A year ago, the game was decided on the first drive, a defensive triumph that gave the Denver Broncos the tempo to go on and win. A year before that, it wasn’t until the final 21 seconds on the clock that the game was decided.
The trend continues as we look further into the annuls of the sport; a botched snap, a power cut and 4th quarter comeback, a helmet catch that defied reason. All of the magic and stupor of the NFL is encapsulated in the largest game and greatest television event of the calendar year, the Super Bowl. It’s the climax to the 17 week season, the finale to the month long schedule of playoffs and for all players involved, the culmination to years of dedication and hard work. You can see what it means to the players, with emotions high as the Star Spangled Banner plays throughout the stadium and the jets fly overhead on Sunday 5th February.
Yes the commentators may have whiny voices and the gaps in play can make the action seem disjointed, but it’s the passion from all involved, and what the game means and symbolises that makes it so special. Every year more and more fans get into the NFL and the sport of American Football through this game and, as the colourful shower of confetti rains down over the champions and the defeated, there is a feeling of triumph and satisfaction that comes as a viewer, especially for UK fans that watch enthralled, until dawn.
Simply put, the Super Bowl is a showcase of the best players in the world, arguably the best athletes in sport, on a global stage. Have you ever seen 6’8”, 300lb men with footwork to rival a ballerina? Or two world-class sprinters fight their way 60 yards down field neck-and-neck to compete for a game changing catch? One player carrying six more on his back as he charges his way to a score? Scoring is frequent on both offensive and defensive sides of the ball, but each touchdown feels as important and glorious as a goal in football or hockey, or as a flurry of three pointers in basketball.
I could not recommend the Super Bowl enough, as an event and a way into the sport. Whilst the late time might daunt some of us in the UK, stay up and you’ll witness some history in the making – you may even find yourself with a new love and interest. With such a high status game, chances are you’ll be able to chat about it with most people. The pinnacle of the American Football calendar is unrivalled for both intensity and atmosphere, so there’s something for novices and veterans alike.
The university’s American Football team the Lancaster Bombers are hosting an event in town to enjoy all things American and of course, watch the big game. Where and how to get tickets can be found on Facebook – Super Bowl Party.