When I was a kid, my father used to get so upset yelling at bad calls and missed balls during the college bowl games that he finally had to stop watching them for fear of giving himself a heart attack. So it is safe to say that I grew up with an unreasonable fear of televised football, because WHO KNOWS? IT MIGHT KILL YOU.
Still, I am a wee bit envious of people who look forward to Super Bowl Sunday. Especially women who know what a touchback is and who not only own but proudly wear their favorite team's jersey. Who are they, and how did they get that way? Why aren't they spending the entire game on their laptops having emotional affairs on Facebook, flinching every time someone scores a touchdown?
I know, you could always just leave the house if you don't like the Super Bowl -- the streets are empty! It's the perfect time to go to Target! Fortunately, there are a lot of good reasons to stick around for the game.
1. Super Bowl crafts! Why not knit, embroider, decorate a cake, or glue some toothpicks together into the shape of your favorite mascot? This year the Giants are playing the Patriots. They both have the same team colors (red, white, and blue). If you don't have enough broken pottery to make a mosaic in the shape of an advancing Revolutionary War soldier or a giant NY, making banners, balloon animals, or an Uncle Sam hat out of felt would be appropriate, especially since you can re-use them next week for Presidents' Day.
2. Get crazy with the snacks. I know what you're thinking: you want to make red, white, and blue fruit kebabs, but all those berries are out of season. That's why God invented food coloring! And cupcakes, God definitely invented cupcakes. And guacamole, and three-layer bean dip, and 25 different colors of M&Ms.
3. Puppybowl! For the last eight years, Animal Planet has hosted the cutest alternative to the Super Bowl ever invented, and this year should be no exception! This year's starting lineup is so adorable that it should carry a disclaimer: WARNING: IF YOU'RE WATCHING THE PUPPYBOWL BECAUSE IT SEEMS SAFER THAN THE SUPER BOWL, HEART-ATTACK WISE, YOU MAY STILL DIE BECAUSE OF THE CUTENESS, OMG.
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4. Hang on until half-time. What's happening this year, is Prince coming back? No, but we've got Madonna on the line. Love her or hate her, she's bringing the hits to Indianapolis and the opinions will be flying. Twitter will be on fire for 15 minutes, at least.
5. Wake up for the commercials. For some of us the commercials are the best part of the whole ordeal. Every 60-second storyline is a chance to revive the part of your soul that died during half-time.
6. Make a bet. Nothing focuses you like having money on the line. How much should you bet? How much is just inconvenient enough? For me, $5 would make me sort of pay attention, but $20 would make me start yelling at the TV. (Sorry, dad.)
6. Pay attention to the game. Or you could just watch the game for once and try to learn something about the most popular sport in America.
7. Go do something else. Sure, Target will be empty, but you can buy toilet paper any time. If you've ever fantasized about rollerskating down the street wearing nothing but mittens and a smile, now's your chance.
Cupcakes photo by pinguino/Flickr