Bernstein: Watching The Super Bowl Is Hard

By Dan Bernstein–

It takes a year for us to forget that consuming the Super Bowl can be a chore if not handled correctly.

Luckily for you, however, I did not forget, and I am going to make your life easier.

No other sports day is so demanding of the TV viewer. Not the start of the NCAA tournament, which pops you around the country in whiz-bang fashion, cramming your head with action, results and content. Certainly not any other major sport’s title games, which diffuse intensity and significance over the course of a seven-game series.

America’s largest secular holiday brings a level of size and weight to your wall-mounted plasma that requires strategy. The HUGENESS of EVERYTHING going on is something the viewer has to bear, too, and it gets tiring, particularly for a fan with no real rooting interest.

We are reminded at every turn how incredibly important every occurrence is, whether it’s the “crucial” first-quarter third-and-three or the zillion-dollar, thirty-second spot with the creepy, talking babies trying to lure you to a day-trading website you have never thought of using and never will.

Here are some tips for you, if you are trying to care about the game:

— Watch at home, and keep people out of your house. People are stupid and annoying, and some of them look weird and smell bad. They ask dumb questions, make inane comments, and have misguided opinions that they spout unsolicited, in artless, insipid fashion. They drip globs of guacamole on your carpet and use the wrong wine glasses.

— Know the exact, published kickoff time (5:25 CST) and do not turn on your television until then. All pregame is useless, unless your goal is to become bored, impatient and angry. Or if you think you care about any of the players’ various rehabilitations, recoveries or “redemptions” from their addictions, injuries, self-made family dramas, or multiple felonies.

If you cannot keep the TV from going on wherever you are, stay in the coat closet until kickoff. If anybody knocks on the door and asks what’s wrong, say “Nothing. Don’t worry about it.” Then ask politely for them to bring you one of the bacon-wrapped scallops on a toothpick.

— Enjoy the commercials, but keep in mind that they will soon be in mind-numbingly heavy rotation for the remainder of the winter on pretty much everything that you watch. Even the clever ones will recede into the din by spring, and it will seem like the witless ones get the most play. You’d better like farting horses and improperly-calibrated comic violence. And Danica Patrick is just not that hot. Sorry.

— Don’t bet on anything, since you’re probably going to lose. Give that money to a charity, instead. Try this one, for example, for kids with cancer and leukemia:

— Keep your expectations low for the quality of the halftime performance. This year, we’ll be treated to a pop act for the first time since Janet Jackson flashed her boob (causing a cultural uproar powered by politicians and blowhole pundits who are also closeted homosexuals and drug abusers). The Black Eyed Peas have commercialized their hip-hop to the point of proper sanitization, so their simple anthems get a turn. They replace the parade of geriatrics, with their computer-enhanced vocals.

— Remember that there is a second half coming. It’s easy to think you can turn it off after the music, since it’s, like, 8:30 already.

— Don’t eat too much or drink too much. A one-pound bowl of chili or three garlic brats early on in the game will make you logy and distracted, so control yourself, fatty. Nosh a little, sip a little, but stay sharp. You don’t want to have to re-watch anything.

— When the clock hits all zeroes, turn the TV off. If anything noteworthy happens, you can YouTube it tomorrow. Don’t worry — you won’t be the guy at the office on the outside of the latest cultural meme that evaporates by the end of the workday (and ends up in a Leno monologue after it has ceased to be funny).

Print this out and save it. Open it and re-read it as needed next year. Enjoy.

Happy Football.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Watching The Super Bowl Is Hard
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>


More from Dan Bernstein
  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Wow, Dan…quite the humanitarian you are.
    Such a high opinion of “people”.

    I guess I will watch, but I honestly don’t give a sh!t about this SB.

  • Larry

    God I miss the olden days when the Super Bowl was played in the afternoon and half-time was shorter than 1/2 an hour.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      You and me both!
      Excellent comment.
      I need to get up at 4am, so I really don’t feel like staying up late to watch two teams I don’t care about.

  • Gentleman RaRa

    I just realized we’re not too far from the Tournament of Bad. May I suggest a few nominees????

    -Football players on Twitter
    -Crosstown trade talks
    -Callers named Bob
    -Bill Wennington’s Moustache
    -The 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers

    • Paulie B

      -The CBS Website Auto-Refresh Feature

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      -Showbiz Shelly

      • SPAULDING!

