Before you gather around the big screen on Sunday to honor the gods of the gridiron, take a moment to ponder one of the day's great elements: The Food.
When your pals aren't screaming about the quarterback's insufficient IQ, toasting a touchdown or sobbing over some lousy incomplete pass, they will get hungry.
Actually, let them roll their own burritos, making plays as they work their way down a field of ingredients arrayed on a table: Touchdown (use every ingredient), Pass Play (scoot by the meat, stick with veggies), Halfback Option (skip around, choose what you want in any order).
Besides, Super Bowl XLV is being fought in Texas. That makes burritos — born in the Southwest, revered in the Lone Star State, foil-wrapped in San Francisco — a good fit.
The day's key play: Keep it simple
Take it from Victor Escobedo. He and his brother Miguel run a pair of Papalote Mexican Grills in San Francisco, where burritos lean towards a Mission District style (with rice and a foil wrap).
He'd limit the lineup to tortillas, a couple salsas plus five or six ingredients — perhaps grilled chicken or steak strips, maybe pork al pastor or a chili-rich stew of chicken or pork. Then rice and beans (black or pinto) done plain.
"Just season the beans with salt and pepper," said Escobedo, who last year tackled Bobby Flay on Food Network's "Throwdown." "People may say, 'It's just salt and pepper. There's nothing exciting about it'. No, the excitement is going to come from combination of everything being put together.
"You want nothing overpowering as far as flavor and quantity," Escobedo said. "You're putting a whole bunch of things together that are ultimately going to give you one unique taste. You don't want every element to stand out too much."
Pulling a burrito together requires a big flour tortilla — say, a 12-incher, as big as an NFL football — that's pliant, stretchy and wraps easily around whatever you put in it.
Add beverages (soft drinks and beer, can or bottle) plus a sweet finish (if you like): Brownies, spiced with a pinch of cinnamon, baked in a large pan and drizzled with a caramel sauce — vanilla ice cream optional.
And a theme? Cover a large long table with a white or (better) dark green paper tablecloth. Mark out football field demarcations. Set items at 10-yard lines. Play.
How to make a burrito
Coaching from Papalote Mexican Grill's Victor Escobedo:
Wrap: Offer large flour tortillas; some corn tortillas for tacos (for those who can't eat gluten). Warm on a griddle.
Fill: With 2/3 of the rice, beans, salsa and cheese, 1/3 of the meat; using just a spoonful of each ingredient for "a decent burrito that has all the ingredients."
Roll: "Have a circle in front of you with everything in the middle. Fold 1/3 from the right in, then 1/3 from the left in. Gently smash down the filling and roll up.