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What the Hell is a Superbowl?

What the hell is a superbowl?

 By Kris Makuch

This word ‘Superbowl’ has been popping up in my news feed all week. Given the amount of hype it has received, I thought I’d give this thing a watch and try to understand exactly happens at a Superbowl.

Ok. Firstly, it’s on really late. At the time of writing it’s 11:30pm on a Sunday. ON A SUNDAY!? Clearly Americans aren’t accustomed to UK traditions. No-one is going to be watching this so late on a school night.

Apparently it takes fifty Superbowl’s to qualify for the BBC to consider paying for the rights to broadcast it. They’ve also given Mark Chapman the role of chairing the show, which is great, but it now already has the air of a late showing of Match of the Day Two, so I’m already slightly disappointed. I wish Ian Wright was here. He would love this.


But I’m a trooper so I’ll pour another G&T and give this sport some slack. After all Lady Gaga did just do a great rendition of the star spangled banner, which originated from a London drinking song back in the 1800s. So a fitting homage to the British public. Thanks America.

They’ve kicked off. Which immediately didn’t make any sense as the kicker just booted the ball as far as he could out of play. But everyone seems impressed by his passion so I guess this is normal. ‘Merica.

It’s a very stripy pitch. Measurements seem very important. The’ve essentially turned the field into a giant ruler.

First impressions: it’s like rugby. Ish. Only people seem to be wearing a lot of armour. This is what I imagine would happen if Donald Trump took over rugby. Wait. This is totally like WWE. It’s basically fake rugby. At some point I hope Triple H will run in and hit some one with a chair.

We’re also five minutes in and only one person has kicked the ball… The name of this sport is inappropriate.

Oh. They’ve stopped.

With 10:43 seconds on the clock (which apparently counts backwards??), play has stopped and Mark Chapman is back. He and his three new American friends are analysing the two minutes of the game so far. They’re struggling for conversation.

Oh wait one of them is Martin O Neill!? Why the hell is Martin O Neil commenting on the Superbowl? Is everybody lost?

Play starts again after about a minute, so Martins’ off topic chat of his recent holiday to South Carolina is promptly concluded. Back to the game.

A guy kicks the ball. Someone catches it. Play stops. Again.

Mark is back.

He talks briefly about ‘the co-ordinator’ (I think they’re talking about one of the players). Play ensues.

The players are very excitable. Every one seems very pumped up. Or at least very wired. Even outside of gameplay everyone is jumping around like they’re jacked up on too much caffeine. Maybe they’re angry. I’d be jumping around too if a football match kept stopping like this.

Oh look a touchdown! Yey! Something happened!

They all run to the sidelines and, wow, look at the size of their teams! There’s like a hundred people on the side line. How many substitutes are you aloud? How many substitutes do you need? Do they all get paid? I’ve just noticed there are like eight referees as well. Who’s in charge here? And have these officials checked the team sheet? That’s why it’s such a late kick off isn’t it? Because it took so long to do the register!

Play stops again.

Martin O Neil has left. Probably for the best.

My attention wavered at this point so I checked Twitter. Twitter seems to be going crazy about the adverts. Come to think of it, I’ve probably more knowledge of past Superbowl adverts than I do about the actual sport itself. A lot of women in bikinis, chicken wings and hotdogs appear when you search for ‘Superbowl’ on Twitter. ‘Merica!

Gameplay continues.

Oh look there’s Usher.

Gameplay stops.

Wow Americans REALLY like this sport. One guy just screamed manically into the camera. Or maybe he’s just a screaming Usher fan.

Hold on. Apparently Coldplay are doing the half time show. They’re really going hard on the British theme aren’t they? Might as well roll out Ozzy Osbourne in a giant teapot shaped float while you’re there.

I have no idea what’s going on by the way. Both teams have racked up points but it’s not clear if they were awarded for advancements in territory or whether there is a sub-game of rock, paper, scissors going on in the breaks. I imagine that would probably have more fluid gameplay.


Half time. Enter Coldplay / Beyonce / Bruno Mars. I feel like Coldplay have cheated with their half time show and just got other people to do it for them. I mean fair play, this is how I passed my SAT’s, but I just don’t think I would’ve dared to do it with so many people watching.

The set up is pretty impressive. In about five minutes they’ve managed to make a giant stage in the middle of the pitch. You wouldn’t see that at an FA cup final. Too much could go wrong. The stage wouldn’t fold back up in time and they’d have to play the rest of game around Chris Martins giant head.

Back to the game. Second half. No wait, third quarter. Why do they have quarters? You don’t need excuses for breaks here.

I feel like I’m getting to grips with this sport. It’s just like playing British bulldog in the school yard when you were a kid. Remember? The one that the dinner nannies would send you to ‘the wall’ for playing? (Not entirely unlike Game of Thrones). Well this is ultimately the same thing. You have to try and run past the other players and if you get caught; you lose and have to leave the field. Is that where this game originated from? Is it another British homage?

The only major thing to note is that time doesn’t exist in American Football. It’s a complete myth. One minute can literally last half an hour. Einstein would have a melt down watching this. I think it’s a subtle technique used to keep the fans in the stadium for longer so they buy more beer and burgers. ‘Merica!

I’ve just remembered, the Denver the Broncos are Stan and Kyle’s favourite team on South Park. I now have an affiliation with something. Go Broncos!

They’re now doing interviews with the players in the breaks! Concentrate on the game you fool.

Another try! The Denver Bronco’s have totally got this now.


The Broncos win! Clearly a deserved victory…?

All in all I’m not entirely convinced by this game of Superbowl malarkey. I’m not entirely convinced it even falls into the game category at all. It started at half eleven and it’s now like four in the morning. It’s supposed to be an hour long but I’ve been sat here for four hours. In which case the time spent playing any actual sport was in the minority compared to the time listening to people talk about things that nearly happened.

If anything, this was an evening with Mark Chapman with intermittent spells of American football. And not one person got hit with a chair!

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