Tick, tock, tick, tock ... The countdown to the Super Bowl has begun.
In just a few hours, on the first Sunday of February, the NFL (National Football League) will celebrate its 50th champions.
Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets! The Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos?
Psst ... Want to make a sure bet? Bet on the weather. This decisive match will be played on the greenest land in all the league. Twenty-three sunny degrees Celsius is expected at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
This fanatical day is no longer limited to the United States, men, taverns or remote suburban basements. This sacred Sunday is practiced around the world.
Here at home, in Canada, with family, and yes that includes women that are die-hard fans, friends or colleagues, you may attend a Super Bowl party, in a living room, a home theater or at your favourite local bar.
Focused on the small -- or, more likely, large or jumbo -- screen, in communion with fans from around the world, you will be watching the last game of the 2015 American football season.
Yes, it's all about the game but, you will also be spectator to the most-watched concert of the year, the half-time show.
And, let's not forget, perhaps you are already licking your fingers (No, no, no, no, no, this etiquette expert does not give you permission to lick your fingers on Super Bowl Sunday. Read number 6)? The chicken wings, the chili, and your favourite chips; Super Bowl food and snacks!
Are you invited to celebrate this global happening?
If so, to make sure that you'll be invited back next year, here are some good to know conversation pieces, dos, don'ts and chicken wing eating 101.
FUN TO KNOW
1. The name
Originally called NFL-AFL Championship Game, the first game took place on Jan. 15, 1967, for the final game of the 1966 season.
According to Super Bowl folklore, it's Lamar Hunt, a founder of the American Football League and also founder and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, who first used the name Super Bowl.
Inspired by the Super Balls (Yes, the same little rubber bouncy ones that have entertained you for hours) that his children played with, without the intent of officially christening the game, he spontaneously introduced Super Bowl in his correspondence and meetings. The media along with the fans quickly adopted it and made it popular.
2. The numbers
The number that follows Super Bowl indicates the championship's year of existence. Usually in Roman numerals, this year is an exception, with 50 in Arabic numerals. It's held in the year that follows the season. Hence, this is Super Bowl 50, the final confrontation of the 2015 season, which will be played on Feb. 7, 2016.
3. The stars
Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem.
Coldplay and Beyoncé will provide entertainment at halftime.
And if you plan to sing along with them and the other guests, here are the lyrics.
4. Ask your host how you can contribute to the get-together, or what you should bring. If your host(ess) has everything under control, bring a host(ess) gift like a Super Bowl-themed serving dish and snack (chips and chip bowl in the shape of a football) or something for the barbecue, like your homemade secret rib sauce.
5. Remove your team's cap during the national anthem. You too, ladies, you are not at the Kentucky Derby.
6. Use your napkin, please. Yes, chicken wings may be eaten with your fingers, but finger licking should be a solitary activity. Nobody wants to high five orange, sticky fingers.
7. Follow the chicken wing eating protocol.
I hear you. "What are you talking about, Julie? That's nonsense." Yes, it sounds funny but this process is very useful to eat a 100 per cent meat chicken wing. Try it and let me know:
- Locate the large end, the cartilage and remove it.
- Grasp the other end with your other hands' fingers.
- With your main hand, hold the thinnest bone with your first two fingers and thumb; twist, pull and discard.
- Repeat, with the other wider bone: twist, pull and throw.
For a more elegant, less messy tasting, choose drumsticks and eat around the bone. Did you know that trick?
Tip for host(ess): make a container of wet wipes available to your guests.
8. Arrange for a safe ride home. Have a designated driver or call a cab. It's a fact. Year after year, in the hours that follow the Super Bowl, there are road accidents caused by exhilarated, fatigued, angry and even drunk fans. Don't drink and drive.
9. Thank your host upon leaving and the next day, on Monday morning; text, email or call to say.
10. Touch the remote. I repeat and your host(ess) insists -- "Do not touch the remote." It's the host(ess)'s privilege.
11. Coach the players, unless you're alone on your couch. They are listening to their onsite coaches and the other guests want to hear the announcers' commentary. Really!
12. Double dip. Once the vegetable, the chip or the nacho (no, not your macho brother-in-law) has been in the dip once, it never goes back. Do you need a reminder of the possibility of contamination? Watch this famous Seinfeld scene. Like the guy says to George: "Just one dip and end it." The exception is when you have sauce in your individual plate. In that case, dip as you wish.
13. Take pics, don't tag and tweet pictures of your "deflated" friends Before posting, do the two fridge test. Your job or your friends' could depend on it.
14. Call in sick the next day. Don't even think about it.
Let's go blue team, let's go!!! I know, both teams wear blue. :-).
Want more solutions? Visit Julie's website, like her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter and here in the Huffington Post. Order your autographed copy of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Or, invite her to facilitate a workshop for your team. "Bye-bye embarrassment and faux-pas. Helle confidence & credibility."
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