You may think watching an NFL American football game would be all about competition, focusing on the game, counting points and rooting for a team. And you would be about 50% right.
The actual game is central to the fan experience for many. Others who know nothing about football can still enjoy the broader entertainment spectacle. The sport’s rules are rather complex to outsiders, so it takes time to learn the finer points of the game.
Don’t worry if you’re on the outside looking in. Here are five ways to enjoy NFL games, even if you have no idea about football itself.
The Game Day Party
Watching NFL games on TV can be just as social as attending a live game. People commonly throw game watching parties throughout the season and especially for the Super Bowl.
Gameday parties are a great excuse to gather with friends and enjoy food and drinks. You don’t have to keep track of every game development to partake in the fun socializing.
In fact, you can easily lose yourself in conversation and laughter with those around you without checking the score once.
Whether your team wins or loses – or if you don’t even have a team at all – you’ll still be thoroughly entertained at a game day party.
Should you find yourself at an NFL game without knowledge or interest in what’s happening on the field, you can always enjoy the stadium amenities.
NFL stadiums are full of cool entertainment, shopping, and dining options. Just take a walk around the concourse behind the seats. You’ll find shops selling the home team’s apparel, games for fans, and of course, concessions.
That’s great news if you’re a foodie. Stadiums nowadays offer regional cuisine and fine dining options in addition to the standard football game fare of hotdogs, burgers, and nachos.
The Thrill of the Crowd
The average attendance at NFL games is around 62,000. Pack that many people in a stadium and there’s bound to be infectious energy.
Football fans are a wild bunch. The costumes, flags, signs, painted faces and crazy cheers provide newcomers with quite the experience. Feel free to join in the fun. The NFL encourages crowd participation by playing music and airing entertaining on-screen content, like the iconic kiss cam.
Even if you never glance at the scoreboard, football can still be exciting to watch. The plays are fast, the tackles are hard, and the crowd erupts when the home team scores a touchdown.
It’s an entertaining, action-packed event, whether you understand the intricacies of gameplay or not.
NFL Prop Betting
Sports betting is becoming widely available in the US as markets open in a number of states. You may think a good knowledge of the sport is necessary to bet on football. While that’s certainly recommended for some bets, prop betting is an exception.
Unlike most bets, NFL props don’t factor only into outcomes. Instead, there are special wagers on specific events within each game that are unrelated to the final score.
In this way, props are more like a ‘game within a game’ and don’t require you to place a stake on one team or the other.
This makes prop bets a good choice for casual fans who aren’t interested in the winning team or final score.
With Super Bowl prop bets, you can wager on interesting aspects like how long the national anthem performance will last and which commercial will air first.
The Super Bowl Halftime Show
As someone who doesn’t pay attention to which teams are winning – or even who’s playing – the most buzz you’re likely to hear about the Super Bowl will revolve around the halftime show.
Halftime at regular-season games is typically reserved for a program of cheerleaders, marching bands and a small show.
The Super Bowl halftime show is an entirely different story. The NFL takes full advantage of the big game’s midpoint break with a full out concert spectacle.
A featured musical performs on a giant stage amid mindblowing theatrics and high-tech wizardry.
Past Super Bowl halftime performers include The Rolling Stones, Prince, Madonna and Beyoncé.