Looking for something to do before (or during) the big game? Check out our feature for a day's worth of championship-worthy gaming.
By: Brian Ekberg - Posted on January 30, 2009
Finally, Super Bowl XLIII is upon us and the NFL fans' eyes turn to football on the biggest stage of them all. This year's game between the favored Pittsburgh Steelers and the ultimate underdog Arizona Cardinals has plenty of great storylines: Kurt Warner's return to the big game, the possibility of the Steelers taking their second Super Bowl win in four years, the chance that the Cardinals might cap off their unlikely story with a potential championship win, and the tough Steelers' defense going up against the high-flying Cardinals offensive juggernaut. It's an intriguing matchup that's as unlikely as it is fascinating.
But what if you're not that into football or, worse yet, what if the game turns out to be a lopsided blowout? Well, that's where GameSpot's Super Bowl XLIII day-planner comes in. You see, we're of a mind that you don't have to sacrifice the television all day Sunday just to watch six hours of pregame, a (minimum) four-hour game, and a load of overly hyped, mediocre commercials. Instead, why not mix things up with some gaming to keep things interesting?
Even for an NFL diehard, Super Bowl Sunday can be overload. Why not mix things up with some games?
So we present to you here our detailed plan on how to get the most gaming out of Super Bowl Sunday. Grab some friends and follow our plan to the letter, and we can absolutely guarantee* the following: 1) Even if Super Bowl XLIII turns out to be a snooze, you will have a good time; 2) Your Super Bowl party will be more fun than your next-door neighbor's; and 3) Your favorite team will win the big game.
What You'll Need:
A television. Preferably two, so you can watch the Super Bowl and play some games at the same time.
Consoles, PC, handhelds, natch.
A friend or two.
Snacks. Many, many snacks.
All times shown are Pacific.
* Not an actual guarantee.
Time to wake up, sunshine! It's Super Bowl Sunday! It's time for a full day of football, video games, and salty snacks! Rise and shine, buddy! A day spent sleeping is a day wasted! Up and at 'em!
OK, dude, seriously. Now it really is time to wake up. Why don't we start the day off with a workout to get the blood pumping? How about some Wii Fit yoga to start things off?
Whew! Stretching hurts! OK, forget the exercise and pop in some Fallout 3, which just got expanded with some new downloadable content. After all, postapocalyptic America doesn't show Super Bowl commercials every nine seconds.
By now, the Super Bowl pregame show is in full swing. If you can stomach it, try turning on the television at random times and see if you can spot the following:
An inspirational feature about Kurt Warner's inspiring 2008 comeback set to stirring inspirational string music.
Any mention of the Arizona Cardinals that includes the phrases "struggle," "turnaround," or "Cinderella."
Any mention of the Pittsburgh Steelers that includes the phrases "hard-nosed," "rock-solid," "blue-collar," or "terrible towels."
Bonus points if you spot the first on-air analyst who cracks and admits that a 9-7 team from the NFC West has absolutely no right to be in the Super Bowl.
That's enough pregame show; the next two hours are going to be nothing but stirring, inspirational features on both team's offensive linemen anyway. If you're looking to get inspirational and offensive at the same time, you may as well just check into Liberty City by firing up Grand Theft Auto IV and robbing some banks, while struggling with Nico's deep, inner moral dilemma about committing crimes and shooting guys. Then, you can commit some more crimes and shoot some more guys. Plus, if you're playing the PC version of the game, you can use the in-game movie-maker tool to create your own replays, without some guy on a telecaster drawing a bunch of squiggly lines all over it.
Nico's much more entertaining when he's not belly-aching about moral quandaries. Shut up and pull the trigger, dude!
Hungry yet? Well, it is lunch time. If you're smart, you'll save the snacking for game time. Right now, you can spend some time playing Order Up! for the Wii. Who knows? You might even be inspired to try a new recipe or two.
Spend one final hour with Madden NFL 09 before shelving the game once and for all. For the first 45 minutes, re-create today's big game between the Steelers and Cardinals. That is, until you realize that the Arizona Cardinals in Madden 09 are essentially last year's team and have no shot in the world at beating the virtual Steelers. For the next 15 minutes, ponder the strange irony of sports simulation games.
