Bernstein: Here’s How To Watch The Super Bowl

By Dan Bernstein- Senior Columnist

The following is an updated version of my thoughts from last year, since everything still applies, perhaps more so than ever.

(CBS) A year removed from the experience, we tend to forget that consuming the Super Bowl can be a chore if not handled correctly.

I remember, however, and I am going to make your life easier. Lucky you.

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, and 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 (5:30 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 bizarre celebrity juxtapositions, anthropomorphism, 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. It’s Madonna this year, so perhaps we’ll finally witness the inevitable moment when her overexercised body explodes like an old rubber-band, disintegrating into the air, leaving nothing but a steel bra on the stage. Remember when she used to shock us with her brazen sexuality and blasphemous religious imagery? No? I don’t either. Wait for your kid to accuse her of stealing Lady Gaga’s act.

– Realize 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. Or wait until next year when I tidy it up lazily and run it again. Enjoy.

Happy Football.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Heres How To Watch The Super Bowl

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995, and has been the co-host of ‚ÄúBoers and Bernstein‚Äù since 1999. Read more of Bernstein’s columns, or follow him on Twitter: @dan_bernstein.

The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM (or you can listen online).
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts »

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Larry Horse's Arse

    I don’t watch a minute of the pre-game stuff.
    I sleep in on Sunday morning so that I am well-rested and not likely to nod off.

  • Paul in Wharfedale

    Thanks for your words of wisdom Dan.
    It’s doubtful that I will make it deep into the second quarter as the game kicks of at 11:30pm over here. That may be an advantage this year though as I have no desire to see that halftime show.
    Have fun America!

    • Meatless Meatball

      Weakling! I stayed in a pub in Mid-Wales ’til ungodly hours watching the Cardinals-Steelers game a few years back (and drinking Coors Light, but we don’t have to talk about THAT). Man up, mate!

  • Hugh G Rection

    do whatever you wish on superbowl sunday night maybe even miss everything simply look at your newspaper or computer on monday you’ll be fine


    I cleaned up on squares last year. It was crazy.

    Does Madonna sing the National Anthem? hoooo boy and yeesh.
    I’m this close to the casual drive past this fireworks display. If it’s one sided by half time–click.
    The ads seem very stuff and dowdy from previous superbowls.

  • Victor Locke

    If I can amend something, just don’t watch the halftime show at all. It’s pointless anyway no matter who is performing. Other than that, good writing. One of his better columns.

    • Meatless Meatball

      I missed the wardrobe malfunction whilst doing other things. Never felt like I missed anything at all. In fact, I’m kinda glad I missed it. ‘Cause, y’know, who cares?

  • Historical Prespective

    Betting on the game is a personal matter best approached impersonally. But looking around the group you happen to be in and counting The Afraid To Miss Anythings is right jolly entertainment. It won’t cost you a cent, though it will likely undercut your faith in humanity…in an annually entertaining way.

  • Bernstein: Here’s How To Watch The Super Bowl « CBS Chicago

    […] var fauxfb_template_bundle='113884962005690'; var blog_link='CBS Chicago'; var current_link='Bernstein: Here’s How To Watch The Super Bowl'; var […]

  • Jaz Kelly

    Right on! I look forward to quietly watching the season end at home without the stupid distractions supplied by people who often don;t even like football. Here’s hoping it;s a decent game.

  • Danial Ramirez

    And here I thought that I was the only one who thinks that Madonna is a self promoting pompous ho bag.

  • Blurred Boobies

    Play the following drinking game: Whenever the camera show’s the Manning Family – drink! Then there will be vomit to go along with the globs of guacamole on the carpeting.

  • JBG

    How is the rogaine working for you Dan?

  • Trapezius Milkington

    I got lost after bacon-wrapped scallops….. so… good.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live