As Coldplay’s lead singer and “renowned sports analyst” Chris Martin once said, “The Super Bowl is a game played between three teams, and at the end of the game they give everyone bowls, and they happen to be super.”
Obviously, Martin was a little off with his description. His confusion is understandable. Like myself, he’s from across the pond. Outside of the United States, knowledge of football (henceforth referred to as American Football) is limited. Granted, a whopping 111 million Americans watch their diluted form of the beautiful game, but that’s roughly half of viewers drawn in by real football every week.
Last night, the Philadelphia Eagles edged the New England Patriots to take home some of those coveted bowls. It’s the one time of the year where the rest of the world
maybe actually cares about American Football. That said, there is little understanding of the sport as a whole by people outside of the United States. So, as a self-righteous Brit, I see no time like the present to explain how the rest of the world perceived your big night. This is revenge for the revolution, America.
It’s like Rugby, but not as cool
There are many cool things about American Football. The sheer athleticism is impressive and there’s always something entertaining about good ol’ hand eye coordination.
However, the excessive padding just makes it, well, not as cool. Let’s face it, American Football is barbaric. Strip away the technicalities – which are way too complicated, (can someone please explain the ACTUAL rules for a catch?) – and it basically comes down to big men running into each other. If your sport is really that brutal, why bother wearing pads?? Take rugby, for example. Those guys just run into each other with no fear of injury or pain, with no padding. Now, that is impressive.
It stops way too much
I won’t pretend to be the authority on all sports, nor is it my place to criticize everything about American Football. That doesn’t mean I won’t. So, why does it stop so much? Look, I get it, those big lads may need a rest every once in a while. But, do you really need to force teams to move the ball quicker with a play clock? Even then, if you have so much time to set up your offense, how are you failing to complete a play? The lack of improvisation is frightening, and to a foreign audience is confusing. Also, someone explain this to me:
It’s more commercialized than something quite commercialized
If you were to poll a whole country not named America about why they watch their major sporting event, I would bet somewhere between 0 and 0 percent would say commercials. Yet, the super bowl appears to be designed for commercials. Not only is every element of the physical game supported by an ad, but the commercials themselves are valued so much. Articles like this demonstrate everything wrong with this mass commercialization. I’m no expert on marketing, but I’m not sure how well puppy monkey baby would run in the United Kingdom. Just sayin’.
Sidenote: This year’s Tide commercials were brilliant. *nods with begrudging respect*
Why would you have music at your sporting event?
Aside from this stud: I’ve never really got it with the halftime show. It’s a sporting event, so let’s throw music in there for money. It’s very American. Justin Timberlake didn’t exactly bring it, either. Yes, the whole mirror thing was very clever (it’s like a metaphor but it really happened), but otherwise I expect more from the multi-talented man. If only NSync had returned…
America’s big night was, and will always be, a massive commercial success. It’s the nature of the beast. It’s a time for debauchery and excessive consumption of unhealthy food, complete with music and forced humor. It’s literally the most American thing in existence (sorry, baseball.) So, in conclusion, congratulations to all of you Americans out there. You had it your way. The Patriots lost, Al Michaels didn’t make too big a fool of himself, and the game was tolerable. Rest easy knowing that football (the english kind), cycling, and cricket all attract more viewers than your “world championship.” Cheerio!