@Pats28Hawks24
February 16, 2015 10:43 PM   Subscribe

The Last Man game is an annual competition to be the last person in the United States to know who won the Super Bowl.
Most of the runners [...] found themselves waking up each day in a cold sweat. “I feel like I’m being sequestered for the stupidest jury trial in modern history,” one competitor said. “It’s gotten to the point where three things may end me: recklessness, homesickness, or sheer boredom.” Several players eventually said that they couldn’t take it anymore and quit. “I’ve spent way more time avoiding the Knowledge than I’ve ever spent thinking on it in the past,” one said, committing seppuku with Twitter as his sword.
posted by frimble (86 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
The "List of Deaths" has a cause of death column that is some pretty good reading. At first, I was like "I bet a bunch of assholes can easily spoil this" and that's true. Lots of saboteurs listed. But the real gems are the unexpected ones, like "church sermon." Makes me really dislike the saboteurs from potentially robbing people of weirder ways of finding out.
posted by dogwalker at 10:56 PM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I play this each year with the Grand Final. The shitness of Aus broadcast TV really helps.
posted by pompomtom at 10:56 PM on February 16, 2015


If you learned The Knowledge, but then forgot what it is ... that doesn’t count.

Aw, man.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:04 PM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Americans who don't even know about the Super Bowl, are they playing this game, (have they already won?) or are they playing one the next meta-level up? What's the meta-level above that, being the last of your friends to even know what football is? Sports?
posted by Earthtopus at 11:05 PM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Does it count if I so do not give a damn who won that I can't even remember if I already heard it or not?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:07 PM on February 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


Odd aside, in the article, there's this quote: “I think the slushercane helped,” John Carney, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and a Last Man competitor, said, of the wintry mix in New York the day after the Super Bowl.

That word, "slushercane", is only found on Google in quotes from this article. Is it a previously unrecorded dialect word? A misspelling? What is this mystery?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:10 PM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am assuming the slushercane is some sort of hurricane made of slush, a liquid concoction with booze in it that my family used to make.

I am also reminded that I won Little Drummer Boy last year somehow, I wonder if this means I get a prize?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:13 PM on February 16, 2015


Just saw the headline of this post, so I guess I'm out. (Although now that I'm at the bottom of the screen I've already forgotten which team had 24 points and which team had 28. I am really good at forgetting sports stuff.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:17 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know who has ever won the Superbowl. I win. Peace out.
posted by wrabbit at 11:19 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's a reference to harmful sensation and forbidden knowledge. DO YOU READ SLUSHER CANE?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:21 PM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


This reminds me of The Game. No, not the movie. The one I thought of because of this post, thereby making me lose The Game.

Also, I just made a bunch of you lose The Game. Suckers.
posted by chrominance at 11:28 PM on February 16, 2015 [18 favorites]


The only winning move...
posted by kmz at 11:37 PM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Same here @chrominance. Any post like this makes me think of (and lose) The Game.

And no, you didn't make me lose. I already lost when I saw the title of this FPP.
posted by Berend at 11:40 PM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


My mom would be awesome at this game. She could very likely be in the room while someone was watching the game and she probably still wouldn't notice that someone had won or who it was. Her level of not caring what's happening on TV is ridiculously high at most times (where most times are defined to not include the hour between 7pm and 8pm when Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy air) and it quintuples when what's on TV is a sport.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:43 PM on February 16, 2015


Oh wow, before I read the title to this post, I didn't even know which teams were in the Superbowl. It's especially funny because I've been teasing my football-loving friend from Seattle about that really bad play, but I never realized it happened during the Superbowl. I thought it was just some random football game.
posted by ryanrs at 12:30 AM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't know if I've ever known who's won the superbowl...the Chicago Bulls won a couple of times, right?
posted by sexyrobot at 12:34 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this the sort of thing I would need a bowling alley to understand?
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:35 AM on February 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is how I found out the winner: In the middle of a D&D game, someone made an off color joke involving Seahawks and choking on 6 inches. I was almost free and clear, because I clearly heard "Sea Ox", but I just had to open my dumb mouth and ask for clarification on the joke.

