Thirst Makes Me a Modern Fan: The Study Breaks Super Bowl Drinking Game

“If you see a coach crack a smile, cough up one shot and spit it back into your shot glass for later consumption.”

By Will Strecker, University of Texas at Austin

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

For many of us, the Super Bowl means crowding around the TV to watch the two best NFL teams have at each other to decide, once and for all, who the best team is.

Not only do sports fans have 3+ hours of pure ecstasy to look forward to on the first Sunday in February, but casual sports fans and non-fans alike are also rewarded for sitting through the mind-numbing, season-long discussions over fantasy stats, recent scandals, and, of course, which coaches and players “sucked” this season. For those who couldn’t care less, the last football game for sixth months is also cause for celebration.

Second to the emotions surrounding the football season’s finale, fans are treated to a blockbuster halftime performance and the best three hours of commercials television has to offer. And following closely behind: Hours of getting absolutely plastered with friends and family while yelling obscenities at the TV screen.

However, simply drinking upwards of ten Miller Lites or sipping on Arnold Palmers for three hours can leave you feeling unfulfilled. There’s more to be had, my friend, and that’s what Uncle Willy is here for.

Ground Rules

Now to set some ground rules. Liquor: If you find yourself rooting for the home team, your liquor of choice must be dark. For those that side with the away team, you get clear liquor. This can be vodka, gin, white rum or white tequila, or anything else that resembles, but isn’t, water.

The goal here is to get as drunk as possible in order to achieve maximum fun times, so there will be beer drinking as well. Your choice of beer is up to you, but I recommend staying away from O’Doul’s, Pearl and Miller 64 based on alcohol content. Also, steer clear of fruity beers, if for no other reason than too many of them and it’s not inconceivable that you’ll turn into whichever fruit your beer tastes like (I’ve had good friends turn into Red’s Apples).

Field Goals

Whenever your team kicks and scores a field goal, take a shot of your respective liquor. So if you’re rooting for the home team and the home team scores on a field goal, take a shot of dark liquor. However, if you’re going for the away team and they block the home team’s field goal, then the away team’s fans must take a shot of clear liquor.

In addition, if that kick is sequentially returned for a touchdown, the scoring team’s fans must chug their beers for six seconds, in honor of the six points put on the board. This brings us to touchdowns.


For every touchdown, you must chug, in seconds, equal to however many points the team now has. If the score is 0-0 and you’re rooting for the home team, and the home team scores a touchdown, you chug your (hopefully) non-fruity beer for six seconds.

“But Will, what about the extra point?” Good question, friend. Since the extra point accounts for one point, one sip will suffice. However, if your team scores to go up, say, 13-7, you must chug for 13 seconds. Upon a successful extra point, take another sip of your beer, and so on and so forth. Make sense?

Also, if your team attempts, and successfully converts, a two-point conversion, you can either take two sips, two gulps, or chug for two seconds—whatever you see fit. In the unlikely event that your team misses the extra point kick, fill a shot glass with your respective liquor, find a coin (preferably a quarter) and with one shot, attempt to make the coin into the shot glass. If you make it, you’re spared the shot until the rules require you to take it. But, if you miss, you must take the shot then and there.


Sacks and fumbles lost, as well as interceptions, equal a shot for both sets of fans. If a receiver for your team makes a breath-taking catch, take a sip of beer. I’m inclined to say take a shot here, but at this point there are so many instances where you’ll be taking a shot I’m beginning to feel like an irresponsible game warden. However, if you’d rather take a shot, I probably can’t stop you. I’m just a voice in a paper. But do so at your own peril.

Feel free to take a shot or sip your beer whenever a player does something you really like, as well. For example, if a player converts a 3rd down and makes the first down motion real emphatically with his arms, you could take a sip of beer. Or, if a player makes a pretty good play and does a little celebration dance, take a sip of beer. If said player goes all out on his celebration dance, take a shot! The world is your oyster.

After a scoring play, if the player who scored does a silly celebration dance, I want everyone rooting for that player’s team to find an opposing team’s fan and whisper “How you like that?” in his or her ear. That sounds fun.


