Embrace the Stereotype: 10 Rules Older Male Football Fans Should Follow When Watching the Super Bowl
Though the game of football has evolved, old stereotypes about a segment of its fanbase persist. Photo: Lambert/Getty Images
For the older generation of male sports fans, Super Bowl games mean three things: top flight action, tons of good food and drink and a captive audience that has little choice but to watch you yell, swear, slam armrests and generally behave like a cross between an an angry toddler and Homer Simpson.
So whether you’re a dad, an uncle or simply the oldest guy in the room watching this weekend’s Super Bowl game between the Kansas Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers – if you want to embrace the stereotype, you must follow these rules.
1. Always take the first serving of nachos and, when you do, make sure to scoop all the cheese topping. Ignore the eye rolls from the younger generation – they’ll learn that with age comes the right to indulge in cheese greed.
2. Every time a quarterback gets hit, remind everyone about how wimpy today’s athletes are compared to the warriors from your day. No need to justify why you feel that brutal knee injuries and career-ending concussions made the game better.
3. Hooting and hollering, swearing at the refs and pounding your fist on the armrest are all acceptable forms of old-fan behaviour.
4. Whenever the camera focusses on Andy Reid, the Chiefs’ 65-year-old walrus-like head coach, mention that he could have coached in any era. Everyone will agree with you because big lumbering Andy is one of the few beloved coaches in football history.
5. Whenever the camera focusses on Taylor Swift – who is dating Chiefs player Travis Kelce – which it will at least 200 times, bemoan the fact that 79-year-old broadcaster Al Michaels was reportedly fired for calling out the NFL for its over-the-top fixation with the popstar. Earn extra cred by quoting Michaels: “People tune in to watch a football game. I’m not doing Access Hollywood.”
6. Criticize everything about the halftime show, performed by R&B superstar Usher and, as rumours have it, possible surprise special guests. And, if you’re old enough, throw in the line: “Marching bands used to be good enough.”
7. Long commercial breaks provide the perfect timing to unleash your favourite rant about how all these “damn ads” are ruining the pace of the game and turning off older viewers. No need to mention that, in spite of these ever-lengthening stoppages, you still managed to watch every minute of every playoff game this year.
8. Exhibiting generational confusion on players’ last names is another specialty of older fans. Make sure you mistakenly identify current players by their namesakes from the past. Example: referring to Fred Warner (the current 49ers linebacker) as Curt Warner (the old Seattle Seahawks running back). This name-mashing works for Kyle Shanahan (Mike Shanahan); George Kittle (Ron Kittle) and Christian McCaffery (Ed McCaffery or Phil McConkey).
9. When you get called out for mixing up names, reassert your generational edge by reminding everyone that you remember watching the Chiefs star QB Pat Mahomes’ father play Major League baseball. No one has to know that you never actually saw him pitch or that you just learned this fact.
10. At the end of the game, loudly boast that you correctly called that the Chiefs would win and that Mahomes would be MVP. It doesn’t matter that you probably didn’t make this prediction – no one is listening to you anyway.