Just saw the headline of this post, so I guess I'm out.

I didn't realize the title of this post was a score until I saw this comment. Now I have all The Knowledge. Dammit.
posted by GrumpyDan at 1:17 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


(not reading thread, might be spoilers)

I do not yet know - not even sure the names of the teams playing this year. I guess it doesn't count, just forgetting, but I cannot remember any team ever winning the Superbowl. When I was a young boy the Dallas Cowboys were famous for their cheerleaders and I think the team was also good and maybe won a few.

That is the extent of it.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:11 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still don't know. Does that count?
posted by DriftingLotus at 2:39 AM on February 17, 2015


I have known who won the Superbowl, and actually retained that fact, exactly three times in my life. The first time was when the Saints won, the year after Katrina devastated New Orleans; I happened to be in a burger joint that had the game on TV around the time it ended, and realized "oh hey my home town team won for the first time ever, must be the end of the world".

The other two times, well, I live in Seattle nowadays. The fact that the Seahawks were playing was pretty inescapable, and I could tell if they won or not by the three hours of people shouting "SEA!" and getting a response of "HOOOGSSS!".

Every other year? Never cared, never paid attention, never hung out with people for whom it was a topic of conversation.

But this game goes a lot beyond just not giving a shit about football, into Militantly Not Caring About Football. I feel like playing this game shows that you passionately care about football the same way Richard Dawkins cares about religion.
posted by egypturnash at 3:07 AM on February 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


If you end up doing things to drown out noises, avoiding TV screens and crowds, above all else ensuring that your interactions are structured in a way that you don't hear a particular piece of information which will "kill" you, at some point you're participating in a PK Dick LARP, I think.
posted by frimble at 3:20 AM on February 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Damn skippy I know who won the Super Bowl.

It made setting the alarm for a 2 AM kickoff all through November and December worthwhile.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:06 AM on February 17, 2015


I have no clue who won, nor do .... oh, wait, it was the Pistons, right?
posted by HuronBob at 4:14 AM on February 17, 2015


"I still don't know who won the SuperBowl. I don't even know who played."

My wife. Just now. Today.

She can win this thing.
posted by parki at 4:16 AM on February 17, 2015


All this "I'm too cool to watch the biggest sporting event of the year" really rubs me the wrong way.
posted by Melismata at 4:36 AM on February 17, 2015 [18 favorites]


I would rather watch a superb owl.
posted by Jode at 4:40 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


This competition is just what the NFL needs!
posted by oceanjesse at 4:59 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


This thread reminds me of the time I was in a bar and some guy in the group I was with went out of his way to make a point of not recognizing the Stanley Cup in a photo on the wall. He seemed to want a cookie or something.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:59 AM on February 17, 2015 [13 favorites]


I was just thinking "Gee, you know what? I don't actually know who won the Super Bowl."

Then I saw at the title of this post.
posted by neckro23 at 5:00 AM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


NPR's On The Media and their TLDR podcast were on this a year ago. I went back and listened to it in January in anticipation of this year's Super Bowl.
posted by hwestiii at 5:05 AM on February 17, 2015


That word, "slushercane", is only found on Google in quotes from this article. Is it a previously unrecorded dialect word? A misspelling? What is this mystery?

Slushercane: fierce storm featuring a mix of wind, rain, and snow leading to large deposits of wet, heavy snow.
posted by dances with hamsters at 5:07 AM on February 17, 2015


Militantly Not Caring About Football

This would seem to be an oxymoron.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:20 AM on February 17, 2015


I watched the game but had already almost forgotten who won by now. I'm a football fan but have the worst head for sports trivia and can never remember who played in championships after a year or so. I have no idea who played last year even though I watched it and cheered one of the teams. I have friends who could tell you who played and won the Superbowl in 1984 or 1969 without thinking hard, I've always been amazed by that ability.
posted by octothorpe at 5:24 AM on February 17, 2015


My level of Not Caring was accentuated this year by the (and talk about words that you loathe the instant that they're coined) Inflate-a-gate "scandal", which I have yet to hear an explanation of that helps me understand how you can alter a ball to the point that people insist that it makes a measurable impact on the outcome of a game, but no one figures this out until the game itself is over.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:31 AM on February 17, 2015


Mass popular cultural events are popular except when they are not.

