[WELCOME, NEWCOMERS! If you’re just discovering Last Man, via 538 or elsewhere, here are a few links to get you started in learning more about this weird, quirky, nerdy (but not judgy or sanctimonious, we swear; many of us are sports fans!), fun game:
Oh, and if you want to play next year? Here’s how.]
“Last Man in America to Know Who Won the Super Bowl,” better known as Last Man or #lastman, is an annual game played in the hours and days — and sometimes weeks, months, or even (very rarely) years — after the NFL’s championship game.
Contestants, called “Knowledge Runners,” seek to avoid, for as long as possible, learning “The Knowledge” — the outcome of the Super Bowl.
A bit of background information…
Last Man was invented and popularized by Kyle Whelliston, formerly the owner and operator of The Mid-Majority, a website about college basketball. In recent years, fans of Last Man have increasingly begun playing the game themselves.
In January 2014, Kyle declared that Last Man “belongs to the people now.” In response, a group of Last Man fans created the “Twitter #Lastman League,” to organize and promote the game, and to tweak and clarify the rules. This is the league’s website.
- The object of the game is to avoid, for as long as possible, learning either a) the winner or b) the final score of the Super Bowl. This data is called The Knowledge.
- You are eliminated from the game when you Know.
- Always play honestly.
- Nobody ever wins. It’s a game you play against yourself, so it always ends in a loss, eventually.
- Anyone in America who is a fan of American sports, and/or who would reasonably expect to hear about the Super Bowl if they weren’t trying to avoid it, is eligible to play.
- Contestants must announce on Twitter, using the hashtag #lastman, that they are participating. This must be done before the Super Bowl (or within 24 hours after it ends).
- Contestants are also asked to tweet updates on their Last Man status at least every 72 hours while they’re still alive, and of course also tweet their “death” after they lose, including when they lost and the “cause of death” (i.e., how they obtained The Knowledge).
Other sections of this website include the history of Last Man, with links to prior years’ liveblogs and tweet archives; links to media coverage of Last Man; milestones of the game; a list of various causes of “death” (elimination); and a Frequently Asked Questions page.
Good luck, Knowledge Runners!