2017 is a time to be alive: a reality TV star is President, virtual reality porn is around the corner, and the Atlanta Falcons are in the Super Bowl. There’s no predicting what else this year might bring. But there are always Super Bowl predictions, and with that there are always college frat boys who bet their parents’ money on football spreads, parties with a nauseating amount of snacks that only America could dream up, and a thrilling game.
Whether you’re a stubborn football fan or just in it for the snacks, everyone can brush up on their Super Bowl party knowledge and etiquette.
Pre-watch party checklist:
- Bring snacks- good ones and lots of them, this is a holiday and no one’s holding back, food comas are mandatory.
- Comfy clothes (see above food comas.)
- A general understanding of if you’re watching with Pats fans, Falcons fans, a mix, snack fans or girls- this largely changes the experience. Lay low until you know.
- Understand who/what/if people are betting. $4.5 billion is expected to be wagered on Sunday.
- Know the spread (-3 Patriots), but there’s bets on literally everything during the Super Bowl- from coin toss (if not obvious this is always 50/50 odds) to what song Lady Gaga will sing first.
- Be ready to sympathize about friends losing with said bets, or brag about winning said bets. I’m not your mom, do as you please.
- UNDERSTAND spreads and betting lines, if you don’t, click here https://sports.bovada.lv/content/nfl-football/spread-betting
- The Teams:
New England Patriots (AFC Champions):
The goliaths of this game, regardless of the fact their quarterback, 4-time super bowl champion Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games this season due to last year’s “Deflategate” scandal. They went on to win 3/4 of these games with back up QB Jimmy Garropolo, even when the back-up back-up QB (Jacoby Brisset) had to play two games due to an injured Garropolo. That’s how good the Patriots are without star QB Brady. A 5th grade flag football player could be their quarterback and they still hold a chance. Coach Bill Belichick is just too good. He’s known to put magic on the field whenever the Patriots play, injuries or not. Belichick is the closest thing to Willy Wonka in NFL coach form, creating the NFL’s top rated defense. However you’ll need to add a lot more sugar and sweets to his media presence as he comes off as a much more grim character in press talks. He’s an old, cold-hearted, grumpy man with no regard for human life when asked frivolous questions by immature reporters, but he’s led the Patriots to seven Super Bowls, and fans will tell you he’s nowhere near done. Patriots do have a common, recurring weakness however- injury. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski has been out for the majority of the season (back), but he’s not alone; nine other players have been marked as injured including linebacker Dont’a Hightower (shoulder) and 87.1% success kicker Stephen Gostkowski (illness).
Coach: Bill Belichick
Last game: 27-16 against the Steelers. Brady played one of his best postseason games ever with 384 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Other players to watch:
LeGarrette Blount, RB: Often overlooked, went undrafted his rookie year, then waived 2/7 NFL years, but he may just now be hitting his zenith. In 2016, he had 1,161 rushing yards (8th best in the league that year) and 741 yards were after contact. He will be a key part in the possible Patriots success. The Falcons have a very young defense, four of their front seven key players: linebackers Vic Beasley, De’Vondre Campbell, Deion Jones and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, are only in their first or second NFL season.
Malcolm Butler, CB: Had one of the most iconic plays in Super Bowl history at Super Bowl XLIX that sealed him as No.1 CB for the Patriots, but earlier that year he was merely a tryout player, not even a free agent. He’s getting exponentially better as he plays, and as grossly often as he plays. Butler played 1,082 defensive snaps in 2015 (98.8 percent), then 1,008 this year (96.7 percent). Watch out for him going head to head with Julio Jones this Sunday.
What’s on the line: Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Patriots have been against each other all season due to Deflategate. This made Patriots fans even more loyal to the team, and have a negative disregard for Goodell. Oh and this would be Brady’s 5th win – sound familiar? (5 golden rings…)
Atlanta Falcons: (NFC Champions)
Besides the endlessly disappointing Cleveland Browns, no one saw the Falcons here at season start. The Falcons are the young bucks this year; they have climbed, crawled and fought their way to get here. QB Matt Ryan has played flawlessly his last two games; throwing 730 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. It doesn’t stop there. Julio Jones may be the closest thing to perfection you’ll find as a wide out, ever. Jones became the only player in league history to have two playoff games with 150+ receiving yards and at least two touchdowns. He only needed five postseason appearances to get there. Unheard of. Besides that, the Falcons have a dual-threat backfield with two of the hottest running backs, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, who play like hungry dogs ready to obtain what they deserve. This duo would be jersey selling money makers on any other team in the league, but are simply overlooked because of the Falcons’ density of talent.
Coach: Dan Quinn
Last game: 44-21 against the Green Bay Packers. A cake walk game with Matt Ryan playing nearly perfect, throwing 392 yards and four touchdowns, and Coleman and Freeman both getting a touchdown.
Other players to watch:
Vic Beasley, OLB: He’s got one important job this game: stop Brady. He’s known for his relaxed demeanor but led the league in sacks this season (15.5). His dad recently passed away and he says he’s playing this game “for him” so expect passion and top performance.
Mohamed Sanu, WR: had his career high 59 catches, four touchdowns and 653 yards in 15 games this season. As a Muslim player, he has also got the media spotlight on him due to the travel ban, but he refuses to answer any questions on it. He’s here to play football, and has no problem reiterating that.
What’s on the line: They crushed the postseason vs the Packers and the Seahawks with a combined score of 80-41 in the two games. The Falcons haven’t been to the Super Bowl in this century and Matt Ryan has never won a Super Bowl title. Bringing a championship win back to the south would be huge for the NFL. The Falcons have a roster of young bucks, with three rookies on starting defense, and each is out for blood.
- Keep your eyes glued to the Super Bowl commercials, they never disappoint and at $5 million dollars for a 30 second spot, who says the best things in life are free?
- If tensions get high, there’s always the puppy bowl
- Eat your heart out, America’s true favorite pastime
- Talk about politics. It’s done, it’s over, and he is your President.
- Be a sore loser, or annoying winner. But again, I’m not your mom.
- Talk about The Bachelor, not the time nor the place to talk about the weirdest show on television. It’s a show about a man dating multiple women that is heavily watched by women who hate men that date multiple women. Nothing makes sense, but the Super Bowl? That makes sense.
And with that, you are ready to “tackle” whatever watch party you go too. Sit back and enjoy, I predict 21-17 Patriots. Madden predicts 27-24. My mom predicts that I haven’t washed my sheets in 2 months. No definite answer on any of these, but Happy Super Bowl!