Is it time for the Joe six pack event pile on again? I'm wondering if I should pull out the white liberal rulebook.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:33 AM on February 17, 2015


I ignored the title, but the New Yorker link spoiled it for me.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:37 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this something I would have to relax my unceasing, neurotic vigilance against the ritual impurity represented by even the mildest and least remarkable manifestations of popular culture to Know?
posted by No-sword at 5:38 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


All this "I'm too cool to watch the biggest sporting event of the year" really rubs me the wrong way.

Honestly, this doesn't strike me as being smug in the same way that "sportsball" etc. does.

It's one thing to say "hey everyone, pro sports are beneath me, aren't I cultured and enlightened?" but this seems more like "hey, I don't personally find this terribly exciting in and of itself, but I'm going to try and spin it into something positive and entertaining anyway."

I dunno, seems like it's all in good fun, as long as you're not being a snobbish jerk to your friends and coworkers.
posted by teraflop at 5:38 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


as long as you're not being a snobbish jerk to your friends and coworkers

Seems like a big if, at least if this thread is anything to go by.
I mean, I don't care about sports, but that manifests as not caring, rather than active anti-caring. I don't mind the odd 'sportsball' or the like, because after all sports are such a huge narrative in our culture that not being interested does have its negative consequences, and I figure that allows a little verbal eye-rolling.

But when you're putting so much effort in to not caring, it seems like it would go all the way back to caring again. Which, again, knock yourself out, but it kind of belies the point you're trying to make.
posted by gadge emeritus at 6:08 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


You poseurs who are too cool to watch the Superbowl, with what, like 100M viewers? I'm too cool to watch the fracking World Cup. 1B viewers, and I wasn't one of them. Boom.
posted by signal at 6:10 AM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Nobody watches the Superbowl or the World Cup anymore, they're too popular.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:19 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Even were I not watching Argentina lose 1-0 to Germany, the screaming and fireworks and chants outside would have told me without a doubt not only who had won, but the number of goals for and against, as well as the number of unpopular calls. Not living in a soundproofed bunker made playing this game with the World Cup functionally impossible.
posted by frimble at 6:21 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Putting so much effort into not caring.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:22 AM on February 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


But this game goes a lot beyond just not giving a shit about football, into Militantly Not Caring About Football.

In all seriousness, this goes into trying to avoid knowledge that easily, and *literally*, half the people in the US have within 1 hour of the end of the game, either via watching it directly, watching the news afterwards, etc., and I think within 24 hours, easily 90% of the population knows it, even if they don't care. They may not pay attention to it, but they know it.

It's easy to say you don't care, but when you declare that you will *not* learn this fact, you now care. Or anti-care, at least.

It's a very interesting game. The SOB who created @SEA48_DEN3 and followed the last two players in the twitter league last year, knocking them both out, was an evil mastermind.

I'm not interested in playing, I was watching the game. But it is a fascinating game -- can you not know in the face of everybody knowing?

Not living in a soundproofed bunker made playing this game with the World Cup functionally impossible.

Arguably, the European equivalent is the Champions League final, the Aussie version is the AFL Grand Final -- and bonus, there can be a Grand Final Replay, which merely knowing about would mean you have the Knowledge that the Grand Final tied.

The world cup? Heck, you could play...

1) Not knowing the final winner.
2) Not knowing the final participants
3) Not knowing any of your countries games.
posted by eriko at 6:46 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just found out what happened in the last episode of Lost a couple nights ago. Damn you, stupid Judd Apatow movie!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:04 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can you tell me? I watched it and I still don't know.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:09 AM on February 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


I still haven't heard Little Drummer Boy since Thanksgiving.

