Focus on the human drama, not the action on the field.
The Super Bowl is the one sporting event a year even non-sports fans feel compelled to watch. The traditional refuge for these people is the commercial breaks: those brief moments of dialogue and humor in the midst of a wordless, serious game. But there's more to draw in a sports skeptic than watching Ferris Bueller and Jerry Seinfeld hawk cars. I'd encourage non-football fans to focus on the human drama behind the game: stories of sibling rivalry, triumph over adversity, and joy in the midst of grief that come from the players, coaches, and owners of the Patriots and Giants. Here are some of the most compelling off-the-field stories from this year's Super Bowl:
Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady
In a now-infamous radio interview this summer, Giants quarterback Eli Manning was asked if he was in a class with Patriots QB Tom Brady. It was an intentionally provocative question: yes, Manning won a Super Bowl for the Giants, but he's hardly been the consistently excellent player that Brady is—plus, Brady's won three Super Bowls. But the usually modest, unassuming Manning took the bait: "Yeah, I consider myself in that class, and Tom Brady is a great quarterback," he said. Patriots and Giants fans alike mocked Manning for his response, but Manning may have the last laugh. Six months after that interview, he will face Brady in the Super Bowl for the second time in four years, and he'll have the chance to beat him again. Two Super Bowl rings against Brady will silence the naysayers and place Manning securely in the elite quarterback club.