Geek's guide to Super Bowl Sunday

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Even if you're not geeked out about the teams in the Super Bowl this Sunday, there are still plenty of ways to get geeky on game day. Follow this guide to get your party on.

Commercials worth watching

No commercial at this year's game can top this gem from 1984:

But, there are some particularly geektastic ads to look out for, and you would never suspect one brand catching our attention: Axe Body Spray. The manly product line is using its Super Bowl slot to promote its new Apollo brand and is taking the space tie-in to the extreme. The commercial will include info on how people can enter for a chance to win a trip to outer space! The giveaway is part of the brand's larger Axe Apollo Sweepstakes, in which participants try to get enough votes to be among 100-plus finalists sent to a space camp, where they'll compete to get to space. The lucky Super Bowl viewer gets to bypass the competition.

Other geeky commercials include a Best Buy spot that will showcase inventors (including Kevin Systrom of Instagram), GoDaddy's "YourBigIdea.CO" campaign, BlackBerry pushing its new smartphones, and a trailer for "Star Trek Into Darkness" (the "Iron Man 3" trailer is rumored to appear also).

Second Screen

Every 2013 Super Bowl party worth its weight in taco dip will have at least one tablet floating around. Here are some ideas on how to make the most of that second screen:

  • Football Squares Plus app for iPad: Why make a Squares board out of paper when you can use this interactive app that highlights the winners, randomizes the numbers for you and can even replace a person's initials with their photo.
  • Official team apps: See the iOS apps for Baltimore and San Francisco and for Droid devices.
  • The app from the network airing the Super Bowl lets users watch on-demand commercials, follow social media commentary in one spot, and switch between different camera angles, including an overhead one, while viewing the game.
  • If you're just in it for the commercials: On, viewers can vote for their favorite ads and watch real-time results on how the commercials are faring.
  • Puppy break: Hedge hog cheerleaders, a kitty half-time show - of course, we're talking about Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, which you can watch online if the other partygoers insist on watching football on the big screen.

Team Spirit

Why settle for a boring Colin Kaepernick jersey when you can wear a T-shirt with an 8-bit rendering of a 49ers helmet (pictured above). If you're rooting for Baltimore, sport your pride for the team and your favorite mobile game with this Angry Birds-inspired T.


Sure, you could stock your fridge with Bud Light, but why not showcase your geeky side with your beer choice, too. There's Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from the UK's Black Sheep Brewery,  Big Hugs Imperial Stout from Half Acre with a Japanese monster-inspired label (pictured above), Tallgrass Brewing Co.'s 8-Bit Pale Ale or Biere de Mars from New Belgium Brewery. Serve 'em on floppy disk coasters (or on actual floppy disks, why not?).

Bacon (almost) everything

You like bacon. Your friends like bacon. Serve bacon and make everyone happy.

This should go without saying, but you can pretty much wrap anything in bacon, although some of our favorites include jalapenos and dates. Wrap bacon around either (better yet, both), place under a broiler and, boom, you've got snacks. This easy dip is also one of our favorites:

Swiss and Bacon Dip

8 oz. bacon, chopped

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 rounded teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 rounded teaspoons prepared horseradish (optional)

1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

3 scallions, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brown bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Drain on paper towels.  In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayo, mustard, horseradish (if using), Swiss cheese and scallions.  Add the cooked bacon.  Transfer to a shallow baking dish and bake until golden and bubbly at the edges, 15-18 minutes.  Serve the bacony deliciousness with bread or crackers.

Or, maybe just get this football salami and call it a party.

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Dana Gagnon

Dana Gagnon is the Director of Branded Content at Pluralsight. After working for years in Chicago media, she joined the team in 2012 to continue bringing quality news, tips and more to Pluralsight's audience. Find her @ChicagoDana