I'm one of the many people who have learned, and forgotten, and learned, and forgotten who won the Super Bowl probably 30 times. Just because I'm not into football. It is interesting to think about how much you need to avoid to not hear this information at all. If I had stayed off Facebook, I'd be among the people who could say, "I still didn't know until this thread," except that I imagine I've been exposed to the information multiple times without it registering because I'm not paying attention, or that I've been exposed to information that would have told me who won the Super Bowl if I had certain prior knowledge, such as who was playing. The person who died because they saw a weather report mentioning that a parade was delayed in Boston, for instance: that wouldn't have killed me, unless the reporter specifically said, "The big parade celebrating the Super Bowl win of Boston's football team, the Name of Football Team here, has been postponed due to the snow." Because pieces of information I don't usually retain include the fact that the Super Bowl is coming up, or has been played, and the names of professional football teams that are not the Detroit Lions,or the Dallas Cowboys.

I suspect that people who still don't know who won are, like me, so ignorant of important contextual information that they don't recognize the relevance of incomplete references like people in Seattle being sad, or a parade in Boston being postponed, or certain football players having plans to visit Disney World.

FWIW, I don't take my ignorance of pro football as any kind of virtue. I've just never gotten into football, except briefly when I was dating a woman who was really into it and I half-watched some games with her. And I think this game sounds like a lot of fun.
posted by not that girl at 7:12 AM on February 17, 2015


Is it too late to change my username to DeathByStudentHaiku?
posted by dannyboybell at 7:13 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ignorance is so cool. You guys, I mean, rully.
posted by chicobangs at 7:30 AM on February 17, 2015


This seems like a game that is made harder purely by playing it. Like struggling really hard not to think of a white bear.

eriko: "I think within 24 hours, easily 90% of the population knows it, even if they don't care."

I think you are WAY overestimating.

I, to my knowledge, never knew who won the superbowl while I lived in the US. And I lived in Texas, for god's sake. But it's not like a sportsbowl "Hey, look at me, I hate sports, look how much of a free thinker I am!" thing. It's really, really, really easy to just not stumble across that information. Maybe it's an age thing? In high school, I'd wake up, go to class, hang out with friends, go to more class, hang out with more friends. Eventually I'd go home, listen to some music, watch the X-Files or the Simpsons or Twin Peaks or something. Listen to more music, read some books, go to bed. Rinse and repeat Monday to Thursday. Friday night, Saturday day, Sunday day involved things like renting movies with friends, going to concerts, playing instruments, playing Warhammer, hanging out in Denny's etc.

None of that involves people who talk about the Superbowl. My friends weren't interested in football, so they didn't talk about it. I listened to music on CDs and tapes, so there was no radio banter that told me the winners. I didn't generally watch the news or any live or almost-live TV (Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, etc.) My parents don't watch football. I didn't read the newspaper. My family didn't even get the newspaper, so I wouldn't even catch it out of the corner of my eye. So, honestly, unless I was looking for that information, there's not really any way I'd stumble across it unless my hometown (Houston) was actually in the superbowl (at which point the story would be completely different).

I don't think that's particularly unusual, either. If you work with people who chat about football, sure, you're going to find out. If you listen to the radio in your car, or watch the news, sure. But even if you aren't intentionally avoiding the information, even if you aren't trying to be a hipper-than-thou, it's incredibly easy to just not happen to get this information, as all the people in this thread are attesting to.

And the Internet hasn't really changed things. I haven't seen any Superbowl stuff in my Facebook feed. I haven't read anything about the Superbowl on MetaFilter. It hasn't popped up in SMBC or XKCD or Collosal.

chicobangs: "Ignorance is so cool. You guys, I mean, rully."

This isn't a "cool" thing. Like, do you know who won the gold medal for archery at the last Olympics? If you don't know, does that mean that you're actually trying to be edgy and cool? Or is it just that you haven't been exposed to that information?
posted by Bugbread at 7:38 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


You know guys, proudly announcing how little interest you have in American Football, or how you still don't know who won the Superbowl, is every bit as annoying as those jerks who pop up in TV threads with comments like "I don't own a TV!". It's not a badge of honour not to care.
posted by salmacis at 7:39 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hate the Super Bowl! Now the 1936 Packers - Redskins NFL championship, that was a game.

That's the Boston Redskins, by the way.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:56 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


It honestly just occured to me that I have no idea. (Sorry if this was a popular sentiment; I skipped the thread so my comment would still be true).
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:59 AM on February 17, 2015


You know guys, proudly announcing how little interest you have in American Football, or how you still don't know who won the Superbowl, is every bit as annoying as those jerks who pop up in TV threads with comments like "I don't own a TV!".

