Every year, you say you'll see it through to the end. Every year, you start drifting off on the first extended warble of Star Spangled Banner. But, trust us, for those willing to dig a little deeper this Sunday there are rewards to be had. Here are ten:
1 The Office Kudos
Except for spontaneous mescaline binges and incarceration in southeast Asian prisons, there are few more exotic reasons for arriving at work on Monday all bleary-eyed and incoherent, than watching the 49th Super Bowl.
2 The Rules
In broad daylight American football makes no sense whatsoever. Yet, like Open University programming and The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine movie, all that flag-dropping and QB-sacking becomes newly coherent at 2am.
3 The Controversy
America has been in a frenzy over ‘deflate-gate’, when the New England Patriots were accused of deliberately using partially flat footballs in their defeat of the Indianapolis Colts. It’s given many Americans an extra reason to dislike the Patriots, who have achieved a dominance and unpopularity not dissimilar to Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. Go Seattle!
4 The Commentators
There’s nothing quite as unsettling as an ex-NFL player in a tailored suit: invariably a shiny three-piece that’s two sizes too small and straining at the buttons (which remain steadfastly fastened at all times). Throw in their ice white teeth and that weird talking-to-the-camera-not-each-other thing they do and it makes for a nice change in style from the MOTD sofa.
5 The Anthem
The pre-game anthem represents a compelling mix of 'will they screw it up?' tension, unashamed corniness and a grudging respect for how earnestly Americans honour their showpiece sporting event.
When it’s good, as with Whitney Houston’s surprisingly quaver-free 1991 rendition, it can make the hair on a Canadian's neck stand on end. When it’s bad, it’s a beautiful, cringe-inducing car crash. This Sunday’s victim is toothy singer and actress, Idina Menzel.
6 The Adverts
The cult of the superbowl ad is alive and well, though these days you can find most of them on YouTube long before the game itself starts. This year Anna Kendrick, Jeff Bridges and Kim Kardashian all feature. See them all rounded up by our cousins at Esquire US.
7 The Food
What better time to come off your January wagon than with a Sunday night blow-out involving weak American beer and an artery-narrowing quantity of hydrogenated fats. If you fancy leaving the house, The Diner is offering up a matchnight menu including smokestack lightening burgers and Reeses Peanut Buttercup shake shots.
8 The Players
Improbably bulky men with lantern jaws, Michelin Man arms and Shrek bellies, American footballers are like seeing the future of the human race if we interbred with Hereford cattle. Which could happen.
9 The Half-Time Entertainment
Enjoy famous pop stars opening nipple flaps (Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, 2004) and fluffing the words to the national anthem (Christina Aguilera, 2011)? Katy Perry will be performing the half-time honours this year so anything is possible.
10 The Game Itself
We nearly forgot. Amidst all the fanfare there's an actual game on, and this one is hingeing on how close Seattle’s defence can get to The Patriots' legendary quarter-back Tom Brady – yes, the one who's married to Gisele Bundchen. See, you do know something about American football.
Superbowl XLVI, live on BBC1 and Sky Sports 1, this Sunday from 10.30pm