There are few things more entertaining than seeing a coach lose his shit at a player. So, if this happens, take a sip of beer. If you see a coach crack a smile, cough up one shot and spit it back into your shot glass for later consumption. If this phenomenon occurs prior to any other drinking, make a mental note and cough up your next shot.

Just kidding. That’s obviously a strange rule for a game, given most people don’t possess the gag reflexes required to cough up already ingested alcohol on a moment’s notice, and even if you do happen to possess this remarkable trait, I don’t advise you to actually spit up a shot.

Your esophagus could be seriously damaged, and you’ll likely never want to play this game again, perhaps even write Study Breaks an unpleasant letter calling for my job, which I certainly don’t want. So, really, disregard all of this section except the very beginning.


One of my favorite things about football are the commentators. For this year’s Super Bowl, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be gracing our TV screens to provide insight into each play. In the interest of drinking, we’re going to focus on Phil.

Every time he says the phrase “we talked about” to Jim Nantz, take a sip of beer. For example, via the @philsimmsquotes Twitter account, during the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys game on December 19th, Simms said, “It’s one of the things we talked about, Jim, we talked about it constantly, the Jets’ offensive line.” So, in this case, you would take two sips of beer, since Simms said “talked about” twice.

Also, any time Phil doesn’t seem to know something, go ahead and take a sip. A dead give away would be when he says something along the lines of “I don’t know,” or if he tries to analyze a play, but gives an obviously incorrect analysis of what happened. This is a little subjective, so don’t sip your beer unless there’s a group consensus that Phil really goofed on analyzing the play.


At this point, there’s probably a lot of drinking happening at your Super Bowl party, so whether you think drinking for the commercials is necessary is entirely up to you.

Personally, I think it adds another dimension of excitement and suspense that is otherwise absent from the breaks in football. For those that would rather drink during commercials instead of during the game, that’s certainly an option, and I implore those drinking for both not to talk down to those opting to drink only during commercials. Here are the rules.

For Coca Cola commercials, sip a beer. If that Coke commercial features polar bears, take a shot. Also, if the commercial features a Coke being poured into a glass full of ice, take a shot. If the commercial tells you to Shazam it, you have to microwave a shot and drink it. Similar rules apply for Sprite commercials, except substitute basketball players for polar bears.

For car commercials, take a sip of beer. If that car commercial features a car driving through a dark tunnel, take a shot of dark liquor. Or if it shows their advertised car driving down a winding road in either a desert or a forest, take a shot. Take two if there’s someone talking to you as the car narrowly avoids hitting them. In other words, if greenscreen was obviously used to make it look like someone narrowly avoided a fatal accident while absentmindedly standing in the way of a fast moving vehicle, take two shots.

If you find a commercial really funny, laugh. Then sip your beer. Based on last year’s commercials, Wonderful pistachios are an example of such a commercial. If you find the commercial really not funny when it was trying to be, don’t laugh. Tweet about how lame of a commercial it was, so that everyone has a better idea of your sense of humor. Not funny commercials can come from anywhere, so you must pay extra attention to these.

For a St. Jude’s commercial, it’s counter-productive to drink. So don’t. Instead, think about all of the great things St. Jude’s does, and be thankful such a place exists in our society. Then proceed to forget about St. Jude’s once the next commercial starts, which will likely be either Budweiser or Coca Cola.

Which brings me to Budweiser. Man oh man, these guys have some great commercials. If you happen to be drinking Budweiser or any other Anheuser-Busch product, finish your drink and crack open a new one so you’re ready for the next commercial. I anticipate this will result in at least one person in your group of friends finishing at least one drink per commercial break, so make sure you monitor his or her coherence. He or she could be in for a long night.

This is by no means a strict list to follow, so feel free to cut some things out or add your own rules if you think you can improve on my game. Just know that I spent exhaustive hours putting this together for optimal entertainment, so altering my game for your benefit essentially makes all of my hard work meaningless. Regardless, have fun, enjoy the game and happy drinking!