The Super Bowl is barely a football game anymore. It’s become a social event where people stuff their faces with bean dip and talk about their favorite beer commercials starring washed-up celebrities and Clydesdale horses.

Pictured: Pauly Shore

Millions of non-football fans watch the Super Bowl, and many are tuning in to their first game of the season. And that’s cool, not everyone is into giant dudes engaging in miniature car accidents for our amusement. But if you are someone who is watching their first game of the season, you should probably do a little research. You can’t go into your yearly pigskin fiesta completely unprepared, because you don’t want to be the least knowledgeable person there. Leave that to Ted from accounting or Eugene from human resources (those guys sure are jerks).

Here are some tips on how to fake your way through your Super Bowl party.

1. Avoid being too specific with stats/trivia: Never say things like “Colin Kaepernick has a 10 percent higher passing accuracy rating when the temperature dips below 10 degrees and there is a full moon.” Or “Joe Flacco gets his hair cut at Corey McPhedran’s Barber shop on Calvert Street in Baltimore.”

2. Avoid being too vague: At least know who is playing in the game. Your expertise should go beyond “the team in the red jerseys are my favourite squadron”. In case you didn’t already know, the San Francisco 49ers are playing the Baltimore Ravens. Commit that to memory. Now that you have that committed to memory, don’t try to do something cutesy or clever with that information by saying something like “it’s the Gold Rush vs. an Edgar Allen Poe poem”. If you say something like this, you will be shivved by a broken bottle prison-style (and no jury on Earth would convict the perpetrator).

3. Make sure your knowledge of the players goes beyond the front page of the paparazzi rags that sit on the supermarket check-out racks. Don’t constantly mention Tom Brady’s handsomeness, haircut or penchant for Ugg boots (this is even more embarrassing considering the New England Patriots aren’t even playing in the big game).

4. If all else fails, stuff as much food in your gullet as humanly possible: You will definitely find yourself out of your depth, so whenever you feel like you’re about to be outed as a fraud, just float over to the food table and start shoveling snacks into your maw. People will be too distracted by your herculean display of fried shrimp ingestion to question your football I.Q. (they will also be disgusted by the sight of you, which is an unfortunate and inevitable side effect to this strategy).

5. This last tip is a bit of a cliche, but it’s probably the most important…just have a good time. Enjoy a brew or two, have a few laughs, eat a pint and a half of potato salad, and enjoy a good football game. Who knows, you may even dig the game so much that you’ll upgrade your interest in football from “barely” to “obsessed in a way that is seen as dangerous and destructive in the eyes of a psychologist”. And if you do develop a dangerous interest in football, I suggest that you join a fantasy football league next year, because the only real way to deal with psychosis is to make a game of it.

Enjoy the Super Bowl!

This is Colin Kaepernick, not Alex Smith. This is information you need to know