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How Mobile Tech Has Changed the Super Bowl

It's been almost half a century since the first Super Bowl, and technology has changed the game. Mobile technology--smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other portable gadgets--has changed the game even more.

1. Pranks

The Super Bowl might not be known for pranks, but when you have a room full of people so immersed in what's on TV, it's hard to resist changing the channel and watching everyone get infuriated. Universal remotes have existed for a long time, but changing the channel with a remote is just about as sneaky as going up to the TV and changing the channel manually. You could go outside with a long-range remote, but it's been pretty cold lately.

Smartphones can solve the problem: If you have a phone with an IR blaster which allows your phone to act as a remote, you can use it as a universal remote. So kick back, relax, pretend your texting and ruin everyone's night.

2. Stats

There's a lot going on during the game. People will be walking around and —God forbid — talking. You'll want food and drinks, and anything could drag you away for a moment. But don't worry: Your phone or tablet has your back. Always being connected means always having access to real-time feeds that will let you know what's happening in the game. These instant updates will also come in handy for fantasy-football enthusiasts.

3. Munchies

The Super Bowl is about more than just football — it's also about community, athleticism and gorging yourself with cheese-and-oil-covered food. Toss out the cook book, though, because there are a ton of recipes online. Just search for whatever kind of finger food you have in mind, and you'll find some greasy snacks to feed your hungry friends. From bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers to buffalo-chicken chili to nachos with the works, you can have the best recipes in hand while you run to the store or as you're cooking.

4. Viewing

Let's run through a few scenarios: You get caught in gridlock traffic; you are stuck at work; you're shipwrecked on a deserted island. None of these things will stop you from watching the Super Bowl, as long as you have your phone, tablet or laptop (with a data card) handy. Streaming video is the closest thing there's ever been to a cable killer, and you'll be able to find the Super Bowl online this year.

Fox Sports will be streaming the game live on its website. Viewers will also be able to download the Fox Sports app to view the game on their iPad or iPhone. So, if you were afraid you were going to miss the game, dry those watery eyes.

5. Venting Frustration

Who needs a stress ball when you have a phone to chuck across the room? Apparently, football fans have a tendency to take out their frustrations on smartphones. The mobile-protection-plan company Square Trade reports that 23 million Americans have damaged their mobile devices while watching sports

This probably isn't the most productive use of your energy, or your mobile device. Save yourself the trouble of getting a new phone, along with the well-deserved social shame, by not smashing anything. Maybe take a deep breath, and remind yourself of all the cool things your smartphone or tablet does for you.