The Super Bowl, as you might have heard, is Sunday. The NFL playoffs have nearly run their course, the league's pretenders have gradually fallen by the wayside, and, this Sunday, all of America will watch in heightened (and inebriated) anticipation as the Green Bay Packers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers for the right to wear special baseball caps and participate in a parade at Disney World.
But the Super Bowl is so much more than just a "game." It's like Christmas 2 -- an oasis of light amidst a desert of midwinter darkness, a time for everyone across the country to come together around three things that make America great: food, drink, and televised violence. And, as with any other national holiday, Super Bowl Sunday can be super stressful. Whether you're planning a party, placing bets, or simply trying to stay on top of the NFL news cycle, you'll probably need some extra help before, during and after the big game. That's where your iPhone, and these 13 touchdown-worthy apps come into play.
Super Bowl XLV
If you're lucky enough to be attending this year's game in Dallas, you'll definitely want this guide in your back pocket. The NFL's official Super Bowl app offers a 3-D map of North Texas, replete with all the best places to eat and drink. It'll help locate your seats and parking spot, and will find all the special game-related events being held throughout the week. Even if you never set foot in Cowboys Stadium again for the rest of your life, you'll at least have this app as a souvenir. (Free
NFL-endorsed, Jerry Jones-approved.
Self-evident as it may be, it's impossible to overstate how much fun you can have with Twitter during a big event. It's the best way to stay up to speed with what's happening on and off the field, and allows you to gauge the reactions of pundits, celebrities and friends in real-time. Plus, the NFL has launched a new visualization tool
that tracks the trending topics and latest tweets from members of the sports media, NFL personnel and athletes. Or, if you're more interested in getting tweets exclusively from your favorite NFL players, the NFL Pro Tweets
app can help you sift through your feed for all player-generated nuggets of wisdom. Of course, our handy guide is probably the best way to get the 160-character nuggets of pigskin you so deserve. (Free
One horse that should already be in your iPhone's stable.
Madden NFL 2011
Recent Super Bowls may have been decided by last-minute field goals or otherworldly catches, but, more often than not, the 'big game' ends up being a big blowout. And if Steelers-Packers delivers more boredom than buzz, you'll definitely be craving some compelling football by the time the third quarter rolls around. You'll find it with Madden. Choose your own team, control your destiny, and even play with your friends via Bluetooth. ($4.99
Fake football is usually more exciting than real football anyway.
A+ Superbowl Commercials
By Monday morning, sports radio hosts and media pundits will have already begun debating where the winning quarterback stands among the all-time greats. The rest of the world, however, will have turned its attention to a far thornier historical debate: the commercials. Prepare yourself for the discussion with this app, which features some of the most famous (and infamous) Super Bowl commercials ever to hit the air. 'A+' may not include all of your faves, but any omissions can only provide fodder for even more debate. (Free
Because you need something to do when football interrupts the commercials.
Weber's On the Grill
February may not be cookout season for most of the country, but if you're lucky enough to live in a place that's not covered in ice, you might as well fire up the grill. With Weber's app by your side, you'll have access to over 250 "triple-tested" recipes, along with an additional 40 recipes for marinades and rubs. If you're looking for a more diverse, less carnivorous spread, you could always find something delectable on Epicurious
, but any feast honoring America's most barbaric sport calls for more Paleolithic fare, anyway. ($4.99
Meat. Football. America. Win.
If, on the other hand, your grill is buried under Michael Irvin-like
piles of snow, delivery would probably be your best bet for game-time grease. Normally, this would involve picking up a phone and talking to a human being. But that would require you to divert your attention from the gridiron, and that is unacceptable. Pizza Hut's app solves this dilemma, with a full delivery menu right in the palm of your hand. Just make your selection between downs, place the order and a fresh pie will be at your door before you can say "Troy Polamalu." (Free
Pizza. Convenience. America. Win.
It's Super Bowl Sunday, and, as fate would have it, you've got plans -- plans that involve being somewhere far away from the comfort of your couch or even the warmth of a sports bar. Fortunately, you remembered to download the ESPN Radio iPhone app. All you have to do is open the app, tune into an ESPN station, and listen to the game unfold in real-time. Is it ideal? Of course not. Is it better than skipping your six-year-old's piano recital in the name of Ben Roethlisberger? Absolutely. ($2.99
: For that rare moment when football collides with something more important than football.
DirectTV Sports Bar Finder
In an ideal world, you'd be watching the game at home with your dog. In the real world, you're in a hotel room at the tail end of a business trip in a cold and unfamiliar city. Fear not, the Sports Bar Finder is here. This app from DirecTV uses your iPhone's GPS capabilities to pinpoint your current location, and display all the sports bars in your vicinity. Sure, you could just as easily search for the closest hot spot on Google Maps, but Sports Bar Finder can tell you exactly what games are playing at every single bar. This Sunday, of course, you probably won't need that particular feature. (Free
Ideal for fans and/or alcoholics tuning in from abroad.
Steelers GameDay Plus / Packers App
True Cheeseheads and card-carrying members of Steeler Nation probably already have their iPhones tricked out with these team-specific options already, but, if you're just a football fan and want to do some last-minute research on the two titans, either of these will get you up to speed. Here you'll find the latest news and injury report updates, along with player profiles and a bevy of statistics. It might not be enough to make you actually care
about the outcome, but at least you'll be informed. (Steelers GameDay PLUS
- $1.99 or Gameday LIVE - Free
/ Official Green Bay Packers app
Your ultimate Super Bowl study guide.
American Football - Understanding the Game
If you're still having trouble telling your halfbacks from your fullbacks from your quarterbacks, you'd better back up and spend some time with this instructional app. 'Understanding the Game' carefully dissects what we inexplicably call football, and provides even the most clueless of novices with a solid primer on its often baroque rules. Think of it as a jock in your pocket -- one who won't belittle you when you ask what a "down" is. ($0.99
You have questions, this app has answers.
Pro Football Live
Football is a game of inches, and, as one legendary ex-Packer knows all too well, every inch counts
. The people behind Pro Football Live know that, too, and that's why they made this app so gosh darn comprehensive. Here, you'll find all the live scores, stats and NFL knowledge you could possibly ask for, all in one, easy-to-navigate place. It may be more useful during the regular season, when you're trying to follow several games at once. But Pro Football Live's social features definitely offer a unique way to either cheer on your team alongside other die-hards, or spew fiery venom at anyone rooting for the other color. ($0.99
You can never have too much football knowledge.
When football fans get excited, they drink. And when they drink, they get more excited. Some get caught up in this excitement, and decide to drive home after the game, even if they're still too excited to do so safely. Drink Counter can help. Just make a quick note every time you imbibe, and, by the end of the evening, you'll have a reasonable idea of just how much you consumed over the four quarters. Drink Counter's effectiveness ultimately depends upon your vigilance, but, if your total's high enough to lose track of, a taxi would be your best bet. (Free
It can't hurt to have a scorekeeper around.
Air Horn App
That one-handed grab got your juices flowing, and you want everyone within a four-block radius to know it. Inject some mayhem into your living room this weekend with this exceedingly annoying air horn app. Just download, tap your horn of choice, and wait for all of your friends to start hating you. If you're looking for a more international flavor, you could always go with the free (and marginally less abrasive) Vuvuzela 2010
app, inspired by the horns that were omnipresent at last year's World Cup. Football, after all, is football. (Free
A must-have for 'that guy' at every Super Bowl party.