        Huzzahs for the shopkeeps!

        Sorry guys, that’s all I got for now.

        hmmmmm, daytrading. I think i’ll try it with a bag of doritos.

        That reminds me. My wife likes Varsity Blue, does not like doritos. She said to me, once:
        “I. don’t want. your doritos.” It’s still funny.

      • Sophist

        I think “Molly rants” is much worse. It’s not much of a tantrum, just smarmy.

      • Gentleman RaRa


        Can we include the Chicago sports soundbytes that have been done to death?

        “The PASSION……the EXCITEMENT…..”

      • Spoon

        Showbiz Shelly needs to go away, and go away fast.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      -Score podcasts.

    • Spoon

      Callers named Bob would be my run away favorite out of that list.

      • Gentleman RaRa

        That nomination would alienate half of B&B’s fan base.

    • Gentleman RaRa

      “Buffalo Wild Weengs”

  • Denver Deadite

    “No other sports day is so demanding of the TV viewer.”

    I know that we Americans think we’re the center of the universe and all, but this deserves the qualifier of “No other American sports day”.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      That’s right….as Mike Nort might say, “One and a half billion Chinamen don’t give a jag-bag about da Sooper Bowl.”

      • Bob Loblaw


      • MIke North

        What’s your favorite Chinaman name?? 312-644-6767 LIGHT EM UP!

  • bronzo

    I liked Dan’s take on the whole Day….Although I find Danica Patrick hot…have you ever seen the picture of her in SI in a bikini??!!

    I’ll leave the party I’ll be attending at half time pick up the kids and watch the rest at home.

    • Spoon

      She like that girl on Seinfeld, that looked hot when the light hit her just right, and very ‘blah’ when it was from a different angle.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        She’s so “meh”. Never has a woman gotten so much mileage out of her looks despite being a ‘6/10’.

        …Plus, she needs to quit following me. When I lived in Rockford, she was in Roscoe. I move out here, she does it a year later. She’s a STALKER!

      • bronzo

        The picture that got me was her lying on her back draped over a car. Great legs and a$$…

        To each his own ….

    • Jay's Insulin Pump

      She is permanently bow-legged. Like she’s riding an imaginary horse all the time.

      She has a semi-cute face and a good body (even though she’s about 4′-7″) as long as she’s not waddling around. But it’s that cute where someone asks you if you think she’s good looking, you can say “she’s cute” instead of “no”.

      Plus she has BORING hair. God, I love great hair.

  • Matt Kirchoff

    I suggest DVRing it. No commercials and watch at your own pace. Wait until approximately 1-1/2 hours after kickoff to start. Take a 15 minute halftime break. Take a walk on the treadmill or outside and think about more important things than the game. Feeling refreshed and grounded head back to the tv for the final 30 minutes. If you do happen to catch up to live tv don’t panic. This would be a great time to check on your kids or pets or call your imaginary girlfriend, whatever the case may be. If you follow these simple guidelines your Superbowl experience can for maybe the first time in your life one absent of regrets.

  • Whiskers

    Super Bowl Sunday is the day us Americans celebrate overindulgence. The perfect American holiday.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Well said.

      Because the game is on so late, I really can’t eat the usual pizza, chips etc. because it might come back to haunt me when I was trying to sleep.
      So we will have an early dinner and watch (some…don’t know how long I will last, maybe half-time unless it is a blow-out..and I could care less about BEP for the half-time entertainment).

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Booyah is so totally full of sh!t for even raising the question of whether Andy Pettite is worthy of the HOF.

    He was a #3 Pitcher in a strong rotation for a strong team.
    He was very good for many years and belongs in the Hall of the Above-Average.

  • Larry

    The Hall of Above-Average thanks to a little help from a friend.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Funny how Booyah didn’t stress that.
      I mean it was only twice…so he says.
      It will be really, really interesting when he takes the witness stand against The Rocket this Summer.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        I propose the “Baseball Hall of Good” be built on Al Oliver’s front lawn.

  • pulseczar

    It wouldn’t post my previous comment even though it said I posted it already so I’ll modify it.

    I’ll be watching none of the SB unless I’m flipping through by chance. Liverpool v Chelsea at Stamford Bridge will be appointment television however.

