Tomorrow will be the first time I will be able to watch the Superbowl on US soil. It might also be the first in a long time that I will be able to watch all the way to the end without falling asleep. That's no slight against the sport it's just whenever I've watched it in the past its been on tv at somewhere between 1 and 5 in the morning. With work (or school, in the years before that) to go to later that same morning I usually found myself nodding off by the end of the 3rd quarter. Just when its getting exciting.
I blame the half time entertainment for that. It's just not something that Brits are used to in the middle of our sports.
When I was younger I used to get excited over who was going to perform the half time entertainment but then with too many years of the hype and expectation being greater than the performance have left me feeling that that part of the Superbowl experience has fallen a bit flat. I half suspect that some of the performers are overwhelmed by the occasion.
The half time entertainment of the Superbowl reminds me of the early hours of Live Aid when some of the early performers were doing ok but really doing nothing spectacular. What I would love to see is a Freddie Mercury type of performance and the occupants of the stadium be blown away. Instead I end up just longing for the game to restart. This year I have heard all about the advert controversies but I don't even know who is going to be performing at half time. And that's the way I like it.
If I'm honest I'm not really into American Football. It's a little too slow and stop/start for me. I don't have a favourite. However the Superbowl is one of the few sports I can sit down and just enjoy as an outsider. I'm completely neutral, I just want to see a good game.
I can't say that for the other sport I am enjoying this weekend. Thanks to BBC America I can watch the Six Nations Rugby tournament. I have to admit when I first heard that BBC America was going to show some of the Six Nations games I got as excited about this as the city of New Orleans got when the Saints made it to the Superbowl. My excitement was quickly dashed when I rushed over to the computer to check out what games were going to be shown and saw that whilst they were going to show 5 games of the tournament with England, Ireland, Wales and France all featuring at some point not one match covered was going to include Scotland.
To say I was not a happy man would have been an understatement. Thankfully since the match coverage was first announced someone at BBC America has seen sense and realised that maybe this was an oversight. I will now be able to watch Scotland play England in a few weeks time. Yes! I won't however be able to watch Scotland play France tomorrow. Bummer!
For those not familiar with the game of rugby it is a sport that has a couple of things in common with football of the American persuasion. It has a ball of a similar shape, and has very big strong men that like to tackle each other a lot. In other ways the game of rugby is nothing like football. There is no padding or helmets in rugby, just full blooded bone crunching tackles. I've been there, trust me, it hurts.
There is also no quarterback that can throw the ball 30 - 40 yards ahead, that would be a foul. The ball in hand can only go backwards or in a straight line. The ball can be kicked forward for positioning but in my opinion a better game involves two teams who like to throw the ball and run with it in hand. But every team has its strengths and weaknesses and some games will involve this kind of play more than others. Someone used to American football that decided to take advantage of the rugby game coverage on BBC America might be a little confused at first but I'm sure anyone doing so would get into by the end of the game and hopefully by the end of the tournament be eager for next years Six Nations to begin.
I will of course be hoping for a good Scottish performance over the coming weeks. However if any of my American readers want to do the reverse of me and go all European you can just watch from the sidelines and enjoy the English, Welsh, Irish, Scots, French and the Italians fight it out for national pride from a neutral standpoint. For those of you who want to pick a side to root for at the start of the tournament I would advise against choosing the Italians, they are relatively new to the tournament and really, apart from the odd individual performance, aren't that good.