I hope you've considered making sure that this thread is as dominated by people that love football as the rest of popular culture is.
posted by Jpfed at 8:04 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually do know who won this year, because Chris Pratt and Chris Evans had a Twitter bet about it-- the loser would have to visit a children's hospital of the winner's choice in full superhero regalia.

Because they are both cuddly golden retrievers in human form, they then disregarded the terms of the bet and resolved to visit both children's hospitals, together.

So I guess the real answer, when asked who won the Super Bowl, is "everyone, but especially nerds."
posted by nonasuch at 8:06 AM on February 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's not a badge of honour not to care.

"Militantly Not Caring About Football" is one thing, but it is frustrating when you are asked about X sport or sporting event, even a diplomatic "Nah, I'm not into football (or X sport). It's just not my thing, but I can see why people dig it" often brings the same reaction.

The weird thing is, most people who aren't into football (or whatever sport) don't talk about football. It just doesn't come up. When it does, its because they were asked about it. They also know that their response, however diplomatic and friendly it's put, will often lead to being thrown into the "too cool/snob/weirdo" pidgeonhole.

The next question that comes is "Oh, so you're a baseball/hockey/basketball fan, then?" followed by "Well, what sport are you into?"

Which in my case, then leads to explaining how I like to watch and compete in ArmA 3 Battle Royale matches, where 60 guys are dropped by parachute over an almost exact replica of a 100 square mile Mediterranean island, and have to search for gear and weapons, then hunt down and eliminate every other player until only one remains as the play zone shrinks in size every few minutes. This answer usually puts me back in the 'weirdo' pidgeonhole, but whatever. They asked.
posted by chambers at 8:08 AM on February 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's one thing to boast about not caring but this, this goes beyond that. This goes to a point of creating a new and interesting thing.

The article specifically mentions several people trying to find a balance between the game and it not hurting your work or making you appear crazy. And people who tell friends/etc. that they're playing and immediately lose as a result.

I knew who won the first moment anybody knew, yet it slipped from my mind. I watched live and tweeted at friends and it was fine and all.. but it was less effecting than playing this game. It was less active than most if not all people playing this game.

I'm on board with that. It's not about who's cooler; different people can have different things.
posted by mountmccabe at 8:24 AM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


All this "I'm too cool to watch the biggest sporting event of the year" really rubs me the wrong way.

I think for me, this and other similar things are at least in part a celebration of no longer being a 15-year-old trying to fit in at a homogenous suburban high school, of trying to reverse engineer popularity. ("I guess I should try to ... laugh louder?") I personally love that moment when I'm like "wait, the Super Bowl is tomorrow?" because it means I've somehow gotten free of being surrounded by all that stuff and of feeling like I should try to care about something I don't. I sense a tipping point approaching when I might again enjoy having something in common with 60%* of US households (* or whatever), but for now, I enjoy the short lines at the store!
posted by salvia at 8:27 AM on February 17, 2015


I can't read this thread because having learned of this game... I AM IN THE RUNNING! But how will I know when I win?
posted by jcruelty at 9:18 AM on February 17, 2015


p.s. for the record I think bragging about not caring about football is a bad look... as is calling it 'sportsball' and all that shit. I just silently don't care. The only reason I'm talking about it here is cos this game exists!
posted by jcruelty at 9:19 AM on February 17, 2015


Middle aged cis-hetero male white guy here. I didn't even know who the Patriots were playing until a day before the SB. Heard about the win on social media nearly immediately though.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:40 AM on February 17, 2015


Sports Go Sports

I promise I really totally care who wins
If there's a net or hoop or hole in the ground, I hope they get it in
If they want to go to all the bases, I hope they do
If they're supposed to run past a line or whatever, I hope they do that too
Sports go sports

posted by charlie don't surf at 9:48 AM on February 17, 2015


Goddamit I read the post url title. Way to ruin the game that I just learned I was playing
posted by jcruelty at 10:17 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know guys, proudly announcing how little interest you have in American Football, or how you still don't know who won the Superbowl, is every bit as annoying as those jerks who pop up in TV threads with comments like "I don't own a TV!". It's not a badge of honour not to care.

