Super quick Super Bowl post here just to show to the world the degree of dedication that a girl from Texas will go through to watch the biggest game of the year, even if it doesn’t involve the Dallas Cowboys (side note: WTF, guys? WTF?).
After 7 years of being in another country for Super Bowl Sunday, I’ve finally got it down. Here’s what you do:
Select Your Pre-Game Prep Routine
In the days and weeks leading up to the game, there are a couple of ways to go ahead and prepare your Italian spouse or partner and his/her friends for Super Bowl Sunday.
The American Method: Start early training with the playoff games. In a methodical and dedicated fashion, make sure you hit the following training modules prior to Super Bowl Sunday:
- basics of football rules (“Why do they stop playing so often?”, “Why are their shoulders so big?”, “Why do they get paid so much?”)
- acceptable game time food (Finger foods only. Sorry, no Parmiggiano-Reggiano or Lambrusco allowed. Wings and beer.)
- overview of the teams involved (In this year’s case, a run down of Mr. Sherman’s performance and the national reaction, preferably via The Daily Show coverage)
- importance of advertisements and half-game show (If you must, play a clip of the Clydsdales to get ’em weepy)
If you still need help getting Italians on board with the whole idea, remind the women that the men wear spandex pants and remind the men that the cheerleaders basically wear nothing. By prepping everyone weeks ahead of time, you perhaps have the best chance of getting as close to the home feeling as possible.
IF, however, you find yourself under the influence of your life in Italy, and you wake up Super Bowl Sunday morning and say, “oh shit! Today’s the Super Bowl”…
try the Italian Method instead. (Note: I am writing this at 2am Sunday morning, so guess which method I’m going with this year!)
The Italian Method: Wait until the morning of Super Bowl Sunday to inform your Italian husband that he is going to have to stay up late that night and will probably be late to work Monday morning. This leaves you with only one day of ridiculous conversations about why American football is, in fact, fun to watch.
- Forget explaining the rules. I find that my marito likes to yell at the screen when anything happens, really. Just makes sure you’ve got lots of beer.
- Allow the Sunday Pizza tradition to continue (it gives him a sense of comfort and consistency in a time of chaos and change), and then at the last second when he’s not looking, slip some avocado on top of it (recommended recipe here).
- Just call the teams “Orange” and “Blue”. And, whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT show that you know too much about Russell Wilson or Erick Decker. All that will get you is a jealous Italian man yelling at you about why you like ripped American biceps and it will totally distract from trying to spot the hotties on the field.
- Keep two windows open on your computer – one on the game, and one on Hulu Ad Zone. That way when he starts to nod off in between plays, you can snap him back into action with an ad. (Of course, this year, we will also have Bruno Mars playing the soundtrack).
Set Up and TEST Your Online Watching Environment
- Purchase a VPN service (I use HideMyAss) to fool the internet into thinking you are located in Pheonix, Arizona. Why Pheonix? I have no idea, but according to Hide My Ass, their servers seem to be the most available. Not much goin’ on there?
- Then call your mom and steal her AT&T U-verse password. Ooops… I mean… Subscribe to Fox Sports Go, online. Then test it. Then test it again. Nothing is worse than when it stops working right as the game starts. If you hear a lot of yelling from the general direction of Reggio Emilia Sunday night, that could be me.
- Check to make sure Hulu’s Ad Zone is working correctly.
- And get your Bruno Mars Spotify playlist ready to go for some half-time fun. Who knows what kind of crap commercials and half-time show they’re going to show on the online live streaming version.
Updates regarding logistics:
- (Update: faster way to access the Super Bowl live streaming coverage from abroad: Pay €8 and subscribe via NFL Game Pass. The commercials will be show in the live version, but edited out for the archives.)
- (Update 2: OR you can head over to one of these locations in Italy, showing the Super Bowl live!)
- (Update 3: It is confirmed that Fox Sports Go will not have the same ads as on TV – “As for the famous Super Bowl ads, online and mobile viewers will not see exactly the same ads that appear in the TV telecast.”)
- (Update 4: I am logged into NFL Game Pass, and Fox Sports Go as a pre-game test. Must say – NFL Game Pass is working a lot better. Just need to get Michael Irvin to shut up.)
Get ready to have some FUN!
My last tip – when your Italian spouse starts trying to give you a hard time about the game, remind him about this moment: June 2010, when Italy lost to Slovakia in the World Cup. Hey. The Super Bowl has GOT to be more fun than that!