The Legendary Super Bowl Drinking Game™

January 31, 2009


Disclaimer: This game is meant to be played with water. Surely, you wouldn’t consider playing it with any other beverage, would you?

This game was perfected through many years of trial and error, starting with Super Bowl XXXII (which my Packers lost, so I needed a lot of water). You could actually use these rules for any football game, but trust me on this, you don’t want to drink this much water more than once a year.

I come from a strange culture where we use the word “beer” to mean “water.” If you read the word “beer” below, and you think “beer” instead of “water,” then you, sir, are a racist.

So without further ado…

The Legendary

Super Bowl

Drinking Game

Each person in the room must pick a team. Annoying people who are only there to watch the commercials and the halftime show shall be assigned a team in such fashion as to get as close as possible to a 50-50 balance in the room.

You drink when something bad happens to your team.


  • One beer for each touchdown.
  • Half a beer for each field goal (whole beer if over 45 yards).
  • Half a beer for a safety.
  • Half a beer for a two-point conversion, or a missed two-point conversion.
  • Two beers for a kickoff or punt return for a touchdown.
  • One beer for blocked field goal or punt.
  • Half a beer for a missed field goal.
  • Bonus half beer for defensive or special teams touchdown.

Changes of Possession

  • Half a beer for each turnover.
  • Two drinks for change of possession without a score.
  • Three bonus drinks for three and out.

The Drive

  • One drink for every first down.
  • One drink for every five yards on a run over ten yards.
  • Five drinks for a pass over thirty yards.
  • Five drinks for each quarterback sack.
  • Three drinks for a blocked pass.
  • Five drinks for a tipped pass that is caught anyway.


  • One beer for intentional grounding.
  • Five drinks for holding (ten if it causes a touchdown to be called back).
  • Five drinks for delay of game.
  • Three drinks for a five-yard facemask or nine drinks for a fifteen-yard facemask. The NFL changed the rules on facemask this year, eliminating incidentals, so let’s compromise and call it six for facemask.
  • Half a beer for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Two drinks for false start, offside, or encroachment.
  • Five drinks for unnecessary roughness.
  • One third of a beer for too many men on the field.
  • Three drinks for pass interference.
  • Five drinks for offensive pass interference.
  • Two beers for leverage.

Non-penalty Ass Plays

  • Half a beer for each call overturned on replay.
  • One-third of a beer for calling for a replay and not having the play overturned.
  • One beer for recovered onside kick.
  • Half a beer for missed onside kick.
  • Half a beer for a pass that hits the ref or a player that runs into the ref.

And if there’s any left in the tank, you really should have a beer if your team loses.

You should not play the Super Bowl Drinking Game if you are driving. If you drink this much water and drive, you will have to pull over every five minutes to pee. That doesn’t make for good driving.

My pick this year? Cards in an upset, by less than a touchdown.


For Gordon: Emmylou Harris – “Pancho & Lefty”

January 29, 2009

Here’s a lovely classic video from 1977 of the always angel-voiced and eternally gorgeous Emmylou Harris performing a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho & Lefty,” a tune later made famous in another cover by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson from their 1983 record Pancho & Lefty.  Emmylou’s version is pretty damned great too.

American Idol, 2009 – Episode 7

January 29, 2009

Idol LogoSo last night, to my surprise, I found out that they’re doing three episodes this week. In addition, there are two cities covered in tonight’s hour, NYC and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

My guess? That means that NYC sucks, Puerto Rico sucks, and this episode sucks so they’re trying to bury it by showing it on an off night.

Let’s find out if I’m right.  Here comes another live-blog…

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American Idol, 2009 – Episode 6 (1/28/09)

January 28, 2009

Idol LogoOkey dokey, Salt Lake City. Do we finally go to Hollywood next week? I’m not crazy about the Hollywood shows but at least they mean we’re at the door of the real  competition.

I’m predicting this will be a good show.  Let’s find out if I’m right.

Gentlemen, start your blogging…

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American Idol, 2009 – Episode 5

January 27, 2009

Idol LogoWell, the dog just snuck in and ate half my dinner, so I’m in a foul mood before I’ve even started watching. So will tonight’s episode cheer me up, like week one, or irritate me, like Episode Three? Opening with Journey music is not a good sign. Oh, well, let’s do this thing…

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“Dark Globe” by Syd Barret and R.E.M.

January 25, 2009

For reasons probably best left to psychiatrists, my second or third album purchase ever was Pink Floyd’s early singles collection, Relics.  I fell head over heels in love with it, and I’m sure I’ve listened to it hundreds of times in the ensuing twenty-plus years.  (My junior high and high school friends thought it was a bit odd of me to always play strange psychedelic sixties rock, although some of them came to appreciate it.)

Anyway, at some point I learned that most of the songs on that collection were not written by Roger Waters, but by Syd Barrett–hey, we didn’t have the Internet back then and bargain-bin tapes didn’t have songwriting credits or much of anything besides cover art and song titles.  I also learned that in addition to writing most of Pink Floyd’s amazing debut album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Syd Barrett had also released two solo albums.

Those albums were not in print at the time and my job sorting bottles and cans at the grocery store was not going to fund purchasing the vinyl from a classified in Goldmine or some similar publication.

Strangely, the first Barrett to be released on CD was Opel, a collection of rarities.  I snapped it up and listened to it obsessively (which really annoyed many of my friends–let’s face it, having to listen to a bunch of Syd Barrett demos would strain the patience of damn near anybody).  One of the songs that stuck out was an early version of “Dark Globe,” here titled “Wouldn’t You Miss Me.”

At some point, I read in Rolling Stone that R.E.M. had recorded a cover of the song and it was being released as a flexi-disc.  For those of you younger than me, a flexi-disc was a 45 RPM record pressed on vinyl so thin that it could be bound into a magazine.  This flexi-disc was being released in, of all things, Sassy.

So, yes, I–a teenage boy–had  to go to the bookstore and purchase a copy of Sassy.  I pray to this day that no one saw me.

It was worth the humiliation.  R.E.M.’s take on “Dark Globe” is beautiful.  The piano is an excellent addition, adding  a wistful grace to the song.  This seems to me to prefigure the gorgeous “Nightswimming,” released about three years later on their best album, Automatic for the People.

The following year, Syd Barrett’s two studio albums were released on CD and I heard the original version of “Dark Globe.”  R.E.M.’s version turned out to be much closer to the demo than to the released version, which is sung at a higher register.  Picking which version of this song I prefer is impossible–I treasure all of them.

I’ve included Barrett’s studio version and R.E.M.’s version here, figuring two “Dark Globe”s is enough for one post.  If you’d like to hear the Barrett demo, it’s here.

Syd Barrett:


Also of interest: David Gilmour paying tribute to his predecessor shortly after his death by covering “Dark Globe” solo.  It’s quite touching.

All Music Guide Sucks

January 25, 2009

Actually, All Music Guide doesn’t suck.  It’s an invaluable resource.

What sucks is that their technology is so awful that I’ve been trying to pull up a page for about fifteen minutes now and I keep getting errors.  This happens all the time.

Maybe I can talk a venture capitalist into giving me the resources to fund an alternative that, you know, works?