Unless you've been living in a bomb shelter for the past few weeks, you know what’s happening Sunday, February 2. The marquee will read Super Bowl XLVIII in the Meadowlands and we'll all bear witness to what should be an incredible matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.
While these two teams have spent some time studying game tape, running wind sprints and implementing complex playbook schemes, NFL fans across the country have been making plans for how to watch the game.
The annual Super Bowl party isn't just another social gathering; it's a celebratory event rivaled only by New Year's Eve and Christmas. It's one of the few Sundays of the year when it's socially acceptable to disregard Monday's occupational obligations, drown yourself in alcohol and yell at your relatives and friends in the name of two professional sports franchises you probably don’t care about.
Check out the five people you'll likely see at your Super Bowl party this year:
1. The Bookie
This is the guy who recklessly puts his economic existence on the line for the game. Everything from his future children's college tuition to his monthly rent is put in jeopardy prior to kick-off.
While the rest of the partygoers are engaging in lighthearted banter regarding their jobs or coursework, The Bookie is dripping with sweat and clinging to the armrest of the sofa like a driving instructor navigating a 16-year-old through a congested intersection during rush hour.
The Bookie lives and dies by the spread and would peddle his soul to Vegas for a couple extra points on the under. He will (and probably has) bet on everything from the time duration of the National Anthem to what color doormat will greet his arrival to the party.
2. The Pessimistic Dinosaur
This is the miserable older dude who no one wanted to invite and who didn't want to come himself, but attended the party anyway. Although he is rigidly opposed to the concept of communal enjoyment, he makes sure to purchase real estate in the best living room seat so he is constantly in the prime location to ruin the game for everyone else.
The Pessimistic Dinosaur is always the first person at the party to indicate why contemporary football is flawed and how it isn't the hard-nosed display of competitive engagement it used to be. Throughout the game, The Pessimistic Dinosaur insists on downplaying the increased emphasis on player safety, continuously referring back to instances of his personal football career (which ended during his junior year of high school).
Look to him for an assortment of insufferable one-liners like, "Today's NFL is watered down," "There's no such thing as defense anymore," or "Back in my day, injuries were part of the game."
3. The ESPN Correspondent
This guy is armed with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from some obscure school in the Midwest, as well as a profusion of clearly-rehearsed soliloquies intended to delineate anything and everything that has, or might occur during the duration of the game.
He's also the guy with whom you don't want to argue unless you're prepared to be verbally mauled with a statistical breakdown explaining the Broncos' inability to defend curl routes in zone-coverage against NFC teams on 2nd down during the 3rd quarter of games where the weather dips below 40º will be the deciding factor in Sunday's matchup.
The ESPN Correspondent has committed the last decade of his life to reading through sports sections, configuring complex fantasy football trade proposals and refusing to demonstrate even the slightest sense of interest in members of the opposite sex. To the ESPN Correspondent, breathing comes second to 3rd down conversions.
4. The Appetizer Conglomerate
Although the 62-inch flat-screen LED television anchored on the wall in the living room will feature two of the most mentally disciplined, physically gifted and psychologically robust collections of athletes within our solar system, it most likely won't showcase the most ferocious display of competitive nature this upcoming Sunday.
Although Thanksgiving Dinner is the most obvious recipient of the Most Extraordinarily Delicious Meal of the Year award, Super Bowl Sunday posts an impressive spread. The reason for this is the collective contributions from The Appetizer Conglomerate.
Although most Appetizer Conglomerates will insist that they are attending the party for the socially vibrant atmosphere, the only real factor in the decision to attend is to showcase some amazing buffalo chicken dip.
For some reason or another, every earth-dwelling individual equipped with bipedal locomotion (and usually a vagina) has a personal buffalo chicken recipe. Although every recipe is absolutely amazing, only one can be crowned best at the buffet. Appetizer Conglomerates will troll the table to keep tabs on how much of their dip has been consumed compared to other bowls at the table.
5. The Drunk
This is the guy or girl who routinely manages to have the most fun at social gatherings. The Drunk is incapable of grasping the concept of "social drinking" because "casual" isn't a term that exists in his or her vocabulary. When The Drunk hears that beer and wine are in the fridge, he or she inherently accepts it as a challenge to overflow your recycling bin with empties.
This person drinks at rate that increases with every passing touchdown or fumble recovery. Also, you can expect this person to forget the score of the game on such a frequent basis that it's nothing short of impressive.
By the way, this person probably drove to the house, so find his or her keys and place a courtesy pillow on the linoleum floor of the bathroom because the last thing you want is for him or her to wake up with a stiff neck on top of an inevitably raging hangover.