SBS Guide to: Enjoying a Viewing Party as a Non-Sports Fan

Written by :
Published on : September 11, 2016

 

So you’ve been invited over to watch The Game, but you’re not a sports fan. Don’t worry, you can still have a great time at a sports party if you’re not a fan. If you understand the rules. Like whatever match you’re about to watch, the sport of watching sports has points, rules, fouls, even penalties so egregious that you could be tossed out for them. But don’t worry, we’ve got the rulebook you’re looking for.

 

First of all, show up at least a half hour before game time so you can get to know everyone. And so you can get some nachos before they’re gone. Also because there will be no pleasantries exchanged once the game has started. Don’t take this personally. It’s not you, it’s game frenzy; a condition that creates tunnel vision and removes personal volume control. Remember: you’re at a game party with a bunch of sports fans. You’re hanging out with them, and it’s their rules.

 

Secondly, remember your basic p’s and q’s and bring something to the party. This tells everyone that even if you’re not a fan, you’re there to have a good time. Don’t be all Guy Fieri about it either; you can never go wrong with (at least) 12 cans of domestic beer or several bags of potato chips. Or both. That’s a great first impression.

 

american-beers

 

While getting to know everyone, it’s very important that you don’t pretend to be an expert. Resist the urge to parrot somebody else’s soundbite or headline as your own opinion. Especially if you’re unfamiliar with the loyalties of The House. (Defined by the host and usually two to three of their loudest friends; every House has it’s own specific opinion on the hometeam, as unique as a fingerprint and sensitive as a hair-trigger.) So if you recycle some sport writer’s opinion that the new quarterback is gonna “tie the room together” and the House thinks he’s an overpaid bum, now you’ve branded yourself against the House. Fact: among the fiercely loyal, there are no casual opinions. Don’t make any statements you’re not willing to fight for.

 

The flipside of this is don’t ask too many questions. Nothing annoys a fan quicker than having to explain everything. This isn’t a classroom, it’s the war room. You don’t know the rules? Google it. If you’re genuinely confused about something during gameplay, okay then you can ask. But only adorable kids, old people and girls with big boobs get to ask “which color are we rooting for?” Dig?

 

If the House’s team is playing well or winning handily, then spirits will be high. High fives will fly. Nachos will get destroyed. All you need to do then is follow the cardinal rule of sports watching and never disrupt the viewing of the game. Do not block anyone’s view. Don’t beg for attention during the game. Texting is fine, phone calls are not. Conversation is for commercials. And if you’re getting up for another beer, always ask the room who wants another. That’s just polite.

 

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If the House team is struggling with the lead or starting to lose, things get trickier. Fact: one cannot soar to high highs without also falling to low lows, and if the House team begins to lose you’re going to feel the temperature of the room drop to a low, chilly hostility. When the cheers turn to jeers, your best bet is to go with the flow. Everyone’s angry? Then you’re angry too. That ref made a stupid call? He’s a fucking moron. The new quarterback isn’t playing well? Send him back to Jacksonville. The host just kicked a hole in his wall? Smash that beer bottle over your head.

 

If the House’s team is losing terribly, then your job becomes keep your head down and don’t draw attention to yourself. Many sports fans are superstitious by nature, and even the most level-headed person can be thrown off by high emotions and a few gallons of beer. Anything can and will be blamed for the team’s performance, including the outcome of the coin toss or the attendance of a non-fan at the party. Fact: you do not want a roomful of angry sports fans blaming you for their misery. That’s a lot like being the dinner guest at the end of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. If that happens, run. But don’t worry, it probably won’t.

 

When the game is over, don’t leave too quickly. Take a few minutes to celebrate or commiserate with the group. Offer to clean up a little. If you have to drive, make sure that you’re sober. But don’t hang out too long, and especially if it’s during football season, do not stay for another game. An entire day spent watching sports may sound enjoyable, but it’s really for die-hards only. The non-sports fan will eventually lose interest and want to move on with their day. Hopefully you’re sober and can leave right away when that happens. If you’re not, then you’re stuck. Overstaying your welcome risks turning a fun activity into an annoying distraction. Quit while you’re ahead and go out on top.

 

 


The Best Foods To Eat While Watching Sports (and how to make them even better)

Written by :
Published on : October 12, 2015

 

 

Have you been to a stadium lately? They’ve really stepped their game up… foodwise. Not only with the quality of the food, but variety. You can get Shake Shack at Mets games! But you’re not watching most games at the arena (unless you have season tickets, you prick). Suppose you’re like me and can’t find a balance of finding a business establishment combining optimal viewing situations with audio AND above average food. I have this problem where the places I like to eat while I watch games has a bad TV setup or they play bad music over the games or there’s uncomfortable seating. The alternative is going to a shit sports bar where fans are too unruly or the food sucks or both. My situation is this: don’t want to sacrifice quality of traditional “Game Day Cuisine” while sitting comfortably as I use a powerful wifi connection to check stats & be able to use a clean bathroom. I doubt I’m alone. Therefore, here’s my vision for best possible foods to eat while enjoying sports.