Welcome to the day's first LEFT 4 DEAD MOMENT. Pop in Valve's zombie-blasting masterpiece and then answer this question: In your estimation, who will scream in fury first, the Cardinals' petulant crybaby receiver Anquan Boldin or the Witch?
Which is more visually confusing: NBC's claustrophobic studio set, which crams Bob Costas and roughly 20 other analysts onto one desk, or a single level of Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos?
Can you find Peter King?
Take 15 minutes to play a game of NCAA Football 09. Spend the next 15 minutes with your face gently cradled in your palms, while you realize that college football season is seven months away.
During interviews this week, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger admitted to being extremely nervous during his first Super Bowl appearance in 2006. Unless Big Ben has played Air Traffic Chaos, he has no idea what real stress is. Try landing a few backed-up planes at windy Tokyo International and you'll see what we mean.
Super Bowl XLIII has begun! Oh, wait. No. After six hours of pregame, we've got to watch 20 minutes of pre-kickoff ceremony. Get to the football, jackballs!
Kickoff! Time to turn off the consoles and pay attention to the biggest, most important sporting event of all time and in the world (Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Antarctica excluded)!!!
Kickoffs are boring. Back to the games!
Kurt Warner throws his first touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald and his amazingly sticky hands. Celebrate by completing a level or two from the just-as-sticky World of Goo.
L4D MOMENT: Assuming that you've got a second TV running Left 4 Dead, turn down the sound on the Super Bowl and pretend that Bill and Louis are calling the football game while blasting zombies en masse. Alternately, turn down the sound on your L4D set and pretend that Al Michaels and John Madden are doing the play-by-play of your zombie genocide. BOOM!
Every time Kurt Warner is referred to as a "feel-good story," saw three Locusts in half in Gears of War 2.
Who cares about Bruce Springsteen when you can be the star of your own halftime show? Grab your friends, strap on your axe, load up Rock Band 2 or Guitar Hero World Tour, and get to wailing. And hey Springsteen fans, if you can't face a halftime without the Boss, you can always download and play two of his songs in Guitar Hero World Tour. A little "Born to Run," anyone?
L4D MOMENT: Every time the Steelers' guard Chris Kemoeatu appears onscreen, someone yell "BOOMER!"
Play Blitz: The League II until a gruesome, X-ray-vision, squirm-inducing injury occurs. Silently offer prayer to your favorite deity that it never happens to you.
L4D MOMENT: Which will come first: Your 3,000th zombie killed, or the Steelers' realization that they need to triple-cover Larry Fitzgerald?
Welcome to The Five-Step Matt Leinart Recovery Plan
Step 1: Cardinals' backup QB Matt Leinart is shown on television sitting on the bench, causing you to feel pity for the former USC standout.
Step 2: Remember that Leinart once dated Paris Hilton. Immediately replace feelings of pity with scorn.
Step 4: Realize that Paris Hilton's Diamond Quest was never released. Replace gloom with unbridled glee.
Step 5: Camera cuts to Matt Leinart, holding a clipboard. High-five the American flag.
At this point, Steelers receiver Hines Ward should have darn near decapitated at least two Cardinals defenders with his vicious blocks. See if you can match that feat in Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.
Who hits harder: E. Honda or H. Ward?
By now, the big game is probably over. The sixpacks are emptied. The bowls of snacks are barren. Congratulations. You made it through another big game. Now begins the long road back to a healthy, active lifestyle.
It's time to bust out your Wii Balance Board and take your first steps on the long road to getting back in shape. After all, there's not another drop-everything, do-nothing televised sporting event until...well, March Madness! Here's to a full month of physical activity!
Nah, you know what, let's just forget that whole "physical activity" stuff. Instead, just leave a comment below and let us know about your Super Bowl Sunday plans. All that mouse-and-keyboard stuff should burn a couple of calories anyway, and the gentle glow of our computer monitors should give us a handsome tan.
