Super Bowl LI is almost upon us (that’s 51 for those not great at Latin).
On the 5th of February, the New England Patriots will face off against the Atlanta Falcons in Houston, Texas. It is arguably the biggest sporting event of the year, but how many people outside of the US really watch it?
To be fair, the NFL has millions of fans all over the globe, with four official games per year being played in the UK, but it still feels a bit weird that the winners of this game are crowned “World Champions” when it’s not an international tournament.
There are actually quite a lot of complicated things about American Football, but the Super Bowl is sporting entertainment at its best. Here are five good reasons for you to take notice of the Super Bowl this year:
1. The Half-Time Show
Beyonce, The Who, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, and Madonna. These are all performers of recent Super Bowl half-time shows. The NFL pulls out all of the stops when it comes to making the Super Bowl a big deal and the half-time act is always a global superstar. Prince and The Rolling Stones are just a couple of the other names that you might be familiar with too.
At this year’s Super Bowl, Lady Gaga will be headlining the half-time show. With the interval between games extended to thirty minutes for this game only, don’t think this is just a quick couple of songs and then the performer running off before all of the football players come rolling back out. No, this is basically a mini concert featuring amazing choreography, spectacular light shows, and usually at least one similarly famous surprise guest.
Come for the game, stay for the half-time show!
2. Super Bowl Adverts
People new to American Football will be entertained by much more than just the game and the amazing half-time show. The Super Bowl is also an event where advertisers shill out the most amount of money per second to air one of their commercials. A 30-second segment at Super Bowl LI will cost $5 million.
As you can imagine, only the affluent companies can afford this kind of marketing budget. With the Super Bowl ads being such a big crowd pleaser, the companies showing them really go to town here. Many of the ads shown live long in the memory and go down in advertising folklore. You might just find out that you end up enjoying the commercials more than the game itself.
3. The Sheer Sporting Prowess On Show
American football is an unbelievably complex sport that most observers will never be able to fully grasp, and that includes Americans who have been brought up playing it. What is very easy to grasp, however, is just how physically gifted these men are.
American football is a fast, violent game. It may not be one that is to everyone’s tastes, but in every single game there are multiple moments of brilliance that will leave even the uninitiated wide-mouthed, Odell Beckham Jr’s prime time catch being an extreme example of this.
4. You Don’t Need To Know What’s Going On To Enjoy It
As mentioned already, American football is a very complex sport. This doesn’t really matter on Super Bowl Sunday. The whole spectacle is just such amazing fun that all you need to do is choose a colour and then sit back and watch the mayhem.
It’s no coincidence that Las Vegas reports its biggest day of the year on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a sport that brings the whole of America together; with the two teams normally being so evenly matched, it’s an event that you can enjoy even if you know nothing about the game.
If you are already a fan, the whole immensity of the event will rekindle your own love of the game and leave you dreaming that next year might just be your team’s year.
5. We All Need A Distraction From Reality
The Super Bowl is sport at its most sleekly commercialised fun. On the one had, this isn’t necessarily a great thing. On the other, it is just a few hours of good old fashioned entertainment.
With so much of the news out of America nowadays being so divisive and downright upsetting, the Super Bowl can act as a little reminder that Americans really know how to have fun too.
Watching the Super Bowl won’t change the world, but it will allow you to enjoy yourself for a little while. The weighty matters of life must be taken seriously, but we also all need to find some time to kick back and enjoy ourselves sometimes as well.
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