If you're like me, you only watch the Super Bowl for four reasons: the celebrity-laden, flashy advertisements, the over the top halftime show, the luscious and delicious themed food, and the ability to tell your grandchildren, "I watched football before the players were forced to play inside giant hamster balls for safety reasons." Nonetheless, there is something to be said for the collective yelling and foaming at the mouth that occurs at sports bars, or in any rooms with more than two passionate football spectators. There is nothing worse than feeling emotionally detached in a highly charged sports environment, which is why I am offering all half-hearted Super Bowl viewers a guide to choosing their team. There is nothing wrong with jumping on a bandwagon, as long as you make an informed choice and stick to your fair-weather guns. Once you've made your decision, it would be the height of flakiness to start trash-talking the other team after halftime. You will go down with this ship, and you will have a great time doing it. And now, without further ado, here are the key steps to making what is quite possibly the least important decision of your life.
Check your regional loyalties
If you live within one hundred miles of Seattle or Denver, your choice is clear. Here is a map of the United States, in case you need help. If you live in Twin Falls, Idaho, flip a coin.
As for East coasters and other distant viewers, consider your second and third tier connections to these cities. Do you have a great-aunt in Denver? Does your manicurist know a guy in Seattle? Have you ever watched Portlandia? The more obscure the connection, the more satisfying it will be to explain your loyalty to your invested friends.
Consider the color palette
Do you look better in warm or cool colors? Autumn or spring? Or, in this case, the steely silver and green of the Seahawks or the flesh-eating orange of the Broncos? Check your closet to see which pieces would work with each color scheme. Either way, you've got blue to work with. And if you want to truly turn some heads, you can create a mash-up of both team colors. This, of course, defeats the purpose of trying to select a team, so only choose this option if you plan on reading in a side chair while everyone rants and raves. Or if you are an iconic building.
Taste the themed food
When in doubt, vote with your stomach. Sample all the snack foods out there, from Seahawk Wings to Bronco Buffalo Sauce. Let the melange of flavors sort out your loyalty for you, and leave room for emotional eating if your team loses (or, for that matter, if your team wins). In addition, you should select a team based on food if you will be cut off for rooting for the other team. This could end friendships, but again, it's the Super Bowl. Stranger things have happened.
Rate the quarterbacks
Is Peyton Manning your cup of tea? Do you wake up to a steaming mug of Russell Wilson? If they were running against a John F. Kennedy look-alike in the next election, which of the two stands a better chance of winning? The practice of determining loyalty based on facial symmetry is a long-standing American tradition. Do not be ashamed.
Russell Wilson is looking dapper here with the NFC Championship trophy. Go Seahotties!
In one of my favorite Saturday Night Live clips of all time, Peyton Manning shows off his paternal instincts as he instructs kids on everything from stealing cars to snuffing snitches. Bronc-oh yes.
Are you a people-pleaser or a misanthrope?
At the end of the day, you need to consider the crowds at whatever parties you will be attending. If the majority of the crowd roots for the Broncos, it will take a strong stomach to show up decked out in Seahawks regalia. If, however, you enjoy taking a stand and going against the grain, this is the perfect opportunity to irritate your friends. The more inaccurate or inane references to football, the better. There is nothing more infuriating to a die-hard fan than a bandwagoner who doesn't even have a grasp of the game. To play up this trope, drop comments like, "I liked it when the man did the thing with the ball," and "Does Watership Down come after the third down?" Alternately, your job as a fair-weather fan who joins the majority is to sit down, eat your chips, and yell when everyone else does.
Ultimately, you're here to have fun. You can follow these rules or make up your own, but as long as you make a choice, you're sure to come away with a full heart and an even fuller stomach.
Image: Fox Sports; Googlemaps; Instagram/@dangerusswilson