The chips and dip are ready, the couch is extra fluffed and your friends are on their way '- your Super Bowl party is right on schedule! But if your small-talk skills feel challenged when it comes to football, we've got some surefire ways you can score with smooth game-watching chitchat that goes far beyond the normal discussions over extra points and clipping penalties. Before you watch, print our cheat sheet and you'll be ready to score.
1. Doctor's Orders or a Super Bowl Ring?
After receiving two screws in his ankle due to an injury in a December game against Dallas, playing in the Super Bowl is risky for Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens. On the other hand, there are those obsessed Philly fans, afraid of failure after years of not reaching the big game, ready to take out anyone who could jeopardize their chances.
Discuss: Which is riskier? Playing or not playing?
2. No Ifs, Ands or Butts
Mickey Rooney's backside, once to be featured in a Super Bowl ad for cold medicine, was banned by Super Bowl broadcaster Fox. Meanwhile, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss was roundly criticized for pretending to moon the crowd in a first-round playoff game against the Packers.
Discuss: Who can really be offended in a sport where players slap each other's rears after every down? Shouldn't we bring back the booty?
Why wait for a clothing malfunction on network TV? Straps are always slipping and sliding during the "Lingerie Bowl," a pay-per-view special again this year. This titillating alternative featuring scantily clad models playing tackle football offers new ways to rationalize tuning in by donating proceeds to AIDS research, so, uh...
Discuss: Yeah, dude, is that why you're watching?
The prospect of blond hunk Brad Pitt drunkenly brooding over his breakup with wife and best Friend Jennifer Aniston is far-fetched '- or is it? Pitt will show up during the game as the celebrity pitchman for Heineken.
Discuss: Is money Brad's true motivation here, or is it being surrounded by a dozen beer beauties? Or, hey, maybe he just really likes Heineken.
Paul McCartney is headlining the Super Bowl halftime show, but at least the opening act is Alicia Keys, who will croon "America the Beautiful."
Discuss: Wouldn't we rather risk wardrobe malfunctions by somebody a little easier on the eyes than 62-year-old Sir Paul? Or is Fox right to play it safe?
Since the big game is really all about the big spots, the NFL Network will get rid of the riffraff and give viewers what they apparently want '- a 30-minute special following the Super Bowl telecast that will show all 58 commercials that aired.
Discuss: Hey, did you see the ripples on those paper towels? Pass the chips! Do we really need to watch the game?
7. Who Gives a Sh** about Soccer?
The world's most popular sport continues to live in the shadow of its showier sibling, at least in this half of the western hemisphere. What's the latest embarrassing effort to get Americans to start watching soccer? Fox will give viewers a promotional look at its new Fox Soccer Channel during the Super Bowl pre-game show.
Discuss: What will it take to get Americans excited about soccer? Hey, did you see those hunks running down the field?
8. You Give Me Fever
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had the flu '- complete with a 103-degree fever '- the night before beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, but it didn't keep him from passing for 207 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger folded after a little broken toe.
Discuss: How big can Brady's tough-it-out legend grow?
9. Time to Let His Hair Down
You've made it to the Bowl, you don't have to take any disrespect about your coif, right? Of course, Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb has never cared what people have to say about his hair '- sometimes his Afro hangs out full and wide, sometimes his curls are tied back in cornrows. Either way, he's cool, like he's never had a bad hair day.
Discuss: Is McNabb's look sexy?
Super Bowl games are notorious blowouts, and the biggest challenge is sticking in front of the tube long enough to finish the bean dip. So there will be a big dilemma if the game is deep in the fourth quarter and it looks like overtime is inevitable '- Desperate Housewives goes on at 10pm over on ABC.
Discuss: How do you start dropping hints about turning the channel? Try this: "I think it's the one when Teri Hatcher locks herself out of the house wearing just a towel." Even the most diehard Eagles fan might fall for it.
Find out what else is on during Super Bowl week in our daily TV Tuner, which lists the best bets for your viewing pleasure every day of the week.