I think it's obnoxious when people pop into football threads and make dismissive "sportsball" type comments.

I think it's equally obnoxious that people have popped into this thread, which is decidedly not a football thread, to make comments dismissive of the very existence of the Last Man game, which is the subject of the post.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:47 AM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's not the same at all. Most football threads are 'hey look at this thing that occurred within football', so a comment saying 'football as a whole is dumb anyway lol' is not really on topic unless you also agree that posts featuring American football are good places for 'I hate America' comments (in which case you are wrong). This post is 'hey look at the existence of this weird game' so a comment saying 'wow the existence of this game is dumb' is on topic. A comment that would be off-topic would be, for instance 'all games are stupid'.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:51 AM on February 17, 2015


I don't think this is snobbery so much a reaction to the constant barrage that the super bowl can be. It is summed up nicely by this comment from TheHoneyThief on Reddit

Firstly, imagine every time within a day that football is mentioned by someone else. Secondly, replace it with something that you don't want to hear about every day. Say... Archaeology. Then, think about how an average day would pan out.
So, you awaken to the clock radio. It's 7AM. Just as you awaken, it's time for the news and archaeology already. Not news and other historical investigations, like library restorations or museum openings (unless there's another event happening), but just the news and archaelogy. Malaysian plane is still missing. Pistorius is still on trial. New dig announced in Giza. Ancient Mayan temple discovered. Exciting stuff.
Time for a bite to eat over the morning TV. More news. More archaeology. Yes, you are aware of what is up with the missing plane. Fine. Now the archaeology in video format. Video of people dusting off some skulls and bits of pottery. All well and good, but archaeology isn't your thing. It would be nice to hear about something else. Even when it isn't archaeology season, the media follow noted archaeologists. They drive fast cars, have sex with beautiful women, advertise fragrances, and sometimes they go to nightclubs and act in the worst possible way. Scandals erupt as the tabloids follow these new celebrities when they're not searching the past for answers. It is entirely possible you can recite the names of certain researchers, even if you don't pay attention to archaeology. You don't know what transfer season is, but you know that someone was transferred to a dig in Peru for a sum of money that could fund the London Underground for two whole days.
Out of the car at 8:55 and into work. What are the colleagues talking about, I wonder? Oh, Jones dropped a 3,890 year old pot and smashed it? What a useless wanker! Someone should do something unpleasant to him. And don't even ask about the unfortunate incident in Athens two years ago - you'll be there all day! Breaking a pillar like that! We don't talk about that here, mate. What? You don't want to discuss the finer points of the prevalence of phallic imagery in Pompeii? Is there something wrong with you?
The drive home from work. Every thirty minutes, no matter the station, someone mentions the archaeology. Best sit in silence. Drive past a huge billboard with a black and white picture of a rakishly handsome archaeologist draped over an impossibly beautiful woman. He's winking at you. Trowel in his left hand, supermodel in the right. Jurassic, by Calvin Klein.
And now the pub. A nice pub with a beer garden. Posters in the windows. LIVE EXCAVATION AT THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS! All of it on a huge TV with the volume up too loud. Drunken people yelling at the screen. "SEND IT FOR CARBON DATING, YOU USELESS CUNT!" "WHAT ARE YOU ON, MATE? DUST THE ANCIENT MEDALLION GENTLY! SMELTING METHODS OF THE TIME PRODUCED VERY SOFT AND IMPURE METALS EASILY PRONE TO DISFIGURATION!" All this from two men out of a crowd of twenty. One lousy drunken idiot and his chum ruin the image of other archaeology fans. Carbon dating report from the lab updates on TV, read by a man employed because they've been following the beautiful science since they were a boy. The drunk chimes in again. "WHAT PHARAOH'S REIGN DID YOU SAY? DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS SAYS ABOUT THE UNDERPINNINGS OF OUR THEORY OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF 4TH BC EGYPT? GET IN, MATE!" A cheer cascades through the building and you can only wonder why.
Best go home and avoid anyone who might be drinking and singing. You once met a disagreeable chap who threatened to beat you up because you didn't watch the archaeology. "Not a late paleolithic era supporter are you? Think you're better than me? I'll fucking have you, you scrawny cunt!"
To bed. To repeat the cycle tomorrow. The inescapable, inevitability that wherever you go, someone, somewhere, is just dying to talk to you about the archaeology.

