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Don't just sit there

This extremely unofficial NFL exercise guide will get you in the game -- or at least moving -- and working off beer calories.

January 29, 2007|Janet Cromley | Times Staff Writer

THE Super Bowl is coming. Time to tighten up, close the gaps and hunker down -- on the couch.

Some fans have been in training for months, logging hours on the Barcalounger, moving as little as possible while reaching for Skittles and beer. On Sunday, they'll be going for the burn.

In fact, during the game, as the average 300-pound Colt or Bear lineman rips through an estimated 4,000 calories, most viewers will burn bupkis. Well, almost bupkis. A standard-issue 180-pound Super Bowl fan will kill off about 265 calories cheering and shuffling around on the couch over the three-plus hours of viewing.

And fans will do all this while pounding down a breathtaking lineup of snacks -- 30 million pounds in all, representing 27 billion calories and 1.8 billion grams of fat, according to the Calorie Control Council in Atlanta, an association for the low-calorie food and beverage industry.

Although Super Bowl eating is a team sport, it's individual effort that matters. The average viewer will polish off approximately 50 grams of fat and 1,200 calories in beer, guacamole and other snacks during the game, says Calorie Control Council dietitian Robin Steagall.

For a healthier Super Bowl, trainers and various do-gooder health associations inevitably recommend cutting fat and calories by substituting junk food with low-fat snacks and yada yada yada, but we have a better idea.

During the game -- instead of exercising your constitutional right to eat Doritos from an artfully constructed reclining position -- channel that emotion into carefully crafted, trainer approved Super Bowl exercises.

Outlined below, the officially unsanctioned NFL exercise guide to Pepsi Super Bowl XLI is designed to reduce ailments commonly associated with extended Super Bowl viewing: stomach distention, lumbar atrophy and gluteal enlargement.

The payoff?

When someone says, "It's a blowout," they won't be talking about you.

Pregame warmup

The early part of the pregame show is an opportunity to stretch. This will prime your muscles for the exercise to come. The pregame show is four hours, so there's no rush.

After stretching, watch the show closely. The exercises are designed to be performed on certain cues -- either plays on the field or comments from the booth.

Here's how it works.

Football fans know that certain events and comments can be predicted during any given Super Bowl. The mere location of the game, held this year at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, offers clues to what the pregame show will cover.

In addition to trotting out glamour shots of grilled sausages and ribs, pregame hosts James Brown, Shannon Sharpe, Boomer Esiason and Dan Marino will no doubt do a splashy feature on local indigenous cuisine. They may pull out a clip of an alligator farm or someone frying or barbecuing alligator meat. If they call these fritters "gator tots," that's your cue to do the Up-Down Beer Cheer.

Herewith, your easy-to-follow guide:

If ...

* CBS airs a bit called "Peyton's Place," showing Colts quarterback Peyton Manning at home throwing the football around with dad Archie, and maybe playing Pictionary with little brother Eli, do the Seated Touchdown Dance.

* The announcers use the term "football dynasty," or show Peyton giving Eli a wedgy, do the Couch Potato Crunch.

* Bears coach Lovie Smith expresses 100% confidence in his young quarterback, Rex Grossman, and does it with a straight face and without his eye twitching, do four Beer-Keg Pumps.

* The network does a retrospective on the Bears' 1985 Super Bowl shuffle, and Brown and Boomer re-create the shuffle in the studio, do the shuffle at double time.

The game

This is the cardio portion of your exercise plan. Your personal trainers are CBS' sportscasting A team: Jim Nantz on the play-by-play and Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms on color.

Marino will reportedly help with the coin toss, which is when Simms will probably mention the Hall of Famer's contributions to various charitable causes, the city of Miami and the Earth in general. Perform the Up-Down Beer Cheer if they mention that he was 27th pick in the 1983 draft or call him an institution.

If it's a high-scoring game, you're in luck, because each score is accompanied by an exercise.

If ...

* Your team scores a touchdown, do the Seated Touchdown Dance.

* There's a touchdown celebration in the end zone, reenact it twice, once at double-speed.

* Your opponent scores a touchdown or field goal, do the Trash Toss.

* Your team or the opponent scores a safety or two-point conversion, do the Furniture Shuffle.

* Your team scores a field goal, do the Field Goal Dance.

* The opposing coach calls a timeout to rattle the kicker, do the Couch Potato Crunch. When the timeout doesn't work -- it never does -- do the crunch double-time.

* Your team has to punt, or it's third and long, do the Rally Circuit.

Certain nonscoring events are also exercise-triggers.

If ...

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