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Nearly two weeks ago, my beloved Baltimore Ravens saw the AFC Championship slip through the hands of Lee Evans.  Not 30 seconds later, when it seemed all was not lost, I watched in stunned silence as Billy Cundiff hooked a 32 yard field goal wide left and the hopes of a Super Bowl victory vanished into the cold New England night.

I’m only just now coming to grips with the heartbreaking loss, and while I could easily bang out 1,000 words of self-pity and “woulda-coulda-shouldas”, I’d prefer to make a clean break from the depression.  Like ripping off a band-aid in one quick motion, it’s time to move on rather than let the pain linger.  But just when I’ve finally managed to crawl out of the valley of despair and put on some pants, I’m bombarded with coverage of Super Bowl XLVI and those damn New England Patriots.

As a football fan, and more importantly a man, I am contractually obligated to watch the Super Bowl.  I’ll be in front of my new HD, 1080P, LCD, OMG! TV on Sunday night like the rest of the male species, in spite of my overwhelming need to turn the page on this football season.  If the Patriots beat the NY Giants on Sunday night and I have to watch Tom “Uggs” Brady hoist that Lombardi Trophy, I refuse to be responsible for what I may say or do.  But as a self-respecting sports fanatic, I have to suck up my disappointment and tune in for four hours of torture.

But wait!  It doesn’t have to be torture at all!  There is a remedy for this pain I’m feeling and it’s called alcohol.  This nectar of the gods has been used for centuries to help people get through painful situations like high school reunions, divorces, and Mondays.  Why not call upon its healing powers to get me through a Ravens-less Super Bowl?  So for all you fans of teams other than the Patriots and Giants (or anyone who just wants to get s***faced, for that matter), I am honored to bestow upon you the rules for “The Official Super Bowl XLVI Drinking Game”.

  • If anyone at the party you are hosting or attending asks who is playing in the game – take a drink.
  • If, during the national anthem, the camera shows any player crying – take a drink.
  • If any commentator uses the phrase, “at the end of the day…” – take a drink.
  • When the coin is tossed to determine possession, call it in the air.  If you called it wrong – take a shot.
  • If the first real “Super Bowl Ad” of the night is deemed a dud – take a drink.
First Half:
  • If the team who begins the game with possession scores on their first drive, anyone at the party who is rooting for the other team – takes a drink.
  • If Chad Ochocinco catches a pass in the first half – take a drink.
  • For every interception – take a shot.
  • For every sack – take a drink.
  • At the end of the first half, anyone rooting for the team that is losing has to – chug whatever they are drinking.
  • If any commentator makes a comment about “turnovers being the difference in this one” – take a drink.
  • If Madonna sings any song that actually made her famous (this is a discretionary call) – take a drink.
  • If anyone has a wardrobe malfunction – take a shot.
  • If anyone asks to turn the channel in order to watch the “Puppy Bowl” on Animal Planet – that person must take a shot…and then spend the rest of the night outside.
  • If the network shows time-lapse footage of the stage crew either setting up or taking down the halftime stage – chug your drink for the duration of the clip.
Second Half:
  • If there is an onside kick – take a shot.
  • If Victor Cruz (or anyone imitating Victor Cruz) does his salsa dance after scoring a touchdown – take a drink.
  • For every second half penalty – take a drink.
  • For an excessive celebration penalty – take a shot.
  • If either teams produces a play that makes you stand up and say, ‘I can’t believe what I just saw.” (i.e. David Tyree’s “Helmet Catch” from the 2008 Super Bowl) – chug whatever you are drinking.
  • If a go-ahead score occurs in the final minute of the game, anyone rooting for the opposing team must – take a shot.
  • If the winning margin is 3 or fewer points, anyone rooting for the losing team must take a shot for every point.
  • If the winning margin is 4 or more points, anyone rooting for the losing team must chug whatever they are drinking.
  • For every mention of Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen – take a drink.
  • For every mention of Peyton Manning – take a drink.
  • For every mention of Tim Tebow – take a shot.
  • For every mention of Lee Evans or Billy Cundiff – take a drink.
  • For every commercial about erectile dysfunction or dating sites – take a drink.
  • If the game is stopped for any non-football related reason (i.e.- power outage, streaker on the field, etc.) – chug whatever you are drinking.
  • If the MVP is anyone other than a QB, RB, or WR – take a shot.
  • For any challenge that results in the call on the field being overturned – take a drink.
  • For any challenge that results in the call on the field being upheld – take a shot.
  • For any bone-headed coaching decision (i.e.- poor use of a timeout, challenging an obvious call, wearing a hoodie *cough*Bill*cough*Belichick, etc.) – take a drink.
  • If you’ve read this entire list and thought, “I am absolutely going to play this game on Sunday!” and you have access to an alcoholic beverage at this very moment – take a drink!

Happy Super Bowl everybody, and as a Ravens fan I’d just like to say…Go Giants!

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