posted by thetruthisjustalie at 11:59 AM on February 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: It's obnoxious when people pop into threads.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:21 PM on February 17, 2015


I don't care about sports. I don't care whether you care about sports. I don't care whether you care whether I care about sports, and I don't care whether you care whether I care whether you care about sports. Are you vocally dismissive of "sportsball"? I don't care. Are you offended by people who are vocally dismissive of "sportsball"? I don't care about that either. And I don't care about your opinion about anything I've just said. I care the least! I win!

But I don't care.

Postscript: To actively play the Last Man game is not an expression of one's opinion about sports at all. It's a fascinating metagame based on information density and transference, and the fact that it involves the Super Bowl is purely circumstantial. It could involve any event at all. But let's be honest here: is there any phenomenon that receives more coverage, and yet is less important, than professional sports? Name one.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:13 PM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Personally, I think this would be better if it was merged with THE GAME* and the only way to win it was to not even be trying to win it.

* which you just lost
posted by davelog at 1:28 PM on February 17, 2015


I think you are WAY overestimating.

No, 90% sounds pretty reasonable. MetaFilter (and the participants in this thread) are not representative of the U.S.; the Super Bowl is the most-watched thing on TV (in the States) every year. Plus there are plenty of people like me who don't care but quickly find out who won each year from news headlines or friends' comments or whatever.
posted by psoas at 1:35 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree that bragging about not caring is a bit gauche. But this thread isn't "guess what happened in football today!" It's "some people try not to learn what happened in football," making "ha ha, I have inadvertently learned even less" a pretty normal comment, I think.
posted by salvia at 1:38 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I asked my wife and she doesn't know the name of the team who won, but she knows it was Tom Brady's team because she read a Lainey Gossip post about how he and Gisele had celebration sex.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:24 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder what else you could do this with, and what the hardest version would be -- the US presidential election?
posted by rollick at 2:25 PM on February 17, 2015


A lot of people in this thread seem to have confused "deliberately avoiding the result of the Super Bowl" with "deliberately avoiding the Last Man Rules and FAQ," as many of the questions/objections/claims raised are answered therein.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:11 PM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


A lot of people in this thread seem to have confused "deliberately avoiding the result of the Super Bowl" with "deliberately avoiding the Last Man Rules and FAQ,"

Oh you're right, I missed this in the Rules:
Anyone in America, male or female, who is a fan of American sports, and/or who would reasonably expect to hear about the Super Bowl if they weren’t trying to avoid it, is eligible to play.
Reasonableness! [shakes fist]
posted by psoas at 4:17 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


As an aside, I'm disappointed that the New Yorker's famed factchecking squad didn't notice that the author had misspelled Nicolas Cage's name.
posted by Lexica at 4:31 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


The good thing about being an Asportsballtheist is the chance you have to skip crowds. Way back when the Chilean Marcelo 'Chino' Rios was playing a match that, if he won, would (briefly, it turned out) make him the first #1 ranked Chilean tennis player in the entire world, I took the opportunity to go to a usually packed big-box bricolage store. I was the only customer in the store. The employees where huddled around a large screen TV and got really, really pissed at me for expecting them to work at their jobs during working hours.
I drove slowly back home, when a big cheer let me know that Rios had actually won. The city slowly came back to life, which was nice for people, I guess, but kind of a bummer as I was enjoying the whole post-apocalyptic feelling of being the only car on a usually jammed street.
posted by signal at 4:41 PM on February 17, 2015


psoas: "No, 90% sounds pretty reasonable."

Hmm. I guess it really does break down by age bracket or something, then. For example, it would be nigh impossible to not find out if you watch the news or current affairs-like shows (the Daily Show, Colbert). But I'm pretty sure viewership of those rises highly starting from ones twenties. Teens would have far lower levels of exposure from those sources.

