The Non-Football-Fan's Super Bowl Survival Guide
From weekend getaways to apps for non-bowl TV viewing on your smartphone/tablet, we’ve got football haters covered for LIII.
Certain staff members here at Westchester revealed recently—under the condition of anonymity, of course—that they are not football fans. So, as you might expect, they aren’t too hot on the Super Bowl—not this year, not last, not next. Yup, it’s looking like never.
Which got us thinking, there have to be plenty of readers out there who feel the same, and what kind of magazine would we be if we left them stranded without tips on how to survive (and, if you’re lucky, escape) game day? So, this is for you, football non-fans. Here are the to survive the dreaded big game.
This is perhaps the most severe Super Bowl avoidance tactic there is short of leaving the state/country/etc., and thus should only be used under extenuating circumstances. To accomplish this effectively, you must have no shame whatsoever in feigning a 24-hour illness (or longer—your choice).
In case you’ve never done this before, here are are some suggestions on how to convince loved ones that you’re ill:
Saturday evening: Begin reporting symptoms of a scratchy throat and ask, “Anyone else freezing in here?” Follow with a shiver and a grimaced, painful-looking swallow. Scatter questions throughout the evening like, “who had the Zicam last?” and, “where is our ibuprofen?” If anyone asks whether you’re getting sick, reply back that you “better not be” because “the big game’s tomorrow.”
Sunday: Now you’re free to embrace the illness—it came on full-force while you slept, right? If you’re comfortable doing so, affect a fever using hot water and a standard thermometer. Assemble a miniature pharmacy-sized collection of medicine bottles on the bedside table. And when hubby/wife/whoever offers to get started on the cooking, take him or her up immediately with an exasperated “thank you” and explain that some extra time to sleep “should get you ready for the big game.”
Game time: You have a couple of options here. Not getting out of bed, leaving the lights off, and thereby daring someone to wake you is one. Another is to express deep remorse that you’re too ill to make it to the game’s events.
If all goes well, you'll get something like this:
If you absolutely cannot escape Super Bowl party obligations, this year’s commercial roundup is worth looking forward to. Check AdAge for their ongoing coverage of Super Bowl commercials. Old hands like Budweiser join companies making their Super Bowl debut this year. The halftime show is sure to be … something, as everyone tunes in to see if headliners Maroon 5 and special guests Travis Scott and Big Boi (of Outkast) actually sing a song from SpongeBob. Yes, really.
You can shamelessly smartphone your way out of the any football-watching situations, too. Aside from the news and a whole Twitterverse of half-time hot-takes, you can watch pretty much anything from your smartphone if you have the right apps. Here’s a list of Apps for TV Lovers to get you prepared. Also check out PC Magazine’s 100 best Android and iPhone apps to bury your face in during the game; Or, put your headphones on and listen to podcasts like NPR’s Invisibilia or The Moth, or some touching and possibly creepy narrative fiction and nonfiction from Night Vale Presents.
Change The Channel
If you don’t want to watch Mad Men again while your friends and family are off watching the game, there's plenty to watch instead of the Super Bowl. Standbys like the Puppy Bowl are on the list, along with its feline counterpart the Kitten Bowl. If animals aren’t your thing, the USA network is showing its traditional Law and Order SVU marathon. If you’ve sworn off cable for Netflix, check out their original programming like the easily-binged and Westchester-based adult cartoon series Big Mouth, or catch up on the latest season of Black Mirror to confront our own inability to walk away from communal media events.
Get Away Entirely
Are all your acquaintances immersed in Super Bowl madness? Pamper yourself alone at one of the county’s many fabulous spas and health centers, or check out past Best of Westchester winners if you're finding it hard to choose.
Juliana Perciavalle contributed to this article.