    Agree about Danica. Rarely, if ever before has someone so barely above average (in almost every aspect- professionally and physically) been so overhyped. You can find hotties anywhere; she barely registers. meh.

    On a side note, I’ve still never knowingly heard a single song by Black Eyed Peas. Or Lady Gaga for that matter. Or Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and a few others. I did hear parts of that horrible ripoff of JJ Fad’s Supersonic by Fergie once or twice.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I’m with you on all counts…except the Liverpool/Chelsea match.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        TOTALLY agree with you LP’s FUPA about this blog.
        The Score blog is the only one I bother with because people can engage in intelligent (and often funny) conversation without mean-spirited put-downs.
        I have learned a lot (especially about hockey last year) from people on this blog and every now and then have changed my opinion based on someone’s well-reasoned arguments.

      • Lou Piniella's FUPA

        Hear, hear.

        I have no interest in watching it this year. I recently got into Rescue Me, and I am currently on Season 5. I’d rather catch up on Denis Leary and his messed-up post-9/11 life.

        Have a happy non-Super Bowl Sunday! Cheers.

        (Also, I don’t always post on here, but I really do appreciate most of the folks on here. There may be disagreements, but at least it’s on an intelligent, non-meathead level. Thanks.)

    • bronzo

      I don’t watch soccer…but I do have 2 daughters 9 and 11 and all they listen to is Bieber, Swift ,Gaga etc. So unfortunately I know that music too well. I’ve tried turning them on the Rolling Stones, Zeppelin , classic rock . But up to this point to no avail.

      I enjoy watching the Super Bowl no mateer who is in it …I have no real rooting interest…I f I had to choose it would be the Steelers


    FOX Sports is pulling out all the stops in hopes of getting you & me to watch the expanded pregame show Sunday. If you really want to see President Obama being interviewed by FOX News Channel’s controversial Bill O’Reilly, see “FOX NFL Sunday’s” Michael Strahan & “Access Hollywood’s” Maria Menounos interview celebrities on rhe “Red Carpet”, sample country star Keith Urban & pop band Maroon 5 performing live and seeing the folks from “TMZ”, it all starts at 1p. If you want to watch all that, knock your socks off. I won’t be watching.

    As for Super Bowl XLV itself, it appears to be a very even matchup between the Steelers & Packers. I give the slightest of edges to Green Bay and their attacking defense being the difference in a 24-20 win. I think Packer CB Charles Woodson’s late pick 6 off Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger wins it in the end and Charles wins the game’s MVP honors as a result of his game-winning interception.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Oh, and for the record, excellent c.r.a.p. of Mayoral-pretender CMB by BevBrew.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Agreed about BevBrew- always fantastic… And as usual, dreck from 10FM. Talk about forcing it.

      I pitched one via e-mail, but it didn’t make it to air. Meh.

  • AnneS

    Good stuff. I apply a lot of these rules to every game. However for SB, It never fails and is my experience there is one dumba$$ who doesn’t know what they are talking about who is louder and dumber than they should be. I say take those people and put THEM in the coat closet.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Excellent Anne…and sooo true!!!

      I gave up on watching the SB in a group.
      I’d say the last time for me was about ten years ago.
      Now, Mrs. Arse and I (technically she is Dr. Arse) will just watch together…though she will read a book during the game and just look up at the commercials.

      • Lou Piniella's FUPA

        I discovered an unbelievable sloppy joe recipe if anyone is interested.

      • AnneS

        I’m waiving the white flag this year. My husband and I will make chili and watch together.

      • JJ

        Yup — my wife and kids are commercial watchers also– the gameboys and coloring books will be out duriing live action. I notice I am doing the same anymore reading getting snacks etc. Most SBs have teams I do not care for, like the Steelers or Pats, or Ravens for example. Also lots of blowouts.

  • Murph

    hey everybody! thank goodness we finally got out of cairo, that place was hell on earth. we’re now about halfway to the house of the family of the woman who allowed me to flee with her from egypt, we’re currently resting, (as it is night time over here), but so far they really enjoy my company, i’ll keep you guys updated on my travels until we arrive in saudi arabia.

  • Harry's Phlegm

    Good stuff today guys and gals! As for me I’m just watching with one friend and about 784,987,746,992 wings nearby.

    Have great (Sun)day!

    • Jay's Insulin Pump

      I’ll bring the napkins. See you Sunday, friend!!!


