s be real. Any New Years resolution you set to not eat junk food was broken tonight. It happens.

Pretend you’re a professional athlete and have to hit the gym to prepare for the next season, like all the other boys do.

4. Victory dance

Because sometimes, you just have to.

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