 

1. Hot dogs

Footlong

 

Fuck peanuts & cracker jacks. Don’t literally have sex with peanuts & cracker jacks, they can even be mildly enjoyable in the right context, but this isn’t the 1950s. You go to a ballgame, chances are that you’ll eat a hot dog. Hot dogs at ballparks are usually dirty water dogs. Since hot dogs come already cooked, they just need to be heated so at ballparks the cheapest/fastest way to do that is to have the hot dogs hang out in a hot tub until you order them, then they are tonged out of the tub juice. Fucking. Gross. Frankly, you’d have to be some kind of monster to prefer this over a grilled, crunchy charred outside/juicy hot inside frank. So many garnishments & condiments to add like carmelized onions, sauerkraut, potato chips, sriracha, srirancha (sriracha & ranch dressing) or just get your self a nice mustard & artisan buns (eat hot dog with pinky flailing). Extra points for fancy sauces with even fancier sausages; be the best for eating the würst.

 

2. Nachos

Cheesy

 

Nachos are great already, depending on who’s making them & how they’re made. I’m not including those corn chips with plastic yellow sauce you’d get at a stadium. I’m talking about melted cheese shreds, sliced jalapeños, salsa, guacamole (that doesn’t cost extra to add), sour cream & some (hopefully slow cooked) meat. The problem with this orgy of the hot models equivalent of foods is it makes the chips soggy (much like an actual orgy…). Also, not everyone loves heartburn.

Solution: cast a wide oven pan or cookie sheet, layering chips with cheese. Add vegetables toward end of melting cheese. Sauces/dips on the side.

Alternative: American Nachos aka Machos.
Ingredients:
Potato chips (ruffles for texture. Kettle chips for good measure)
Ground beef or pulled pork
Bacon bits (homemade, if you’re not lazy)
Velveeta AND shredded cheddar
Chopped onions
Chopped dill pickles
Chopped tomatoes
Ketchup
Mustard
Ranch or Srirancha

 

Just imagine if nachos got your favorite cheeseburger & fries pregnant. This is the baby it’d have, baby! Take nachos back for America!

 

Honorable mention: Poutine

 

3. Wings

Wing or go home

 

If you don’t love wings, move to fucking Antarctica. Wings are great, but you have to eat so many to be satisfied, not to mention makes Tinder a lot messier than it is already.

Alternative: Buffalo/BBQ Turkey Legs.
Turkey legs are delicious, longer lasting & the food version of Beast Mode. Which ever presidential candidate jumps on board with replacing chicken wings with Turkey legs will have my vote. Toss those legs in any sauce and it’s like your chicken wings took HGH without all the side effects.

 

4. Pizza

Always good

 

This one maybe can’t be improved upon, but much like any sports team, pizza is all about the quality ingredients that go into it. Innovation and creativity definitely play an important role. Chicken wings have been fused with pizza in different incarnations & it’s the Stockton and Malone of foods.

That being said, as enjoyable as they were to watch, they don’t have rings. (Mmmmmmm, pizza with onion rings on it….) Just like pizza, maybe the Stockton/Malone tandem could’ve used a little more help around them. For example, maybe if those Jazz teams had flavored crust, fresh burrata, heirloom tomato sauce or a melty real cheese or yogurt based dipping sauce they could’ve beaten Jordan? Jordan was the pizza you get at a fancy Italian restaurant with all those high end ingredients. Lebron is Detroit square deep dish from Buddy’s. Shaq’s that decadent Chicago deep dish. Mailman was delivery. JR Smith is DiGiorno.

 

What foods we don’t need to see near our sporting events

-Fruit bowls: come on, we are watching sports, not training to play. Take your mandolin & cut that shit out. You want grapes, drink wine from a box like the poor man that you are!

-Anything using chopsticks
Unless you’re watching sumo wrestling in Japan, this is unacceptable. It should be a rule of thumb that no food is allowed to be eaten during sport events that require any utensil that could be used as a weapon.

-Salad: See above. This includes anything chopped up & mixed with mayonnaise or leafy greens.

 

The goal should be to eat food with your hands that make your fingers too filthy, too slimy, too sticky to refresh your fantasy app every 30 seconds & enjoy the game the way the cavemen did.

 

 


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