A Super Bowl Primer For The Uninitiated



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We've teamed up with our friends over at theSkimm again, this time, to bring you some at-a-glance (and surprisingly funny) Super Bowl prep , so you can be as informed as possible, whether you're a die-hard Ravens or Niners fan, or just in it for Beyoncé. Read on, and if you like what you see, be sure to sign up for theSkimm newsletters for a daily dose of news at an (entertaining) glance.

Two Brothers, One Bowl

The Story. It’s time for Super Bowl XLVII.

Hold on. Doing the math. It’s the 47th Super Bowl. There are two teams. Lots of parties. And the night ends with someone getting a ring. Probably not you.

When is it? Sunday. 6:30 ET. Watch it on CBS, or, if you’re being anti-social, live on CBSSports.com

Who's going? The Baltimore Ravens and Coach Harbaugh. The San Francisco 49ers and Coach Harbaugh. Yup, welcome to HarBowl 2013.

What's at stake? Pride, bragging rights, sometimes parades, sometimes endorsement deals, sometimes trips to Disney, money, and championship rings.

Where is it? New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Super Dome. New Orleans. This all sounds familiar. Good memory. This is in fact the same, although redone and renamed, arena made infamous during Hurricane Katrina. Nothing like a makeover, some Mardi Gras beads, and over $430 million in expected revenue to help the city out.

Do I know anyone going? There’s neither a Brady nor a Manning but maybe they’ll pan to a familiar face partying.

Confession: I hate football. Get over it. This is the biggest event in TV and even the president is pre-gaming. Obama will get the party started in a little chit chat with CBS’s Scott Pelley before the game. Lots of Americans with beer and chicken wings — the perfect captive audience. Tim Riggins would be proud.

Is it halftime yet? Ah, the American tradition that brings families and wardrobe malfunctions together. Alicia Keys will get the games started with the national anthem. But the halftime show will be all for Mrs. Carter. As in Beyoncé. And maybe Destiny’s Child. Maybe not. Or maybe Jay-Z and Alicia. But definitely Bey. It’s all just too much to handle.

Yeah, but Bey doesn't sing live. Remember? We have no idea what you’re talking about. Queen Bey gave a little presser and started off by singing the national anthem a capella. Because she can. “Any questions?” Didn’t think so.

Let's talk commercials. Ah, the good stuff. It’s that time of the year when it’s NOT okay to fast forward through two minutes of ads. It’s also wasteful, considering advertisers paid over $3.5 million to woo you for 30 seconds. There’s a high standard to live up to. This year, expect Amy Poehler at Best Buy, Kate Upton being sexy with a Mercedes, Psy dancing to Pistachios, and Axe sending someone at home to space. Really.

What do I eat? Wings. Lots of wings. If you want to score points try one of these or this. Or just stick to the guac. And beer.

Can we get back to the game. What is HarBowl? It’s the makings of a Lifetime movie James Van Der Beek could only dream of: when two brothers coach opposing teams in the biggest game of the year and their parents have to watch.

Wait, really? Yes. This epic experiment in ultimate sibling rivalry marks the first time two brothers will coach against each other in the Bowl. They even held a joint presser to talk about their days of putting yellow tape down the middle of their shared room.

John Harbaugh (Ravens Coach): Older; former college defensive back; down to earth; cracks jokes; makes prank calls to his parents during interviews.
Jim Harbaugh (49ers Coach): Younger; former NFL QB; could very well strangle his own players or turn his headset into a weapon.
* Jack and Jackie Harbaugh: Love both sons no matter who wins. Jackie will wear a neutral color.
** These are their real names.

Who's going to win? We wouldn’t dare take sides (especially since both Skimms' teams are out of the running) but Vegas will. The spread favors the 49ers by four.

What's the spread? No, not asking about your cheese platter. It refers to the expected spread between the team’s final scores. See above.

Can I make money on this? If you’re in Vegas, don’t let the bright lights get to you. At your college roommate’s party? Go for it. Just keep it legal. The simplest way is to bet on the “money line" — a.k.a. who wins or loses. Or you can bet on what the spread will be. If you want to get fancy, there are LOTS of other things you can bet on. These are called “prop bets.” Skimm HQ is betting doing the dishes on how many times the word “Harbaugh” will be said.

Who do I need to know?

Purple Team (Ravens)
Ray Lewis (Linebacker): This is his last game ever. After 17 years with the same team, he’s heading to retirement. He’s been accused of being involved in a double murder and doping with deer-antler spray. In case you had doubts, he says he’s a man of God.
Joe Flacco (Quarterback): Wants to be considered ‘elite’; contract is up at the end of the season, although the Ravens will likely re-sign him for a lot. A LOT.
Ray Rice (Runningback): Small but shifty. “Little Ray” does more than just run, he catches balls, too. Good job.
Torrey Smith (Wide Receiver): Less than 24 hours after losing his brother in a motorcycle accident, Smith helped the Ravens beat the Patriots. He plays for his family every time he takes the field. How can you not root for him?! (h/t Andrew Brennan New York, NY)

Red Team (49ers)
Colin Kaepernick (Quarterback): Started the season as a back-up and ending it as a star; owns a large tortoise and has a lot of tats. He’s started his own photo fad, “Kaepernicking”: when you flex and kiss your bicep. If he wins with his combo of throwing AND running, he’ll be the 3rd youngest QB to pull it off. He’ll also get a free Red Robin pass for life. There’s a lot on the line here.
Vernon Davis (Tight End): A top tight end (ha) and art gallery owner. [Insert joke here.] He’s thankful to his former coach for benching him after a tirade during a ‘08 game.
The “Smith Brothers”: Justin and Aldon are not blood brothers, nor Smash brothers, but a Missouri two-some who have formed a fearsome one-two punch.That sounds intense.

Other names you will hear
David Akers: A ‘49ers kicker who’s lost his footing and gets yelled at a lot. Also known as “Ache-ers.” (h/t Trisha Engelman, Chicago, IL)
Alex Smith: The very sad-looking man in the corner. Used to be the star QB for the '49ers until he got concussed.
Chris Culliver: Apparently the '49er player wouldn’t accept a gay teammate. He’s kind of apologized. We don’t expect GLAAD to honor him.
Dan Marino: Football Hall of Famer who will work the pre-show for CBS. Apparently he also worked a CBS PA and impregnated her.

I was told there'd be no math. Someone lied. Apparently there are a lot of numbers in this game. Four quarters. Touchdown: 6; field goal: 3; safety: 2; extra point: self-explanatory…

Photo: Courtesy of NFL.com