I wonder how the age distribution works? (for non-football fans, obviously, as for football fans I'm sure it's 100% all the way through) Like, I know that my sons (age 6 and 9) know way more about the athletes of the day (tennis players, figure skaters, etc.), even in sports they're not interested in, because they watch morning television before school, and I'm too busy to watch TV in the morning. So I'm guessing knowledge starts at 0% for infants, rises for elementary school kids and maybe junior high school kids, drops back down during high school and university, where people are less likely to watch as much TV, then rises again after graduation from university, due to increased radio listening while commuting and increased news viewership. Then I'm sure it drops for people in their 60s and onwards, due to lots of people retiring around this age, and retirement leading to far less commuting time and less time spent with people who don't share similar interests (i.e. no longer spending time with coworkers). But during that huge bracket from age 22 to age 65, is it flat, or a bell curve, or are there various bumps and valleys, or what?

Man, I would love to see a graph of this!!
posted by Bugbread at 4:58 PM on February 17, 2015


I played it this year. I thought it would be easy, because most of my friends aren't football fans, and I don't really care about football, though I do usually hear who won the superbowl in the first week.) What I found is that suddenly I was waaaay more sensitive to superbowl references than I have ever been before. Like, if a Seattle friend were to have said they were sad, that would have been it...

I made it less than 24 hours.
posted by surlyben at 4:59 PM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


So I'm guessing knowledge starts at 0% for infants, rises for elementary school kids and maybe junior high school kids, drops back down during high school and university, where people are less likely to watch as much TV...

I humbly submit that high school and college kids watch a metric fuckload of TV. (Plus they're usually surrounded by people their own age who talk a lot about whatever news of the day they're sophisticated enough to understand--which includes sports.)
posted by psoas at 5:09 PM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


psoas: "I humbly submit that high school and college kids watch a metric fuckload of TV."

Yeah, but the issue is what television they watch. If you're mainly watching sitcoms and dramas and procedurals and superhero shows and whatnot, that don't address current events, you're not really going to be exposed to as much as, say, someone who watches the news, then the Daily Show, then Conan or Leno or Letterman or whoever, who is going to hear the results constantly.

psoas: "Plus they're usually surrounded by people their own age who talk a lot about whatever news of the day they're sophisticated enough to understand--which includes sports."

Yeah, but it's not like an adult workplace, where they people you are talking to are folks that aren't friends, just coworkers. As a teen, you're talking with friends all the damn time, and friends tend to have similar interests. If most of your friends aren't interested in the Superbowl, it's just not going to come up. Adults tend to talk more general current events stuff, too, from what I can remember. We'd talk about weird news or funny news or fucked up news or news that could affect us personally. Plastic surgery disasters, pratfalls at the Oscars, Jeffrey Dahmer, Space shuttle explosions, the Gulf War. But if nobody in a group of people was interested, we didn't talk about it just because it was news and we understood it. Nobody talked about the S&L crisis or the falling of the Berlin Wall. If you were into football, of course you talked football news with your friends, but if neither you or your friends were interested in football, you wouldn't talk about it just because it was on the news.
posted by Bugbread at 5:31 PM on February 17, 2015


man on the one hand I could see this being fun, but on the other hand this year's Super Bowl was totally fucking bonkers from start to finish and entertained me for days after, between Left Shark and all of the hot takes that were trying to come up with some reason why the final call could make any sense at all.

I guess what I'm saying is I hope some of these folks Tivoed it.
posted by kagredon at 2:00 PM on February 18, 2015


In some of the liveblogs and/or reports of years past, they talk about how they receive information about non-game aspects of the larger event from trusted people, so they learned about parts of the halftime show, or for example the blackout during SB XLVII, without losing the game. So a participant this year might well have known about Left Shark without losing Last Man.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:46 PM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


as I was enjoying the whole post-apocalyptic feelling of being the only car on a usually jammed street.

You'd love the Melbourne Cup.
posted by pompomtom at 9:27 PM on February 18, 2015


I still don't know who won the Oscar. Did I win?
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:36 AM on February 23, 2015


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