Sunday, February 2, 2014

Puck n Beer's Guide to the Really Big Football Game

Today is one of the biggest sports days of the year as the NFL holds its annual championship game.  The Super Bowl... wait, am I allowed to write Super Bowl, or do I now owe the NFL a million dollars?  So, the Big Game almost transcends normal sports and has become a thing that millions around the world gather to watch.

Here's some things for hockey fans to help them understand the subtle differences:

  • The introductions of the teams with each player running out onto the field is to help you adjust to the concept that the individual is more important than the team.  This has recently been ruined by teams running out as a cohesive unit, like they would for every other game except for the lines of cheerleaders, mascots, flags, and pyrotechnics.
  • Every play will be magnified while the commentators trying to put it into some sort of historical contest, much like every. outdoor. game. ever.
  • Like outdoor hockey games, this game is being played outdoors.
  • Football, unlike hockey, has usually held this outdoor game in a nice climates, while the NHL, up to this year, has looked for the most miserable picturesque weather conditions possible.  This year the roles were reversed with California hosting an outdoor hockey game the Super Bowl in New York Jersey, home of the New York Jets and Giants.
  • Another striking similarity between outdoor hockey and the Super Bowl: most aren't actually that good of games but somehow you forget that because of a few interesting plays.
  • When someone starts dancing on the field, and it's not half time, it probably means a relatively unimportant thing has been accomplished, like making a tackle.  Don't worry, this is normal.
  • There's no "retribution" for big hits.  So if a quarterback is annihilated, don't expect someone to rush in and extract revenge.  Football players instead tend to get into each other's faces and yell things, that probably aren't invitations to fisticuffs or to dinner and a show.
  • Much like hockey, football often uses former players for commentators and they're often just as bad.
  • The commentators will frequently make reference to how football players are the toughest athletes in the world.  Don't be offended, as we all know who the toughest athletes are.  Rugby players.  Or bull Riders. Hockey players are still way up there.
  • When a player gets injured, they can not participate in the very next play.  The Boston Bruins were obviously elated that this rule didn't exist in hockey last year.
  • When the championship trophy is brought out, the Commissioner, who may get booed but has a long way to go to get to Gary Bettman's level of being universally despised, hands the quaint little paperweight to the team owner.  This person then hands it to the coach.  Then it goes to a significant player on the team.  Say what you will about hockey as a sport, but it's championship presentation is the best in sports.  Commissioner to team captain followed by lots of guys swearing on national television.
  • A weird thing about the Lombardi trophy - there's a lot of them.  Like each winning team gets a different one.  More oddly, they don't seem to personalize these as much as the unique Stanley Cup, which gets every player's name on it over the summer.  Someone should introduce them to the rogue hockey player who took the base off the cup and, while they were there, wrote their name INSIDE the trophy.  (I think it might have been Brad May, it was talked about on the Marek vs Wyshynski podcast)
  • You'll see players or a coach making a "T" sign with their hands, this is to request a time out.  Each team gets three of these per half and seem to be contractually obligated to use them all, no matter how useless the time spent is.  This time will be filled with commercials, which brings us to:
Here's some things for craft beer lovers to watch for during the commercials: 

  • That yellow fizzy stuff they show in commercials is actually beer.
  • No, it's not really very good.
  • But, apparently, you can't have a good time without it.
  • According to the commercials it comes in two varieties: Watered down Full flavored lager and even more watered down light lager.
  • No ice beers?  Maybe our society has improved.
  • There might be a high alcohol percentage light beer advertised.  This precious metal named 6% beverage, while potent for a light beer, is just like an IPA stripped of flavor.  Or yellow club soda with a little alcohol booster shot.

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