It's almost time for the Super Bowl otherwise known as the game you feel obliged to watch even though your home team is probably not playing. While New England and Phily fans (not to mention all of Minnesota) are counting down the minutes to the big bowl, there are 30 teams whose fans will need more than the hometown hero to keep them riveted.
Here's everything you need to know if you actually want to sound engaged in between commercials and buffet binges.
Who's playing in the Super Bowl?
The New England Patriots (reigning Super Bowl champions) are up against the Philadelphia Eagles.
How many Super Bowls have the Patriots won?
Five - all under the leadership of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick - the man who never smiles - unless you mention Lawrence Taylor. Or Bon Jovi.
How many Super Bowls have the Eagles won?
Zero! They have been to two, most recently in 2004 when they lost to ...
The New England Patriots.
Who are the quarterb--
TOM BRADY! Tom Brady, the 40-year-old husband of Gisele who, according to Former teammate Troy Brown, “has the ability to make everyone else around him cool.” With 208 career wins – including the playoffs – Brady is the winningest NFL quarterback of all time. He also launched a line of vegan snacks in 2016 (in case you’re chatting between plays with someone who truly could care less about football).
Oh, and the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles will be Nick Foles.
Nick Foles. ?.
While Nick Foles is actually the backup quarterback for the Eagles (Carson Wentz tore his ACL on Dec. 10), he’s actually the Eagles’ all-time leader in passer rating. Foles is also one of eight quarterbacks to throw seven TDs in a game so there are plenty of Eagles fans who are thrilled this 29 year old didn’t stick with his plan to retire earlier this season.
Why aren't we calling it Super Bowl LII?
Earlier this year, the AP Stylebook announced that the Super Bowl should be properly referred to by the year it's played so this is the 2018 Super Bowl. This pronouncement caused a major uproar among a minority of people but you might spark a controversy if you toss it out as a talking point to your ultra opinionated friends.
Who should I root for?
If you like consistency and the status quo, root for the Patriots.
If you want to see an underdog rise up and beat the champs, root for the Eagles. Don’t worry about offending Patriots fans - they’ve got five rings to distract them from any smack talk you can sling.
Why are some Eagles fans wearing dog masks?
Other than being really upsetting to look at, Eagles fans (and players!) have adopted the dog mask look because they were heavily regarded as underdogs when they faced both the Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings on their way to the Super Bowl.
Where and when?
This year's Super Bowl will be held on Sunday, February 4, at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. ET.
If you have normal cable, you can catch the game on NBC or any NBC affiliate. If you want to watch on your computer or device, NBC is streaming the game online and through their sports apps - no cable log in required!
More fun facts:
The US Bank Stadium is the biggest bird-killer in Minneapolis. There are actually ongoing conversations about how to make the design more birdly-friendly since literally hundreds of them have lost their live smashing into the reflective exterior glass since the stadium opened in 2016. Sad for the ecosystem, and a truly hideous omen for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The high in Minneapolis on Sunday is predicted to be 8 degrees. The low will be zero. As in no degrees. But no need to worry about the players - or fans - the US Bank Stadium is enclosed.
Justin Timberlake is performing during halftime. It’s been 14 years since he ripped off part of Janet Jackson's costume, sending the FCC into a tailspin and changing the history of live TV as we know it.
Bring it on...