I’m sure it passed you all by, but last Sunday was Superbowl Sunday in the U.S. As you were probably spared any coverage at all, I thought I would give you a little guide to Superbowl XXXIX.
According to some friends of ours, the important things to do on Superbowl Sunday are, in order of importance:
- Get together with a room full of people and get drunk
- See the new Superbowl commercials
- Watch the game
- Watch the half-time show
Well, we weren’t a roomfull, but we did watch the game (and the commercials, and some of the show) with friends.
Like many American sports, American football is on a stop-clock, meaning that the clock is suspended while there is no play going on, e.g. between plays or when there is a foul called. So while a game is officially 60 minutes of play (divided into four quarters), the Superbowl took over 3 hours to complete. Including the pre-game and post-game ceremonies and programming, there were around 5 hours of programming dedicated to the stadium events!
The teams this year were the New England Patriots, who won the Superbowl last year and also in 2002, versus the Philadelphia Eagles. With this history, the Patriots were obviously the run-away favourites, with the Eagles playing the underdogs. The Eagles made a couple of purchases of players at the start of the football year with the specific intention of putting together a team to get to the Superbowl. One of these acquisitions was Terrell Owens, who became the star receiver for the team, taking them to a number of victories before becoming injured in a December game. The injury was a broken leg below the knee, and a torn ankle ligament. So, everyone was pretty sure that he was written off, and therefore the Eagles would get taken apart.
Well, in the event, Terrell Owens played the whole game (against doctor’s orders) made 81 yards (which is good for a receiver I think), and the Eagles only lost by 3 points. I can’t say that I’m any closer to understanding the game, though. There is a lot of stop and start, as the whole team is substituted every time they go from offence to defence and back again. Give me rugby any day – or maybe not after England’s performance at the weekend…