IT’S PRETTY EASY to spot NFL fans on the way to work on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings between August and February.
They are the ones with the bags under their eyes, the mug of triple espresso in each hand and, possibly, two odd shoes.
I know, because I’ve been there.
However, come Monday, February 4, a lot of non-regular NFL fans will probably be joining us in watching Super Bowl XLVII and won’t have any idea how to survive a game that will only end when most people are more than half-way through a full night’s sleep.
With that in mind, here are the top five tips I’ve picked up along the way and have helped me survive late night games and still mange to write a 1,000 word opinion piece before 11am the next day.
1. Watch with friends
Your friends don’t have to be Ravens fans like this lot.
(C) GAIL BURTON/AP/Press Association Images
Friends are great aren’t they? They pick you up when you’re down, cheer you on when you’re doing well and constantly tweet you reminders of how rubbish the NFL team you support is. They’re also great for watching the game with as you can chat away during the seemingly endless ad breaks.
2. Pick a team
The Harbaugh’s parents probably won’t pick a team but you should.
(C) AP/Press Association Images
Even if you don’t have a team or, you do but their season has been over since October, it’s still better to have someone to root for in the Super Bowl than watch dispassionately. This year, you get to choose between the emotional roller-coaster that is Ray Lewis’ extended retirement party and the run-slinging kid from the City by the Bay in Colin Kaepernick. I know who I’ll be cheering for, so should you.
3. Food is fuel
Food is good, though probably not this much.
(C) Alex Brandon/AP/Press Association Images
Energy drinks and coffee might seem like a great idea when your eyes start drooping at 2am, but remember you probably have to be in work at 9 so you want to be able to sleep once the game is over. With that in mind, make sure you have plenty of snacks to hand. And remember, this only happens once a year for some of you so they don’t have to be healthy snacks.
4. Become Nate Silver
Ray Lewis looking ultra-focused for a change.
(C) Patrick Semansky/AP/Press Association Images
Okay, you probably don’t have to go that far but keeping track of the statistics is a great way to fight the tiredness if you have to watch a game on your own. Ignore the obvious stuff like time of possession or a quarterback’s completion percentage. Instead, count the number of times Ray Lewis is referred to as inspirational or how often Phil Simms contradicts himself. The over/under for both is probably 10.5.
5. Stay engaged
Tweet a picture of the awesome food you made for tip 3.
(C) LM Otero/AP/Press Association Images
Again, even if you are on your own, there are a huge number of NFL fans in Ireland and around the world waiting to discuss the game. Get on Twitter and start talking to them. You’d be amazed at how much more enjoyable it can make a game, especially during the breaks. However, it is easy to lose focus on the Super Bowl itself this way, so maybe limit yourself to social media during ad breaks or after huge plays.
Any other advice for helping non-regular NFL watchers staying awake? Let us know in the comments below.