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How to look like a football pro (even if you’re not), come Super Bowl Sunday

A couple watches TV.
A couple watches TV. (Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels)

Even for those who aren’t huge football fans (or don’t care for the game at all), hanging out and watching the Super Bowl can still be a lot of fun.

Whether you’re chilling at home with your significant other, or you’re at a (socially distanced) party, it might behoove you to know a few things going into the big game.

So if you’re not a football fanatic, but you want to get by without anyone knowing that, here are a few things to do before Super Bowl LV.


Educate yourself about the game.

Football can be a bit confusing, but pay attention -- this video lays it out in simple terms (and it’s only a little more than 1 minute long, so it’s quick and easy to understand!).

Know the key players (or at least a few).

We’ll give you some chunks of knowledge to save you some time:

Some of the most important players on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are:

  • Tom Brady -- quarterback. He’s widely recognized as the greatest of all time, aka the GOAT. He spent 20 years with the New England Patriots and is now wrapping up his first year with the Bucs at the Super Bowl. This will be the 10th time Brady has played in the big game. He has taken home six championship rings.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul -- defensive line. He was a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. But the more interesting tidbit about the guy is this: In a 2015 fireworks accident, Pierre-Paul blew his right hand apart. Ultimately, he ended up having all of his index finger and part of his middle finger amputated. He shocked many by making it back to the game and performing exceptionally well, despite his injury.
  • Ndamukong Suh (pronounced uhn·daa·muh·kuhn soo and sounds like this) -- defensive end. He started his NFL career in 2010 as the second overall draft pick, and went to the Detroit Lions. In the years that followed, he proceeded to play for the Miami Dolphins, the Los Angeles Rams and now Tampa Bay.
  • Mike Evans -- wide receiver. Evans recently set an NFL record, earning seven straight 1,000-yard seasons to start a career. Until this year, he had never been to the playoffs.
  • Rob Gronkowski, aka “Gronk” -- tight end. He came out of retirement to play with Brady this season, and many consider him to be the best tight end in the league.

On the Kansas City Chiefs, the key players are:

  • Patrick Mahomes -- quarterback. A lot of football veterans and pros are keeping a close eye on Mahomes, who some say is right on the heels of Brady as being one of the best quarterbacks in football history. He’s still relatively new to the league, hails from Texas and is well-respected by his coaches and peers.
  • Travis Kelce -- tight end. His brother, Jason Kelce, plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. Jason won the 2018 season Super Bowl, just one year before Kelce went on to win in the 2019 season. In Jason’s win, the Eagles beat the Patriots for the championship. If Chiefs were to win this year, Travis and his brother will each have a Super Bowl win against Brady -- not an easy feat.
  • Tyrann Mathieu -- safety. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the beginning of his career and suffered a slew of injuries before going to Houston. There, he revitalized his career for one year before heading to Kansas City.
  • Tyreek Hill -- wide receiver. The Chiefs drafted Hill despite reluctance from many. He’s now one of the fastest players in the NFL and is referred to as “the cheetah.” He has some ridiculous stats related to his touchdowns of 30 or more yards.
  • Dan Sorenson -- safety. He’s not necessarily a standout, but he’s one to watch because he comes up with timely plays when the team needs them the most. Sorenson was involved in several big moments in the 2019 playoffs.
  • Chris Jones -- defensive tackle. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the second round in 2016. He’s known to be a stellar player and is known to many as the heart of the front line.

Have some general knowledge about the teams, and perhaps a few trivial bits.

Each team has a story, but the two teams competing in this year’s Super Bowl have a lot to talk about.

We’re not going to send you on a wild goose chase, so pay attention: We’ll give you these tidbits to tuck in your back pocket for casual Super Bowl Sunday conversation.

Bucs

  • This is only the second time the Bucs have been to the Super Bowl. However, the last time they were there -- on Jan. 26, 2003 -- they went home with a win against the Oakland Raiders.
  • Antonio Brown, a wide receiver for the Bucs, had basically been blackballed from the NFL, after numerous accusations of sexual assault. He had been cut from the Patriots, but Brady fought to have him on the Bucs, and it worked out. At one point, Brady had even taken Brown into his home to help.
  • This is the first time in the history of the NFL that one of the teams going to Super Bowl will also be hosting the big game at its home stadium. And it’s totally random, because the location is determined by the league about four years in advance.

Chiefs

  • This is just the third time the Chiefs have made it to the Super Bowl -- and the second time in two years. Before last season, in which they won the big game, the team hadn’t been to the Super Bowl in 50 years.
  • Chiefs fans hold the world record for loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium at 142.2 decibels. The record came when the Chiefs were playing against the Patriots and the defense sacked Brady in September 2014.
  • The Chiefs played in the very first Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers. The game was played in Los Angeles in front of just 61,000 fans (which is relatively small by today’s standards, pre-COVID-19). The Chiefs took home the win, 35-10.

Pay attention.

To the commentators, the people around you and the game. You might be surprised how much you can pick up on, how quickly you learn about the game and how much you might come to like it.


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