The Super bowl is an unofficial American holiday and the worst day of the year for grocery store cashiers. Chips will be dipped, antacids will be longed for, and many a headache will be felt Monday morning. Don't worry about that now, that’s a problem for the future. If you were lucky enough to emerge from the street fight in your friend circle as host, you may have a full plate on your hands and not know what to bring up.
Here are the basics to get you prepared.
Event you are socializing for: Super Bowl LIII, Sunday, Feb. 3 @ 5:30 p.m. Central.
Teams: New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams
This matchup is a rematch from 2002, when Bill Belichick rode a then unknown Tom Brady to defeat The Greatest Show on Turf, when they were an offensive juggernaut in St. Louis, for the first of his five Super Bowl wins. This victory sealed former starter Drew Bledsoe's exit out of town, who would later land in Dallas as one of a myriad of Quarterbacks that bridged Aikman to Romo. Brady is now the old guard at 41 as he stares down the new wave of Rams Quarterback Jared Goff (24) and Head Coach Sean Mcvay (33), who are collectively still younger than sexagenarian Bill Belichick (66).
Location: Atlanta, Georgia. If you were around for the Sportatorium days, you may also know it as Badstreet, U.S.A. It is also acceptable to drop A-Town, Hotlanta, or just ATL in your references but be wary of over-use. An Atlanta-heavy playlist prior to kickoff would help set the ambiance, and be sure to remind your guests that the city hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994, in which the Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills 30-13.
Who to cheer:
I struggle to think of a more likeable ex-Cowboy than the man formerly known as Coach Cupcake. When Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles defense put pressure on Brady, it may be time to remind the room that Phillips is in his 2nd Super Bowl in four years. After getting fired by Jerry Jones in-season in 2010 following a 13-3 regular season, Wade won a championship calling plays for Demarcus Ware in Denver and is back again with L.A. Wade was the last Cowboys coach before Jason Garrett. That seems like a hundred years ago. Maybe it wasn't him, but us? A moot point. This isn't a man looking back.
Tony is living his best life, calling the big game and probably predicting commercials before they air. Someone is going to start the "Tony could still play at a high level" talk, it may as well be you.
A victory over future Hall of Famer and perennial MIGOS reference Bill Belichick may keep pushing the idea of finding the next young coordinator to take over as the conversation piece in your party. The sharks have been circulating Garrett for a while, and he will be coaching in another "put up or shut up" season. Tell your OU Sooner friend that the Cowboys are coming for Lincoln Riley soon. On the flip side, should you see the establishment win against the young upstart, you may push your allegiance to wanting a big name, too. Does Sean Payton still own a house around here or nah?
Who to boo:
Half-time show selection committee:
Travis Scott is a big get, but he's from Houston. Atlanta is a music Mecca with a lonnnng list of accomplished musicians that call it home. It is ludicrous that the show doesn’t have more local representation. Travis Scott has several tracks with MIGOS and Gucci Mane, so there will probably be some crossover, but Maroon 5 shouldn't be headlining in a world where Wade Phillips is dropping references to Future.
This is also a perfect time to send your boss the breadcrumb text that you are starting to feel sick and may not make it in the morning.
There's nothing else to boo, really. Even casual fans can relate to the classic matchup of the decorated veteran against the young challenger. If Los Angeles takes the title, the Dallas Cowboys would have been knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual world champion. If New England wins, it furthers an already insane legacy that is the envy of the league.
As your guests head home and you realize there won't be an NFL game again until September, take solace in the fact that pitchers and catchers report to Surprise on Feb. 12.
Despite the absence of the Dallas Cowboys for the 23rd straight Super Bowl, will you still be tuning into the Big Game? Share your Super Bowl thoughts with Irvin on Twitter @Twittirv.