{shortcode-a372289af4a02c14a7aac2b197c15a3163edbc52} As you can probably tell by the pic above, my friends are pretty intense sports people (one of them, Bridget, is even a ~Crimson Sports~ writer). I constantly hear them talking in code about the scores of miscellaneous games, trades of players, the MLB lockdown (??), attractive kickers in the draft…the list goes on. I’ve admired witnessing their passion and commitment to following not one, but several sports teams at once. It’s impressive.

This year I decided to buy into the mindset and watch the Super Bowl LVI as if I knew what was going on. Don’t worry, I do in fact know how football works (I’m not that much of a NARP), but I didn’t fully comprehend all of the planning and hype that goes into watching experiencing the Super Bowl in particular. Here’s what went into the night:

1. Acquiring *Drip*

One would assume that by “drip”, I mean wearing jerseys. But no. True fans, like my friends, go one step further. They buy knock-off Cartier sunglasses a la Joe Shiesty (or Burrow?? or Brr??? I’m still confused tbh). While they fangirl over him, they also all agree that “the kicker” is hotter. Now that’s a bandwagon I can get on board with.

2. The FOOD

This one is pretty self-explanatory to any human being, regardless of your interest in sports. While the classic Domino’s Pizza and Buffalo Wings were ordered far in advance for the viewing, I was surprised to be met by a wide array of Trader Joe’s snacks, including Organic White Truffle Potato Chips and Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels. Amid a foreign environment, it was nice to have a literal *taste* of familiarity. Time to dig in.

3. Making noise…but also shutting up

Knowing when to make the proper amount of noise during a football game is an art form. I used to assume that the more noise you can make throughout the game, the better, but that is simply *not* the case. Knowing when to be dead-silent is arguably more important. The worst thing you can do is cause a distraction during an important play or interrupt a fan’s ~villain origin story~ when their team is forced to kick a field goal because they can’t “convert a touchdown.” So, when watching the game, I learned that the best thing to do is follow the lead of those around you: when they cheer, scream; when they go silent, shut it.

4. Bopping along to the halftime show (oh yeahh)

FINALLY. Now for the good stuff. While my friends sat around and strategized about what they thought was going to happen in the second half, I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed something much more relatable: the halftime show. This was a prime opportunity to wow my sports-savvy friends with my music knowledge and level the ~playing field~ (oh yes I did). This year, I vibed with Snoop and praised Kendrick as they reminded me of what real entertainment feels like.

5. Making my ~Exit~

Okay, I said I would watch the Super Bowl like a true fan, but after the halftime show ended, I had served my time. I gave myself a pat on the back for my valiant efforts, and my friends appreciated my immersion into their world. At that point, it was past 9 p.m., which meant one thing: Euphoria. (It’s like a reward.)

All in all, joining my friends in their sports-centered insanity was a lot of fun. Do I now plan to convert to a full-blown sports groupie like them? Eh, probably not. I am already set in my ways. That being said, there is something so touching about watching someone shed real tears (both happy and sad) over people running around and throwing balls. If you haven’t witnessed it for yourself, I highly recommend it.