Last week, Jeff Pearlman wrote an article for CNN.com titled "I hate, hate, Super Bowl parties," and I couldn’t agree more.
Whether it’s the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals or the Masters, there is nothing less appealing to me than watching the game or event at a party or a loud, crowded sports bar.
Years ago, I used to try and hide these feeling by making excuses such as that I wasn’t feeling well or already had plans for the big game, but these days I simply say “no thank you” and move on.
Now, I am not by any means an asocial person. Sit me down at a bar with a few drinks and great company and I’ll have no problem talking about sports, politics or life in general into the wee hours of the morning.
And I enjoy a great party just as much as anyone else.
However, I happen to enjoy sports more than I enjoy parties, and mixing the two has never worked out well for me in the past.
Parties centered around sporting events typically contain three distinct groups of attendees:
1. The Know-It-Alls
These people immediately try to establish themselves as the party expert on whatever sport we happen to be watching. Like a lion trying to establish his dominance with a loud roar, they will walk into the room and immediately begin throwing out the best quotes and stats they heard that morning on ESPN.
They will then spend the rest of the day trying to predict every play, shot, pitch or at-bat, and then when their prediction is inevitably incorrect, they will spend the next 10 minutes trying to analyze the play as if they were a member of Fox's NFL Post-Game show. These people are a sports party’s equivalent to a swarm of angry mosquitoes buzzing in your ear all day long.
2. The Uninterested
These people are not as obnoxious as the party know-it-alls, but they can be just as, if not more annoying, than the know-it-alls. These people have no interest in the game but were invited anyway through the grace of a courteous host. These people will ask you about your job or your kids when it’s 4th-and-2 with three minutes and 12 seconds left.
These are the people that will attempt to brag about their new business venture when the leaders are on the 18th tee at the Masters. The Uninterested view sports parties as simply parties, and forget that the whole purpose of the party was to get together to watch the game.
3. The Overbearing Hosts
Do you want something else to drink? There’s more dip in the kitchen. There’s extra sandwiches, who wants to take some home? Etc. They will spend 90 percent of their time bringing out 10 courses of snacks while walking right in front of the TV and then asking you every 15 minutes if you’ve had enough to eat. You can literally miss an entire quarter's worth of play during the Super Bowl due solely to your “hosts” walking in front of the television.
And don’t even get me started about watching big games in a bar. Take the Know-It-Alls, Uninterested and Overbearing Hosts, multiply them by several hundred and feed them 10 beers each, and there is your sports watching experience down at the local sports bar.
No thank you.
I’d rather get a pizza pie from my favorite pizza joint, stock up on my favorite drinks, get a bag of my favorite chips and sit down in a quiet room and actually enjoy the game.
I don’t want to miss a play.
I actually want to hear what the commentators are saying rather than having them drowned out my know-it-all Bill or uninterested Jim.
No, I don’t want more dip, more sandwiches, another drink or a doggy bag to take home. I’ve got my favorite foods no more than 20 feet away from me in my kitchen, which I can easily access during the commercials.
This may sound boring or hermit-like to some, but let me ask you this—how much of last night’s Super Bowl did you miss because of the know-it-alls, uninterested and overbearing hosts?
How many of you have a vague recollection of the game because you had too many drinks and spent the entire third quarter trying to be polite while uninterested Jim talked your ear off about his new job down at your local sports bar?
How many of you missed all of the inside analysis, injury reports, statistical breakdowns, etc. because the noise volume in the room was above that of a cocktail party but just below that of a rave?
Well, not me.
I sat in my “man cave” with my dog and my favorite foods and enjoyed every second of the game.
And next weekend I’ll host a BBQ and will happily spend hours upon hours talking to the know-it-alls, uninterested and overbearing hosts about anything from the Super Bowl to politics to their new jobs.
To me, sports and parties are like lobster and ketchup.
I love lobster and I love ketchup, but I just don’t enjoy dipping my lobster into a side of ketchup.