The Superbowl might be the only American tradition that gives me palpable anxiety every time it rolls around. Between feeling like I should at least try to find a Superbowl party and reverting back to my old nail-biting habits once I get into the game itself, the thing just leaves me exhausted. This year I’ve drawn a hard line in the sand: no Superbowl, no Superbowl parties, no nothin’, and I have five good reasons for it.

1. Football Can Be Nerve-Wracking and Even Make You Sad. I started watching football because a had a crush on a guy who was a big Eagles fan, but over time my understanding of and interest in the game grew. I used to really love it. But before I knew it I was celebrating so hard after every win that you’d think I was actually receiving tangible benefit from it, yet shedding real tears after losses (and if you follow football, as an Eagles fan I experienced a lot of those). I’m too much of an emotional Nervous Nelly to invest my heart and soul into something I can’t control. And did you know that football makes babies cry?

I can’t deal with it.

2. You Can See The Good Stuff Later. The commercials and half time show (which this year features Madonna) are the most interesting aspects of the game, but all of that will be available on the internet without that messy football stuff before the game is even over. The only other benefit to football itself is looking at fine men in tight pants, but there are also better ways to do that before and after the game.

3. The “Real Fans” Act Crazy. I do not understand why people (by people I pretty much mean men) hoot and holler and grunt and shout and hop up and down before and/or after each and every play during a football game. It’s the only environment where it’s acceptable to act like a wildebeest indoors and I find that somewhat freakish. I’ve even been at football parties that have ended in fisticuffs after rival fans have talked a little bit too much smack about each others teams. It’s not pretty.

Dude…really…it’s ok.

4. Superbowl Party Buffets. Buffalo wings, nacho dips, veggie and cheese platters that don’t skimp on the ranch dressing, cupcakes, and even cupcakes with hot wings on them are all foods that will be laid out on any Superbowl buffet worth its salt (and in most cases, its fat). A Superbowl party can turn into a second Thanksgiving if you let it, and like Thanksgiving hosts take it personally if you don’t at least try their special dishes. For me, a nibble here and a nibble there amounts to extra time in the gym that just ain’t worth trying out someone’s special potato salad. I’ll meet up with the crew after the game, thanks.

5. There Are Other Things To Do. When I was in a relationship, football on Sundays was pretty much non-negotiable, and even now many of my married friends call me on Sundays to lament their husbands being taken hostage by televised sports for those few hours every week. But Sunday afternoon/evening is great for giving a home-cooked meal the attention it deserves, or deep-conditioning your hair, or cleaning up around the house and getting ready for the work week. Superbowl Sunday is specifically great for going shopping because once the game starts most stores will be ghost towns (unless you’re shopping for chips or beer). So that’s what I’m gonna do.

How about you? Are you watching the Superbowl this year?

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