Everything You Need if You Give a Damn About the Super Bowl

By Tom Pritchard on at

In this country 'football' means the game played by a bunch of overpaid men who will fall over and cry out in pain if a fly so much as farts in their general direction. It's also played with your feet, unless you're a goalie. In America football is more like Rugby with padding and ad breaks, and features very little foot-meets-ball action. It's not really seen as a big deal here, except on Super Bowl day.

For some reason the Super Bowl is the only time it's considered acceptable for the British people to be interested in the misnomer that is American Football. So here's our token list of things you should invest in, should you decide to get in on the action and throw a party of your own. At the very least, it's a good excuse to get drunk on a Sunday and cash in one of your sick days the following day.

A way to actually watch it, Free/£7/£20

Image: Daniel Spless via Flickr

The big game kicks off at 11.30pm on Sunday night, and a party is going to do you a fat lot of good if you can't actually watch the game (and all those sweet, sweet adverts). The easiest way is to watch it on live TV, which only costs you the annual price of your TV license. BBC One will be the place to watch it through the usual TV channels, with the footage being simultaneously streamed via BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport app. That starts broadcasting at 11.20pm, just in time for kick-off. Or whatever the American Football equivalent of the kick-off is. If you're a radio kind of person (or you're not allowed to watch TV for some reason), 5 Live is your friend.

That's for the English coverage, but if you want to watch some authentic American commentary Sky Sports 1 is the place to be. The festivities begin at 10am, and if you don't have a Sky subscription you can buy a day of Now TV Sports streaming for £7. The NFL is also making its Game Pass subscription service available in the UK this year, but that's going to cost you a minimum of £20.

Hisense H43M3000 43-inch 4K TV, £399

The chances of you actually watching the Super Bowl in 4K are basically nil. I can't find any information saying that it will be broadcast in Ultra HD, so it's safe to assume that it won't be - even if you have Sky Q. But if you need an excuse to buy a brand new tellybox, this is a good an excuse as any. Provided you didn't already do so in the Black Friday or Boxing Day sales. Here at Giz, we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't recommend something with HDR built in, even though there are lots of different types of HDR floating around.

The Hisense H43M3000 43-inch TV keeps things nice and simple for less than £500. It has 4K resolution and upscaling, LED backlighting, HDR 10 support, built-in Freeview and smart TV apps (if you don't already have a streaming box of your own), four HDMI ports (two of which are HDMI 2.0), one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and all the other usual TV bits and pieces. [Buy it here]

Automatic Bottle Opener, £5.51

If you're buying beer by the bottle, you're going to need a way to get it open quickly and easily. None of these fancy tricks that involve kitchen counters or five pound notes. With this automatic bottle opener, all you need to do is firmly push the bottle inside to gain access to your beverage. It even has a magnet to keep the cap in place, and stop them from littering your floor. [Buy it here]

Booze

Sports and alcohol go hand in hand. Just ask FIFA, who forced Brazil to change laws regarding the sale of booze at sports events. Luckily such drastic actions aren't necessary closer to home, and all you have to do is pick up a few crates (or barrels) of beer for your retailer of choice. Obviously grab yourself beer, or something similar, because nobody sat down to watch sport with a glass of wine in hand. Not unless that glass was a bottle of Buckfast, or that sport was something like dressage.

You might as well go typically American for this, even if you are a steadfast believer in the superiority of European booze. Budweiser and Coors are the obvious choices, given how easily available they are over here. Since the New England Patriots are playing this year, you might also want to consider some Samuel Adams. It's all imported, so it's a bit pricey, but it would add a smidge of authenticity to the proceedings. There's also Corona. That comes from Mexico rather than the US, but it's a tiny, meagre fuck you to the Oompa Loompa sitting in the Oval Office.

A fridge, £75

You no doubt have a fridge in your house already, but that's full of things you'll need after Sunday has been and gone. How will you keep all the booze cold? You could opt for ice and buckets, but that could easily get messy very quickly. This one is big enough to keep an ample supply of beer at the ready, though it may need topping up from time to time. It's also got a lockable door (should you need it), a silent-running motor, and low energy usage to save you money on your bills. [Buy it here]

Food

You could just order in from the local takeaway, if they don't close shortly after everything kicks off (it is Sunday after all). But the Super Bowl is famous for being a long event, and a good host provides some grub for the guests. What you choose is totally up to you, but you can't go wrong with various meats and snacks. Chicken wings are fairly traditional on Super Bowl Sunday (don't forget the marinade and sauces!), and you can't really go wrong with bacon, sausages, and burgers either. Naturally buns would go well with these. Possibly some salad if you're not feeling completely gluttonous.

If you're more for snacking instead, there are are always crisps, pretzels, peanuts, and nachos. You can also make things a bit more special by ordering some American imports, and try not to develop diabetes in the process.

Camping Chairs, £12.99 each

You probably have emergency chairs stashed away somewhere, but they might not be enough. The best way to tackle that is with some camping chairs. They fold up for easy storage, and have a cup holder in the arm rest. They're probably not that comfortable over long periods of time, but who cares? You'll be drinking! [Buy it here]

Wilson X Connected American Football, £126

American Football isn't exactly a linear game. You always see various statistics claiming something ridiculous like 90% of what's on TV doesn't involve any actual play. There are going to be lots of breaks, though, so you might as well get something interesting to pass the time. Tossing around this weird not-shaped-like-a-ball football is an American past time according to Hollywood, so there's no reason why you can't give it a go. Everything is smart these days, and sports balls are no exception. This one helps you throw a perfect ball, but it's not clear how good it is at teaching you to aim for Hans Moleman's crotch. [Buy it here]

Or, if you're not made of money, you can get an ordinary American football for far, far, less.

Madden NFL 17, from £30

If you just spent a wad of cash on a new TV, you might wonder what to do with the one you had before. Rather than dumping it, or pawning it off to some chump on Freecycle, you might as well take advantage of it while you still can. Plug in a console and have people playing games of Madden NFL 17 is the perfect companion to watching the game on TV - especially during those ever-present ad/commentary breaks. [Buy it here]

Consumables

Do you want to bring out all those fragile glasses and plates for a sports party? Maybe. Or you might want something less breakable, and easy to clean up. Good options include paper plates, plastic cups, and maybe some plastic cutlery for people who are touching about eating with their hands. On the clean-up side of things you'll want plenty of bin bags (clear, so you can also use them for your recycling), and wet wipes so that people who do eat with their hands don't leave dirty marks all over the place.


Or failing all this, you could just go to one of the many Super Bowl parties that will happening up and down the country. The price of entry is far, far cheaper, and you're not left with the mess afterwards. You will, however, have you pay inflated prices for booze, food, and taxis home.