    The NBA announced its reserves yesterday for its All-Star Game later this month. While 4 Celtics made the Eastern reserves, why didn’t the Bulls’ Carlos Boozer or Luol Deng make it ahead of the Heat’s Chris Bosh? Also, why wasn’t the Timberwolves’ Kevin Love and his double-doubles in points & rebounds good enough to make the Western reserves? I know Minnesota is bad at basketball on the whole, but one has to hope that NBA Commissioner David Stern does the right thing and name Love as Yao Ming’s injury replacement when the NBA holds its midseason showcase at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles February 20th.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Love as Yao is about the most foregone conclusion imaginable.

      Frankly, I’m pretty happy that Boozer wasn’t picked. That’s two less plane rides he has to take, and one less game he has to dress for.

      There was no way Deng was going to get a sniff. His play reminds me of the year Boris Diaw had a couple years ago when Amare Stoudemire was out for the year… balanced, statistically impressive… but it’s a player playing above his head, and if the best he has to offer makes him a “fringe” candidate, then he shouldn’t be in the game.

      Truth is, Noah would have been a lock were he healthy.

  • meesohawnee

    Is Stacey King not the Randy Moeller of the NBA?

    • Jay's Insulin Pump

      Randy Moeller quotes popular culture and makes the game fun. Stacey King is crafting popular culture, he’s making history come alive. Much love to both guys, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day Randy calls a goal and screams out “He scoooorrrrrrrrres!!!! ‘I WANNA GO HIGHER!'” Stacey is getting big as the Bulls are getting big and I love to see both.

      BTW, B&B asked Moeller if he wanted to call a Sox game. I WOULD LOVE THAT. It will never happen.

  • Spoon

    I cant lie. I have absolutely no intention of watching this year’s Super Bowl. I havent missed one since I moved back to Chicago, but I just cant fake an interest this year. I dunno if it’s just a hangover from an season that required far more emotional investment than I had planned at the start, but I just have no football left in the tank.

  • AnneS

    Can I ask what the big deal is with Danica Patrick?

  • meesohawnee

    “Last call” hot may be more appropriate

    • Spoon

      lol… well played.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        I said 1:30 AM because my friends and I have a system… if a woman is legitimately hot, she’s “All Day”- self explanatory. Beyond that, it courses through a typical night out… Next is 10PM… all the way until 2AM, which again, self explanatory.

        It disguises our critiques enough when we’re talking about “what time it is”… Crass? Yeah. So? ;)

        Okay, that’s enough insight into the male mind.

  • AnneS

    “Last Call” hot..niiiice. LoL You guys crack me up. I know Bernsie has said in the past that he thought she was not a big deal.

    I don’t get it either. I also am happy for her for succeeding in a man’s sport but man, enough already.

  • meesohawnee

    and i didnt fully disclose “when” is last call Chris!!
    i guess your at defcon 5 when its “chew your arm off” hot which would be universal?

  • Jay's Insulin Pump

    As long as we’re debating here, Mac & Speegs and B&B were debating the other day about Sarah Palin. I know she’s nothing special, but I love me some hot MILF action. I think she would look unbelievable in a black stockings, garter belt, corset combo. She’s got some long sexy legs, “F me” hair, and that eye wear (can’t say gl@sses? Really?). Plus, if she even considers talking to me, I’ve got something for her.

    ~~ o==3 – SOUND OFF BELOW.

    • Lou Piniella's FUPA

      I never know how to answer these questions. I don’t consider myself unattractive, but there’s no way I could be that kind of guy.

      If I was though, and I met Palin at the bar, I would ask her to come back to my place for a little character development. She can be a deaf-mute and I can be her caretaker. That would be awesome.

      But if she talks, it’s over. I can’t stand her voice. She sounds like those two girls from Fargo, when they were in the bar describing their sexperience to the protagonist.

  • AnneS

    Just thinking about her makes me feel unintelligent. Ugh…

    • Jay's Insulin Pump

      But you would totally tap that, right???

      Seriously though, Anne, you’re a cool chick and I respect your opinion. What do you think about her, looks only?

      • AnneS

        She’s hot. (in a phony sort of way)

      • Jay's Insulin Pump

        Oh, I like that. PERFECT QUALIFIER.

  • AnneS

    oooh, I didn’t realize Keith Urban was doing a pregame show..I might have to tune in for that.

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