Surviving A Super Bowl Party When You Don’t Care About The Game

Written By Derek Helling on November 29, 2021

Life is full of things we have to do even though they are unpleasant. Oftentimes, we use simple behavioral science to provide ourselves with the necessary motivation; the pain of the consequences of not doing the undesirable thing is greater than the pain of doing it. Thus, we bite the bullet. For some people, a Super Bowl party can be such a bullet, especially if you don’t care about the game or aren’t betting on the Big Game.

Regardless of whatever negative consequences you’re trying to avoid, or the payoff you believe you’ll get from attending such an event, there are some simple strategies for how to survive the two to three hours of drudgery. Depending on how creative you would like to get, you might actually have some fun amidst the pain.

The nuts and bolts of Super Bowl party survival

As Bing Crosby sang, you have to accentuate the positives. There are some upsides to attending such an event. Free food is a win depending on who cooked. There are two key components to enduring the torture:

  • Get a friend
  • Get a spot

Addressing the first component, it’s best to be very deliberate. That’s part of planning ahead in order to minimize your discomfort.

Those who fail to plan…

Unless the host of the party is a real douche, you’ll probably be good to invite someone you actually want to spend a couple of hours around to the party with you. Whether you’ll be able to convince that person to throw themselves on the sword for you is another matter, though.

You might have to sweeten the deal a bit. One suggestion is that if your friend helps you pass the time you will clean the space between the backside of their toilet and the wall. (Or another favor.) No one gets down there unless they’re being paid to do so or they have a romantic interest who is making an initial visit. We’re all damn dirty apes.

The importance of planning ahead goes for the items on the menu, too. It will only add to your misery if the available consumables consist of half of a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures, seven pretzel rods, and a choice of either splitting a bottle of Heineken or finding a pitcher large enough to mix some KoolAid up in.

Again, it’s generally acceptable to bring your own snacks to these events. You might be expected to share to some extent, but there are strategies to limit that liability. That’s the next thing we’ll get into.

Claim your Super Bowl party spot and guard it

When you enter the arena, immediately survey the seating options. There will be plenty of time for exchanging pointless small talk with people you don’t really care to speak to on a deeper level. Scout out the spots first.

Ideally, you want to find the spot that most closely resembles a Pueblo adobe home. That will limit your snack sharing. Also, it should insulate you from the people actually celebrating the fact that there are people likely giving themselves CTE just for the entertainment of others.

This is another way in which bringing an ally with you is extremely helpful. If you have someone in your literal and social corner with you, you won’t look like you’ve deemed yourself too elite to mingle among the plebians (although you absolutely are, let’s be honest). Should you need to get up out of your seat for some reason, there will be someone to guard it.

If you’re worried about missing out on the commercials, stop doing that. This is 2022. They’re all available online either after the game or in some cases before. You can watch them at your leisure on YouTube without having to deal with Steve’s idiotic comments on the entire catalog.

These are all the best-case scenarios. There are additional recommendations for you if you find yourself trapped in a more public space and forced to engage with the crowd at a Super Bowl party.

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Your Super Bowl party contingency plans sorted

If you’re trapped in a situation where you can’t find a secluded spot, here are some strategies to make the event at least bearable if not somewhat enjoyable.

  • Make sure your phone has a full battery. Bring a mobile power bank or land a spot near an outlet. Your phone is your link to the outside world, you know, where people who are better than you are actually enjoying themselves. Text with those people. Binge some of your favorite shows. Sure, some might take your lack of engagement as rude. But it seems we’ve forgotten Sarah’s wedding shower when all you did was show your Cancun pictures the whole time haven’t we, Debra?
  • Make up your own Super Bowl party Bingo card. Examples of potential squares are Ron talking about making the playoffs as a senior in high school and Shareese bragging about the latest meaningless accomplishment of her “wonder child.” You’ve seen this “prodigy” push with all their might for 10 minutes on a door clearly marked, “pull.” If you get a blackout on your secret card, reward yourself by leaving the party early.
  • Secretly appoint yourself the monitor of public dining etiquette. These animals will double-dip and use their hands to put ice in their glasses when the tongs are laying right there. You’re a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Nacho Knight.

Whatever your payoff for putting yourself through such abuse, we hope it proves well worth the sacrifice – especially if you really hate football. As soon as the game ends, don’t be sad it happened. Smile because it’s over.

Photo by Arina P Habich / Shutterstock
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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