By Alex Norman

On Sunday the New England Patriots will play the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII (that’s Super Bowl 52 for you non-Romans out there).

You may or may not know much about the NFL, but you don’t want to be the guy that says “Hey is that Tom Brady?” at the Super Bowl party you crashed.

No problem.  I’m here to help with the things you need to know about the matchup, the last significant football game in our great country until August.

And away we go…

First of all, the Patriots are back, and no one is happy about it.  This is their eighth appearance since 2002, as the duo of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady apparently has alligator blood running through their veins.  Brady has a personal trainer and apparently they believe drinking lots of water stops sunburns.

The internet told me this so I’m going with it.

During the game the Patriots will have a few iffy calls go their way because that’s what happens for the Patriots.  You can set your watch to it.  If the Patriots are trailing by ten points and need a break, a phantom pass interference flag will come out or there will be a favorable spot in their favor.

I’m assuming Belichick has dognapped every referee’s beloved household pet and won’t return them until the game is over.

If New England wins, it’ll be their sixth Super Bowl title, tying them with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most all-time.

As for Philadelphia, the first thing to know is that former Tennessee Vol defensive end Derek Barnett is a rookie on that team, the only UT alum that will suit up in this game.  Barnett has five sacks so far this year (counting playoffs), and had a huge strip sack in the NFC title game against Minnesota.

He is only scratching the surface, and could be a dominant force for years to come with the Eagles.

Philadelphia has been to the Super Bowl twice, but never won the Lombardi Trophy.  Their second loss in this game was against New England in 2005.  The Eagles best player, second year quarterback Carson Wentz, was lost for the year in December when his knew was crunched against the Rams.  Backup Nick Foles played the game of his life against the Vikings, and now will try to slay the giant.

You’d think this all makes Philadelphia the slam dunk team to root for, especially when coupled with the unlikable Patriots.

Think again.

Have you gone to an NFL game lately?  It’s like “The Purge.”  Don’t take the kids unless you want them to see two men fight to the death over a $12 beer.

Eagles fans very well might be the worst in the league.  They have booed Santa Claus (yes I believe that happened) and cheered when Michael Irvin was feared paralyzed.

Before the NFC title game, police on horseback went into Eagles tailgate areas and bloodied fans emerged.  After the game, fans took to the streets, climbing light poles (even after city crews lathered them with Crisco in efforts to keep buffoons from doing the same thing).

You can’t root for those people to be happy.

But you can’t root for the Patriots fans to be happy either.  Their team’s success is built on cheating and they still get most of the breaks.

The game can’t, by rule, end in a tie.  So what do you do?

Yeah, I don’t have an answer for you.  I guess cheer on Barnett and hope a power outage caused by a hungry squirrel eating through a power cable forced cancellation of the game.

Watch the commercials and post your favorite on Facebook so that your Aunt Charlotte can see it.

Enjoy the chip and dip.

Don’t drink and drive.

And root for a better Super Bowl matchup in 2019.