Sunday, February 2, 2014

Manners Monday - Superbowl Etiquette for Spectators at the Stadium & at Home

I am particularly pumped for Super Bowl XLVIII. I don't know if its the fact that it will take place in my home town of New York - well, technically at the Met Life stadium in New Jersey - or because I will be on the edge of my seat waiting to see if cornerback, Richard Sherman, will unleash another outburst on live television.  It could be that this year's half time show with the multi-talented Bruno Mars and awesome Red Hot Chili Peppers is sure to rock the stadium.  Or, perhaps it's because my husband won the pool at last year's game and bet two squares on the grid again this year. Mama needs a new pair of shoes!  And, lest not forget the all-important commercials. The competition on the field is nothing compared to the competition for the most brilliant, simple, intricate, outrageous, expensive, or most original advertisement to fill the 2-3 minute gaps between plays. Regardless if you're rooting for a team or your favorite commercial, one thing is certain, Super Bowl Sunday is on everyone's radar and the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are sure to put on a good show.  So whether you're braving the cold to experience the game live, or opting for a viewing party where your tootsies will stay warm, here are our top etiquette tips for spectators both at the stadium and at home.  

Keep it Friendly.  Sunday is family day so children are typically in tow.  Keep the atmosphere friendly and comfortable for everyone.  Reserve the foul language for the street when you’re walking to your car at the end of the game and monitor your alcohol intake so you don’t embarrass yourself and regret your behavior the next day.  

Don’t Block the View. Super Bowl Sunday is one of the rare times that the television should be the center of focus.  If indoors, don’t be a ninny and walk right in front of the set blocking everyone’s view as you cross the room to make your way to the hor's d’oeuvres table.  In the stadium, you are more apt to stand and shout for your team, just make sure those behind you can still see the game. And for goodness' sake, no giant hats or wild accessories that will prohibit the view.

Stay on Topic. On Super Bowl Sunday, the main conversation should be on the game. Know your facts beforehand so you are well-versed in the teams that are playing and the host city.  Learn the vernacular, know the difference between a touchdown and a field goal.  You want to be able to bond and converse with everyone.  This is not the time to bring up a serious conversation, mention a grave illness or ask for a job.  Superbowl Sunday is supposed to be fun. Keep the tone light and breezy and pay attention to the ball.  Here’s a complete glossary to everything you could possibly want to know for game day terminology.

Avoid Being the Know-It-All.  You may be the type of person who thrives on knowing every minute detail about the two football teams, the players and the controversy. And you may enjoy spending hours researching the commercials that will be shown during the game, but that information is best kept to yourself.  Today is not the day to sit on your soapbox espousing your knowledge. A know-it-all is a big turn off. 

Display Good Sportsmanship.  Wearing your teams jersey’s and caps, painting your body to show your support, showing the love by cheering them on is all perfectly fine.  What will not fly on Super Bowl Sunday is shouting expletives at the television screen or in the stadium when your team misses the ball or picking a fight with your neighbor because he did a victory dance for a touchdown for your opposing team.  Remember you are not playing in the game, you are just a fan!  Don’t make it personal!

Don’t Bet the Farm.  There are more Super Bowl pools than I care to imagine.  Know your limits.  If you’re an out of control gambler, designate the set amount for your bet before you leave the house so that you cannot be coerced into contributing more than you can afford.  There are plenty of pools to choose from and not all require a $500 ante.  You certainly don’t want to dip into your child’s college fund for a silly square on the football grid.    

Compliment the Chef.  Super Bowl Sunday is the second most popular eating day after Thanksgiving and food plays a major part in the enjoyment.  Hosts spend weeks preparing the special menu of finger foods typically based around the two playing teams hometown favorites. If invited to a party or partaking in a tailgate, take a sec to compliment the chef and, whatever you do, remember not to double dip! 

You Gotta Give Thanks. Of course, it goes without mentioning to make sure you thank the host before you leave and follow up with a nice handwritten thank you note the following day.  The same goes, especially, for anyone who graced you with coveted tickets to the game. That may warrant a special gift of thanks to go with your note!

Who do you think is going to win this year's Superbowl? Did you place a bet? Do you have a special Superbowl dish? Share with us, we'd love to hear from you!

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