By Bradford Hornsby

Not everyone is a well versed on the ins and outs (aka X’s and O’s) of the NFL or specifically the two teams playing in Super Bowl but most everyone will still be watching on Sunday. The battle on the gridiron also is a classic day to get together for a party so we’ve compiled a quick primer so you can blend in with your sports fan friends.

Terms to know:

“Beast mode” refers to Seattle Seahawks running back and his aggressive style of running.

“Legion of Boom” nickname for Seattle Seahawks defense. Bonus – it is a reference to the Lex Luther lead Legion of Doom — a group of super villains from DC comics.

“DeflateGate” is the recent controversy surrounding the New England Patriots reportedly deflating the footballs slightly during the AFC championship game. Most of the questions have been directed at what head coach Bill Billichick and quarterback Tom Brady knew. The NFL is currently investigating.

“SpyGate” is the name the media gave an incident of Patriots coach Bill Bellichick caught filming a opponents practice. Bellichick was personally fined and the team lost a draft pick due to the rule violation.

“12th man” refers to a loud crowd being part of the team. 12 because there are 11 players on each team on the field during a given play. In the NFL the Seahawks have used the 12th man as their rally cry though the term has been in wide use in football for over 100 years most notably by Texas A & M football.

Talkers pregame:

DeflateGate, SpyGate

Speculation on if Bill Belichick and/or Tom Brady knew anything about DeflateGate will be golden. Throw in “obviously they knew” or “they still won by like a million touchdowns.”

“What will the Seahawks do without the 12th man?”

Background: Seattle plays in CenturyLink Field known for being the loudest in sports and they refer to their fans as the “12th man.” The Super Bowl is played on a neutral field so no “12th Man” advantage.

“Richard Sherman is a punk/ is awesome / is just enthusiastic”

Any of these contradictory statements are valid. See no wrong answers! Stay away from “thug” though. That’s got a lot of people riled up these days.

Background: Sherman is a young and talented Seahawks cornerback (plays defense) who has been known to talk a lot of trash. He made some televised swipes at 49er wide receiver Michael Crabtree after the game last year and became a national story. He also had some strange things to say at press conferences all year. Everyone seems to have a different take but this Stanford grad with dreadlocks just keeps talking.

Just improvise.

“I’m just here for the seven layer dip and the commercials.”

Always a valid stance to take. No one expects for you to really care we just expect participation. So well up at whatever harm warming Clydesdale or puppy themed ad Bud throws at you and remember not to double dip.

Here are a few that have already been leaked:

Marshawn Lynch In Skittles Press Conference Ad
Carl’s Jr.’s Naked Super Bowl Ad
BuzzFeed And Friskies Super Bowl Ad
Danny Trejo As Marcia From The Brady Bunch

During the game:

The villains (your choice)

Pete Carroll

Coach of the Seattle Seahawks who is reviled by many for being cocky. Also was the coach at a notoriously dirty and sanctioned USC college program. Plus, he wins a lot — like last year’s Super Bowl. No one should miss a beat if you hate him “just ‘cuz” or blame “USC.”

Richard Sherman

See above. This is one that you will need a little focus but his name will come up a lot. Tricky but might be rewarding with a timely “that guys a punk/is so awesome.” He is the spokeperson for “Chunky Soup” so you can riff on that angle if you want.

Bill Belichick

Belichick is the notoriously cantankerous head coach of the Patriots. He is grumpy and generally looks like he just rolled out of the wrong side of the bed. Add to that the current “DeflateGate” and being caught filming the other team’s practice in 2007 — know as “Spygate” — you can be pretty comfortable calling him a “cheater.”

Tom Brady

Ditto on the “DeflateGate.” Plus he is kind of a pretty boy who is married to a super model. Man I hate that guy.

Marshawn Lynch

Seattle Seahawks running back has been in legal trouble for weapons, DUI, and hit and run charges. He has also been fined multiple times by the league for making obscene gestures, using improper cleats, and not talking to the media.

The Refs

Non-athlete but universally hated as a subclass of striped humans. Just follow the crowd’s groans and freak out. My favorite the dancing around mimicking throwing the penalty flag. Bonus points for saying the NFL rigged the game. Sports fans and Bigfoot enthusiasts love conspiracies.

Heroes:

Pete Carroll

He wins a lot. He’s well spoken and better looking than most NFL coaches. Did I mention he wins a lot?

Tom Brady

Ditto. The guy is one of the all time greats. He is a local boy out of Serra High in San Mateo. Plus he does have salon quality hair and is married to a Victoria’s Secret supermodel.

Marshawn Lynch

Seattle Seahawks running back has been having some fun with the media (see Skittles Ad) and is known to be a great teammate. He is also a local boy (High School at Oakland (CA) Technical and college at Cal) who gives a lot back in charity to the community.

Russell Wilson

Seattle QB is young, soft spoken, and humble — and he already won last year! He carries a homemade wallet made by a sick Seattle child. Come on, that is almost cheating!

The Commercials

They are always good and many times better than the game. Gush away at the millions spent to entertain and sell you something.

There will be many more story lines but these and some great snacks should get you through.

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