The Super Bowl: It's unlike any other sporting event on the planet. Not only in magnitude, but also in its ability to genuinely transcend sports (hence the reason I feel OK writing about it here) by bringing us all together.
I'm a sports nut. You name a sport, I'll probably watch it. And believe me, I'll be watching when the Giants and Patriots take the field Sunday.
But so will just about everyone else, often even the sports haters among us.
And that's what makes this one sporting event the most interesting one of the year, regardless of the teams playing - though, as a Green Bay fan, my preseason Packers vs. Patriots prediction would have been a little more interesting.
For most Super Bowl observers, it doesn't even really matter who wins. In a way, that makes it all the more fun. And usually, midway through the game, neutral observers tend to develop some kind of allegiance to one of the teams for some obscure reason.
Some simply hate the Patriots. Some want Eli Manning to get more Super Bowls than brother Peyton. Some inevitably back the underdog. Others simply like Giant blue better than Patriot blue or think Bill Belichick looks less evil than Tom Coughlin. And don't put it past one of your female friends to make their selection on which team has the cutest players.
The funny thing about Super Bowl parties is, 10 years down the road, you're more likely to remember a funny story about the people you're with, the epic food you ate or the commercials you saw.
In fact, if your Super Bowl party is anything like the one I'll be attending, you're more inclined to have more people in the room during the commercials than during the game itself.
I'm more likely to put a smile on your face by mentioning the young kid dressed in a Darth Vader costume who "magically started a car" than any of the plays in last year's Packers victory.
No doubt this year will feature its fair share of epic commercials, but also probably plenty of flops. But how will you know until you watch?
The tougher question during a four-hour game - and it will be at least that long with the pregame and halftime festivities - is when to go the bathroom?
You risk missing the best play of the game, or the best commercial of the year at just about any point. But downing beverage after beverage (I'd suggest something besides alcohol) will bring up the inevitable. So when to go?
The obvious answer: The halftime show.
When I heard Madonna was performing at halftime this year, I knew immediately when to plan my bathroom trip, or get more food or do anything not involving sitting in front of the TV.
Unfortunately, everyone else will probably have the same idea.
More often than not, recent halftime performances have featured washed up artists at best, or "wardrobe malfunctions" at worst.
Regardless of how terrible the halftime show ends up being, Sunday's big game will no doubt feature some memorable moments, whether a 2007-like magical finish to the game, a commercial that makes a friend laugh so hard they cry, or just a great time with friends. Have fun and be safe everyone!
Stephen Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.