NEW YORK – You've studied the rosters for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks enough to know a few players besides Peyton Manning and Richard Sherman, and can name all the members of the "Legion of Boom." You've watched that adorable Budweiser commercial with the puppy about 100 times, and have booked a trip to Omaha to ward off the post-Super Bowl depression that will hit with a vengeance Monday morning.
There are still several hours before kickoff. What to do?
First things first. From the moment you wake up, hydrate. Super Bowl Sunday is a marathon, not a sprint.
4 p.m. – Put out the chips and dip. But hold off on the guacamole. It gets all brown and gross after sitting out in the open, so wait until right before the first guests arrive.
4:15 p.m. – Take your seats, those of you in the stadium. Yes, there's still an hour until kickoff, but the teams will be warming up. Your ticket cost more than some used cars, you may as well get every penny's worth.
5 p.m. – Home viewers should nail down a spot that gives you access to the food as well as a view of the TV. And if you haven't already done so, get in on the pools that are undoubtedly going. You can win some serious cash in those things. Or continue your losing streak.
5:15 p.m. – The national anthem. Opera singer Renee Fleming is doing it, so you know it's going to be good. Maybe not Whitney Houston good, but not screeching cats, either.
5:20 p.m. – Hydrate. I would tell you to eat something, too, but you've been doing that.
5:25 p.m. – Finally, kickoff!
Since you did your homework, you know this game features the NFL's No. 1 offense (the Broncos) vs. the No. 1 defense (the Seahawks). Peyton Manning has taken enough grief about his cold-weather record, so I won't get into that again here. But given that the game-time temperatures are expected to be in the 40s, it won't be an issue, and I say Manning throws the ball early and often.
Because the Seahawks are a young team, expect some big-game jitters. If they can manage those from the start, they have a shot at keeping it close against the Broncos. If not, it's going to be a long night.
7:15 p.m. – There isn't quite the anticipation for Bruno Mars' halftime show as there was for Beyonce's last year – unless he's got a plan to reunite Destiny's Child that we don't know about. (By the way, did anyone else realize the Red Hot Chili Peppers were still together before it was announced they were playing at the Super Bowl, or was it just me?)
Roughly 9:30 p.m. – The game ends, confetti falls and we can all go home. But if the Broncos win, stick around long enough to see if Manning says he's going to Disney World … or Omaha.