The football hype and the psych have been whipping up for weeks like the perfect storm. So if you happen to be invited to a Super Bowl party, know who you’ll be up against.
The AYAFF: The all-year-around football fan. Mostly male, this group has been waiting all year. Location, food, drink, company and football pool all in place.
The FAYAFF: The fanatic all-year-around football fan. These are the pathologists. They dissect, inspect, scrutinize and analyze, classify, ratify, hypothesize and theorize. These guys are ready for the autopsy.
This group requires special handling. They should not be fed during the game. Plastic utensils and paper plates are mandatory. The cat should be put out. The dog should be crated. Small children should not be admitted to the room, nor should elderly people who can’t handle sudden explosions. The room should have a high ceiling without beams. The FAYAFFSs are prone to sudden jumps, dangerous for the six-footers. The pool sheet should be securely tacked to the wall. Pencils should have dull points. Should a football widow in the room decide to stand on her head near the TV in the outfit she was born in, it won’t be noticed. This group is dangerous. They hardly ever win the pool.
THE DABBLERS: These are nice people. They’re not totally ignorant about the game, but they’re not up there with the FAYAFFs. They like parties and enjoy the event.
They know the teams involved and the names of the quarterbacks. The DABBLERS contribute a degree of civility and safety. And they sometimes win the pool.
THE WANNABEES: This group desperately wants to fit in with the AYAFFs. They try all year to stay with the game, but they really don’t care. They seek diversions like going out for a smoke or getting another drink. They know the names of most of the players. Some very serious WANNABEES go to great lengths to challenge other WANNABEES. Typical conversation: “Collins is big for a quarterback; he’s 245 pounds.” Comeback: “Sure, but he was always big, even back at Penn State.”
Or, “Remember when the Backstreet Boys did the halftime gig?” Double-whammy Comeback: “Yeah, but how about 1970 when the astronauts did the Pledge of Allegiance?”
A few bizarre WANNABEES will do things like draw tic-tac-toe games on paper, tear them up and then let them accidentally fall out of a pocket at the party. Their comment as they pick up the pieces: “Just some of the routine plays the Giants might mess around with.” They’re nice people, but they make dumb comments during the game. They often win the pool.
THE AESTHETICS: The FAYAFFs have no room at all on their agendas for this group. The AESTHETICS love the beauty and pageantry, especially on a large screen. They love motion and color. They love classical music, ballet and opera. Football, like opera, has all of the blood and violence you’ll ever see. The only difference between the two is there’s no sex in football. Ladies, this game is the largest display of raging, rushing testosterone on the screen since Russell Crowe and his gladiator friends ripped each other apart in the coliseum. Here we see beautiful multicolored red, green, purple or royal blue spandex fitted snugly onto muscular bodies averaging 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds. Who could ask for anything more?
You might spot an AESTHETIC watching with earphones. Perhaps they’re listening to “Swan Lake” or Beethoven’s 7th as they watch the running, moshing, leaping and pirouetting giants (not necessarily the team) on a brilliant green field. The AESTHETICS bring a world of color, culture and imagination to the game. They ignore the pool.
THE CCL: This is the Could Care Less group. They’re just happy to be at a party. If it’s the dog show or a Tupperware party, it’s all the same to them. These people are harmless. When they leave, they know the dog’s name, the furniture style in the bedrooms and the reading habits of the hosts. They never win the pool. They don’t even know it’s on the wall.
So there they are, the six categories you’re likely to encounter on Super Bowl Sunday. Make a point of working the room before the game starts. You’ll learn about a lot more than football. And make sure you know who you are, come game time. And be a sport. No matter where you fit in, join the pool. You just might win.
Ms. Deegan is a resident of Mattituck and considers herself a FANATIC AESTHETIC.