Up Front Disclaimer: I am a Patriots fan. I was at the AFC Championship game where the Ravens cheated their way to victory defeated the Patriots. I sat in the very last row, at very top stop of the stadium in the Ravens' friends and family section. It was windy, it was cold, and it was one of the most expensive disappointments of my life. So if this comes off a little biased, that's why. THIS is my Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl Drinking Game is the Super Bowl of drinking games. This is the one time of year where you can be fairly certain the majority of the planet is doing two things simultaneously: watching television and drinking.
The Necessary Details
If you've somehow managed to make it this far without hearing or learning anything about this year's Super Bowl, then let me be the first to welcome you out into the world from your fallout shelter. Here's the abridged version of who/what you need to know.
The American Football Conference (AFC) Champions are the Baltimore Ravens. The National Football Conference (NFC) Champions are the San Francisco 49ers. And no, we don't have time to explain why a sport played in only one country has two conferences with names that mean exactly the same thing.
The Ravens are coached by John Harbaugh, while the 49ers are coached by Jim Harbaugh. Coach Harbaugh is leading his defense-first team to his first Super Bowl and his team's first appearance in over a decade. That's just one of several similarities between the Harbaughs that you will be slowly and clumsily bludgeoned with over the days leading up to the Super Bowl and, of course, during "The Big Game." Be on the look out for epic freak-outs and uncomfortable interviews.
It has often been said that the quarterback (QB) is the most important position in football. Which is interesting, because the Super Bowl will be 49ers' QB Colin Kaepernick's tenth start ever. Ever. Whereas the Ravens are going with the NFL's version of Mr. Magoo, Joe Flacco, whose inexplicable success will have you scratching your head and saying "Hoho oh, Flacco, you've done it again."
Both teams pride themselves on their elite defenses. The 49ers have a well-rounded defense that doesn't boast any household names, but is solid across the board. The Ravens, conversely, have loaded their defense with elite players. Chief among them is middle linebacker (MLB) Ray Lewis who basically kills players out there. Lewis is a guaranteed Hall of Famer with a nose for the ball and a willingness to get his jersey dirty. So dirty, in fact, he often has to throw his attire in the trash afterwards. Lewis is well-known for his incredibly high motor and intensity. He is the emotional leader of the Ravens and a really good friend.
To drink, you can't go wrong with Natty Boh, a.k.a. National Bohemian. If you're into hard alcohol, why not try this cocktail from a Baltimore bar a shot? It might help you forget that The Wire hits a little too close to home.
For the (team that wins if there is a God) 49ers, San Francisco is home to some of the finest craft breweries in country; I'm partial to 21st Amendment's Brew Free or Die IPA. I recommend this San Franciscan twist on the Old Fashioned for the cocktail drinkers of the bunch. For sustenance, Shakirah Simley has a list of San Francisco eats you can try to replicate, or you can take one of those excellent beers and make some beer marinated chicken tacos.
The Super Bowl Drinking Game
Okay, kids, this is it. All the foreplay and build up is done. It's time for the Big Game for the Big Game. As usual, we'll be using Vinny's (patent pending) three Drinking Game Measurements: Sip, Swig, and Slam (finish your beer/take a shot). And remember, this is for entertainment purposes only. Don't end up like Justin Blackmon.
Take a Sip
1 Sip: Take 1 sip for every one of Ray Lewis' tears. You're a grown-ass man. Stop crying.
2 Sips: For every mention of Colin Kaepernick's tattoos.
2 Sips: Any time Joe Flacco's unibrow makes an appearance.
3 Sips: Any use of the phrase "Bro Bowl" or "HarBowl" or some other of the myriad of ways the NFL will remind us of how neat it is that brothers are coaching against each other in the Super Bowl.
4 Sips: For every Jim Harbaugh face or freak out. Add a bonus swig if he does that little child stomp.
4 Sips: If When Ed Reed gets an interception. There. I said something nice about the Ravens.
Take a Swig
1 Swig: For ever beer commercial.
1 Swig: For every commercial with a baby or scantily clad woman. Drink all the way through the Go-Daddy ads.
2 Swigs: For every celebrity sighting. Commercials count, but "celebrity" is left to your discretion.
3 Swigs: For every shot of Mr. and Mrs. Harbaugh. Because their sons are coaching! Against each other! In the Super Bowl!
4 Swigs: If there is a camera shot where Terrell Suggs actually has his mouth closed.
Slam Your Drink: If Beyonce has a "wardrobe malfunction," then thank your lucky stars you weren't watching the Puppy Bowl.
Slam Your Drink: If the announcers mention any player in a negative light for off-the-field behavior. Don't worry, they won't. No one wants to keep their head on a swivel for a flying soap dispenser.
Slam Your Drink: If one of the announcers, players or coaches audibly swears and they have to awkwardly cut away.
Drink for the Duration of:
- Any video package of New Orleans. Bourbon St! Jazz! Mardi Gras!
- Any Ray Lewis dance.
- Any split-screen shot of the Harbaugh Brothers. Because they're related, you see.
Stop Drinking If:
You laugh at a GEICO Caveman commercial.