The whole thing is like a product placement ad. Left4 Dead moment? Just a stupid ad. They probably got paid $ for every L4D moment. "Who cares about Bruce Springsteen when you can be the star of your own halftime show? Grab your friends, strap on your axe, load up Rock Band 2 or Guitar Hero World Tour, and get to wailing. And hey Springsteen fans, if you can't face a halftime without the Boss, you can always download and play two of his songs in Guitar Hero World Tour. A little "Born to Run," anyone?" Can anyone say product placement ad? I may sound critical, but it is the truth.
"Kurt Warner throws his first touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald and his amazingly sticky hands. Celebrate by completing a level or two from the just-as-sticky World of Goo." The just-as-sticky World of Goo? Really, people.
First off - this blog is about a better way to spend your time than watching (a good I must admit - although the commercials were lacking this year) Superbowl. Where was Mass Effect? - or some World at war.. East vs West (NFCvsAFC...) Worldcraft? some of those lineman would have given some orcs a run for the money... and the Cardinals defense in the last 2 minutes was similar to an army of the dead...
Yoshie Cookie and Hallonsteroids - do a little research - heck you can even use Wikipedia (this is paraphrased from several posts)- the name soccer is an abbreviation given to the name association football (in 1863, and from the British - who created both games...) and american football took it's name from rugby football....The word "soccer" is an English, _not_ American word derived from the second syllable of the word "association". Rugby [Union] Football became "rugby", and then "rugger". Association Football was better know as "assoccer" and naturally evolved into "soccer. The name caught on. Spread by the British...
to uwlbpwnd- you are a moron, ANYONE who watched the super bowl (doesn't matter which team they were rooting for) saw one of the most exciting games ever. The "plays no one recognizes once set in motion" is probably one of the stupidest things I've ever seen someone say. Do you think that in the huddle they just say "everyone, just do your own thing, we'll see how that works out" or that it even makes a diference that the average spectator can't pick out the name of a play they just ran?
There's no need to tell you how off you are on your claim of hockey being the sport of a "true sportsman", but I will let you know that your opinion doesn't determine the sport of a "true sportsman". Deflate your head a little, and realize that every sport has fans, and it just so happens that hockey has far less fans. Which if anything else, should tell you that you are in the minority, and since general consenses are determined by the majority, you are wrong.
Football is good, but frankly, I'm pissed that they took the most popular sport in the world's internationally accepted name and gave it to American football... Probably just to make people think it was good... (It's okay though). Like the others here, you make me sad to be an American citizen
I Started my day playing some Call of Duty World at War here on the East Coast. While taking advantage of the Double XP weekend I leveled up 3 times to level 43. Then I downloaded the Springsteen tracks on GH World Tour and played them both and turned it off. Finally I waiting hours or downloading the Skate 2 Demo and was disappointed when I couldn't figure out how to jump. I will delete it and then D/l Bioshock. After a long day of gaming, I had time to watch the Super Bowl. Funny schedule though, I enjoy reading this site!
Wow Christian2393, what an idiot you're making out of yourself. As you are an Eagles fan, I assume you are from Pennsylvania. GameSpot is based in San Francisco. There is a 3 hour time difference. So yes, the game started at 6:30 your time, but 3:30 their time. Meanwhile, the broadcast started a half hour earlier, making it 3:00 their time, 6:00 your time.
Honestly, "football," as it is so incorrectly called, is not that exciting. Its slow, its difficult to follow, everybody talks about plays that are impossible to recognize once they're in motion, etc. etc. I just don't understand why people get so hyped about a game that stops every 3-6 seconds. I mean sure, its fun to play down on the grass with the ball in your hands running like hell from a bunch of guys twice your size looking to flatten you, but as a spectator sport, it just doesn't translate. Hockey, the game of true sportsmen, is fast paced, exciting, rarely stops before play has gone on for a minute, exp. with the new rule system, and simply takes more skill than "football" will ever require. Why do you think its always the jocks who play "football"?
I just got done beating "No Mercy" in L4D with my 10 year old daughter who just discovered how glorious it is to blow Zombies apart with a shotgun. (Takes time to realize how proud i am of her)......... Hardcore gamer in the making? I think so..