The idiot’s guide to Superbowl XLVIII

Staying up tonight to watch the Superbowl? Don’t have a clue what’s going on? Check out our Idiot’s Guide to the Superbowl.

The Superbowl gets bigger and bigger every year, with more and more British fans of this ‘futuristic rugby’ deciding to stay up late on a Sunday night to partake in oversized shirts, nachos and fourth downs.

If you feel like you want in on the fun, head to your nearest Superbowl Party and use this straightforward guide.


Bunch of helmets: Expect to see lots of this sort of thing

Right then, the sport is called ‘Football’ despite very little actual foot action. The Superbowl is basically the Super League Grand Final for those who like their rugby a lot less free-flowing.

On Sunday, Denver will play Seattle to see who is the best at throwing ball into an ‘endzone’ for a ‘touchdown’. Much like rugby, after every touchdown there’s a pointless ‘kicking it through the posts’ bit that’s basically irrelevant.

If you’re a novice, pick the team that’s winning and occasionally remark how they are ‘managing the clock’ very well or are making ‘good yardage’. Usually the only one you see actually holding the ball is the ‘Quarter Back’, he’s the guy who does all the throwing.

Knowing the Teams

Denver being where bronchitis was invented, its football team is the Denver Broncos. Or it might have something to do with horses… The Seattle Seahawks name is obvious – early in the 20th century a hawk was knocked into the ocean by a stray pass from then Seattle Quarterback Woodrow Wilson.

Unlike proper sports like football and cricket, American Football consists of players you’ve never heard of unless they’re on trial for something. The man to watch is Denver’s Peyton Manning, who looks like the sort of bloke who gets kicked out of Halo before midnight. He’s actually very good apparently, so make sure you remark on how it’s “all down to Peyton” now and again.


Last year Beyonce delayed the second half of the game after her performance was followed by a lighting failure in the stadium. So Half-time is usually the best bit, as you are more or less compelled to snack on chicken wings, nachos, crisps (any non-American who calls them ‘chips’ should be told to leave there and then).

This year’s half-time show features Bruno Mars, so feel free to treat half-time here like you would at a football match and go and get a pie or go to the toilet. You won’t miss anything good, unless actual grenades are involved.

Watching It

Students generally don’t mind staying up late, but this could be tricky if you have lectures on Monday morning. With the game going on into the early hours of the morning, get some much-needed shut-eye at every break in play (there’s loads).

You can make a night of it and go to Shooters, Carpe Diem, The Elbow Room or Mojo – all of which are showing the Superbowl and may have some drinks deals on. If you’re new to the sport, drink may be essential (perhaps a super fish bowl?), so create a drinking game around how many times there’s an action replay of nothing really interesting happening.