I've kept my mouth shut on the topic of professional sports for most of my time as a writer. I don't even talk about how much I despise the majority of the culture that comes with it on Facebook (I save those complaints for Twitter). But I know I can't be the only one who suffers in silence this time of year. Denver is especially bad this January; I have seen the most unsuspecting of my friends become Broncos-outfitted zombies. My neighborhood -- which is basically a parking lot for Mile High Stadium at Sports Authority Field anyway -- becomes an idiot zone, as people drive up and down the street honking and screaming like lunatics. And don't even get me started on that bogus "nonprofit," the NFL. I work part-time for a nonprofit. The NFL being considered a nonprofit offends me.
Though I cannot escape the tide of putrid orange and blue that has temporarily washed away the IQs of my fellow citizens, I've come up with a list of ways to survive Super Bowl XLVIII -- even though you won't be able to fully escape its taint unless you leave the planet until February 3.
Tip #1: Stay off of social media If you're like me and can't give up your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram addictions for a whole two weeks, at least promise yourself you'll log off on February 2. If your newsfeed looked anything like mine during the AFC Championships, just know it's going to be ten times that bad. From play-by-plays by your friends who have scarily transformed into amateur couch announcers to pictures of disgusting Broncos-themed seven-layer dip, nothing will be off limits.
Save your sanity and stay away from the bowels of the Internet for one day. Because believe me, after the 300th consecutive update about some player "doing it wrong," you're going to be tempted to start a fight with a person who, outside of this temporary bout of foaming-at-the-mouth Broncos-rabies, is actually your friend. And no amount of social media bickering over a game that neither of you have anything to do with physically is worth losing a friend.
Tip #2: Stay away from public places with televisions At home, you have the power to turn it off. But just know that anywhere you try to go on Super Bowl Sunday will probably have a television, and it will be tuned to the game. This means avoiding bars and restaurants, obviously, but also car wash/auto mechanic waiting rooms, laundramats, gas stations, grocery stores, thrift stores and all of the other weird places that America has decided need TVs.
Tip #3: Find something else to do Seriously, this is not going to be a leisurely Sunday afternoon, no matter how hard you try. You're going to have to keep yourself occupied if you're going to be successful at the two tips above. Not because you have to be near a television at all times or can't stay away from Facebook -- but yeah, that's kind of what will happen. I know because I am a person who tweets from the toilet and will watch anything on a television if it is on.
So make a plan, dude. See a movie, go for an epic bike ride, take a Zumba class. (And don't just go to the gym -- sports freaks hang out there, too, obviously. And when the masochists on the treadmill aren't watching the Food Network, they're watching sports on the shared televisions.) Maybe catch that exhibit at the Denver Art Museum you've been meaning to see some weekend when you aren't binge-watching/catching up on Season Two of Girls. Tip #4: Leave town There is no escaping Broncos-mania, even within the surrounding states. But it might help to get away from the people you love in order to still love them once their football fever has subsided. Luckily, Colorado has plenty of great places where you can escape. Head to Idaho Springs (or one of the many nudity-allowing hot springs my hippie roommates seem to know about) and take a dip. Go skiing. Take a long drive to Glenwood Springs. I'm sure there will be televisions there, too, but at least they won't be surrounded by people you know.
Tip #5: Relax As annoying as it is that everything has been covered in, filled with or lit up orange and blue -- donuts, the Capitol Building, the people you love -- there is no better time to practice patience and forgiveness. Chilling out over the fact that our city is temporarily a slobbering beast version of itself will get you through this fiasco much quicker than freaking out about it. We will by no means be back to normal come February 3, but just know that the road to Super Bowl recovery will eventually appear. Your friends and family will return from the dark orange-and-blue side and resume their normal behavior. You'll be able to have conversations again. It will almost be like this all never happened.
Now please, haters: Bring it on!
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