Every year, the Super Bowl ranks as one of the most-watched television events in the U.S. Last year's matchup between the Patriots and the Giants pulled in 113 million viewers, making it the most watched American television event in history. That's an awful lot of eyeballs watching men in tights battle for a big hunk of sterling sliver. This year, Super Bowl XLVII brings plenty of interesting story lines like Ray Lewis' retirement, two brothers coaching against one another, and the emergence of Colin Kaepernick as a star player throughout the playoffs. If that's not enough to keep your attention on the big screen and you still find yourself itching to pull your phone out of your pocket, load it up with these second-screen apps to stay entertained if the game gets out of hand.
RUWT stands for "Are You Watching This?" If you're not a huge sports fan, or maybe you accidentally stumbled into the wrong Super Bowl party and they're just watching cooking shows that feature oversized dishes, then it's good to keep this app in hand. Not every Super Bowl is a great game, and not every moment is worth watching, but this app will tell you exactly when to tune in. If the score gets close or a great play happens, RUWT will tell you to turn to the channel the game is on in your area. You won't have to miss any of the plays people are talking about the day after, nor will you have to sit through the boring moments to see them.
There's all kinds of buzz surrounding the Super Bowl, with a two-week build up to the game to make it even more dramatic. Once kickoff happens, you have to release all that pent-up trash talk. If you can't make it to a Super Bowl party, log in to PlayUp and it will act as your digital living room. Open and private chat rooms let you talk shop with just your friends, or fans all over, and live score updates fan the flames. The insults of your rivals hurt significantly less when you can't hear them and they're spelled wrong.
Everyone is going to be talking about the Super Bowl while it's happening. Across Facebook, Twitter, and every other medium available, people will be sharing their takes on the game -- even those who have never watched a game of football before this one. SportStream will act as your social aggregator for the game, pulling in tweets, Facebook posts, images and videos from the field, so you'll never miss a beat of the game or the terrible opinions and observations of the general public.
Similar to RUWT, Thuuz is an app with a weird name that provides a great service. It tracks games to tell you when things are starting to heat up. By offering a ranking on a scale of 0 to 100, Thuuz tells you just how interesting the game is, so you know when to flip to it. It's a great option for the domesticated sports fan who may find him or herself watching House Hunters with a spouse while anxiously twitching at the thought of missing a good game. If the game gets to must-see territory, just say you're going to the bathroom and turn on a TV in another room.
As if there wasn't enough competition going on on Super Bowl Sunday, FanCake adds another layer. Log into the app and connect with your Facebook friends as you compete with one another by taking part in real-time events and prediction challenges. If a big 3rd down comes up, the app might prompt you to pick what the result will be. You push your answer, your friends lock in to theirs, then you watch and see who's right. You earn points and trophies, which are far less valuable than the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but still brag-worthy.
Unless you're in Las Vegas, gambling is illegal. Gambling with real money, that is. Turns out the government can't stop you from betting all your hypothetical cash on anything you want. So stick it to the man and get OnSports. This app makes every part of the game a wager, from yards gained to individual performances and the final score. You can take on friends and compete in-app for who's the best gambler. It's a great way to work up your confidence before you go to Vegas and lose all your actual money.
Madden NFL 13 Social (iOS)
Your team didn't make it to the Super Bowl? Don't feel bad, that's the exact same feeling 30 different NFL teams' fans are feeling right now. Technically 29, as we're not really sure if there are any Jacksonville Jaguars fans. Anyway, who needs to watch two teams you have no interest in when you can build your very own squad of superstars and take them to a virtual championship? Madden NFL 13 Social mixes the sport you love with a card game. It's an odd pairing, sure, but it's the only way your terrible team will ever have Tom Brady on its roster.
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This article was originally posted on Digital Trends