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The Underdog's Guide to The Super Bowl: Picks, Recipes, and Halftime Entertainment

The Sheildball™ Finale is upon us. May God have mercy on our souls.

Former Southern Miss LB Jamie Collins
Former Southern Miss LB Jamie Collins
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday night you will watch the Super Bowl. I know you will, because you are reading this, and you honestly don't have much choice in the matter. I don't even like the Super Bowl, but a friend of mine skipped it last year, and Roger Goodell payed him a visit. Not sure what they talked about, but if you say "the shield," he wets himself.

You probably already have plans for it, which makes it pointless for me to tell you that it is at 6:30 Eastern on NBC. You also know that its at For-Profit Community College Stadium in Arizona, but that doesn't matter since you won't be able to attend because you don't own a yacht.

What you really want to know is "Why should I care?" Well friend, I'm glad you asked.

1) Underdogs are playing football.

Sure, these rosters are loaded with Power 5 blue chip players, but they also feature a few guys who took the hard road to the pinnacle of their sport. Just check out the names and schools below.


63 Dan Connolly, LG, Southeast Missouri St.
62 Ryan Wendell, RG, Fresno State
76 Sebastian Vollmer, RT, Houston
11 Julian Edelman, WR, Kent State
46 James Develin, FB, Brown
94 Chris Jones, DT, Bowling Green
91 Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Miss
3 Stephen Gostkowski, K, Memphis
6 Ryan Allen, P, Louisiana Tech

67 Josh Kline, RG, Kent State
84 Brian Tyms, WR, Florida A&M
10 Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
65 Jordan Devey, OL, Memphis
90 Zach Moore, DE, Concordia
21 Malcolm Bulter, CB, West Alabama
25 Kyle Arrington, CB, Hofstra


82 Luke Willson, TE, Rice
54 Bobby Wagner, MLB, Utah State
9 Jon Ryan, P, Regina (Sask., CA)

7 Tarvaris Jackson, QB, Alabama State
22 Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
83 Ricardo Lockette, WR, Fort Valley State
66 Keavon Milton, RG, ULM
67 Landon Cohen, DT, Ohio
52 Brock Coyle, MLB, Montana
20 Jeremy Lane, CB, Northwestern State (LA)
23 Jeron Johnson, SS, Boise State
35 DeShawn Shead, SS, Portland State
28 Marcus Burley, CB, Delaware
19 Bryan Walters, PR, Cornell

That's 30 players without a marquee school attached to their name, and a Canadian. Who says they don't play good football at smaller programs?

2) You have a rooting interest

You are pulling for the Patriots. Why? Because no coach is more likely to pick your favorite Group of 5 player and guide him to a long NFL career than Bill Belichick. "But Matt, he's a cheater." Yeah, and the other guy is Pete Carroll.

Now, if you asked me to put money on it, I would probably lean toward the West Coast. It'll be a close one, but ultimately, only one team has Marshawn Lynch.

3) Because you have to bring a dish

Never mind that watching football with clueless "fans" is your own personal hell, now you have to provide your own chips and dip because your friends are cheap. The strategy here is to go simple, but delicious. My personal favorite is also a South Louisiana staple; a block of Philadelphia cream cheese with Tabasco pepper jelly poured over it. Serve with Wheat Thins. Just trust me on this one.

If you feel like you need to bring something hot, there are two ways you can go. Cook and crumble up some maple flavored breakfast sausage into a crock pot of Velveeta, or go all out and make Zach's Smoked Mac & Cheese. Either way, you can't lose.

4) The Halftime Entertainment

Let's be honest, there are worse acts than Katy Perry for the Super Bowl. She's talented. She was a great College Gameday Guest Picker. And, if you'll allow me to be honest, she's not bad to look at.

Most importantly though, this is the sort of shit she excels at. I don't listen to her music in my free time, but if I had to choose one performer to entertain a wide demographic of people in such a short period of time, it would be Katy Perry. Take it or leave it, but I might actually watch this one with the volume on.

5) It's the last football for a while

It may be Shieldball™, but it still vaguely resembles the sport we all know and love. After this, we won't get to see anyone line up until the spring games, and those won't do much to satisfy your thirst. So eat, drink, and enjoy the game while it lasts. After this, darkness will fall over the land. I hope you enjoy baseball.