The Super Bowl – from a Brit’s perspective

Written by Jack Caldwell

The 53rd annual Super Bowl will be coming to a TV screen near you this Sunday, and as the biggest American sports event of the year, the ‘big game’ has been given full attention from media outlets all over the world.

As a fan of the NFL myself, I don’t really mind this.

On the other hand, those who have no interest in the sport will surely be infuriated with its constant coverage.

However, I’m sure that the casual fan will still be somewhat interested and as the NFL has continued to grow outside of the US in recent years, they have made worldwide growth one of their main priorities.

International Series

The NFL capitalised on the gaining interest in American Football back in 2007 when they started hosting a number of games at Wembley stadium. These weren’t just exhibition games either, the NFL realised that the only way this idea would work was if they showcased actual games that mattered to the British crowd.

The London games have now been running for over a decade and since its inception, every game has been a sell-out.

Appearances from some of the league’s biggest franchises have helped make the games more credible and has given a boost to the NFL’s market in the UK.

Sunday Spectacle

While the focus of Super Bowl Sunday is particularly on the game itself, it cannot be understated how big of a deal the razzmatazz of the day’s events is.

From the theatrical half-time show to the ever-so-anticipated ads, the Super Bowl is much more than just a game to most people. Although this may be difficult for some non-fans to understand, the spectacle which surrounds the event is one of it’s biggest drawing points.

This year, pop group Maroon 5 will be the half-time show headliner alongside special guests Travis Scott and Big Boi. Over recent years, those involved with the half-time show have gone all out and have put on the biggest performances that they can in hopes to top the previous year.

In terms of ads, expect to see the typical movie trailers and American-style commercials blown out of proportion. This is, justifiably, the time for all companies to push whatever new product they have to the millions of viewers at home.

The Game Itself

Now, this may be the hardest part of Sunday for casual viewers to fathom. The game itself may be the least interesting part of the event for some due to a lack of understanding or interest.

As millions around the world flock to their screens to see the New England Patriots face the Los Angeles Rams, many spectators will fail to understand how the game is played, officiated or presented. This is not a judgement of those people, but rather an observation of how big the event is.

The fact that the Super Bowl can attract hundreds of millions of viewers with a large section either being critical or oblivious to the sport itself is tremendous.

The end result will not matter to these viewers, although, for some players, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. This game will be the culmination to a year-long grind for the teams involved and this is their opportunity to etch their names in history.

Only once a year does the Super Bowl come around, so if you’re sceptical like I once was myself. Don’t be afraid to give it a chance, because you never know how the ‘big game’ may appeal to you.