Published Tuesday, 04 February 2014
Whilst on a coast to coast tour of the United States too. But that is exactly what happened.
For anyone who has ever been to the US during super bowl weekend you will know that it is a HUGE deal! It is impossible to escape the build up and hype that surrounds the game. I am not the biggest American Football fan, my wife certainly isn't as she considers it to be a poor mans rugby with too many stoppages and too much padding, but I have followed it a little in the past and I bought into the hype and hysteria.
I wanted to soak up the true atmosphere of a super bowl game with real American Football fans and what could be more American than sitting in an Irish bar drinking a beer, eating fried chicken and watching some football? Unfortunately the weather in Memphis was terrible so there were only a handful of people in the bar whilst everyone else had the sense to stay indoors.
The damp weather failed to dampen my excitement as I looked forward to watching the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks. The best offensive or attacking team in the league against the best defence. The tone of the game was set in the opening seconds when Broncos quarter back Peyton Manning lost the ball and the Seattle Seahawks defenced pounced to secure a safety for two points.
The Seahawks controlled the tempo of the game and did not allow hall of fame bound Peyton Manning any time to pick a pass and the team from Seattle found themselves 8-0 up after the first quarter and continued their dominance into the second quarter finally going in at half time 22-0 ahead.
By this stage there was a quiet hush in the bar as everyone knew the game was over. In fact, people seemed more excited about the commercials than they were about the actual game. Then came the half time show. For those of us in Northern Ireland it seems strange to make a spectacle out of half time. Im not sure the "concert of the year" idea would take hold when people are trying to make a cup of tea but they take the super bowl half time show very seriously in the States.
This year saw Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers performing and it was fine, not the "concert of the year" I had been promised but it was okay. The second half started with the hope that it wasn't going to turn into a completely one sided game but on the kick off return Seahawks player Percy Harvin ran the length of the field to secure another touchdown. More touchdowns were to follow and despite the Broncos finally getting on the score board the Seattle Seahawks dominated en route to a 43-8 victory and secured their first ever super bowl victory.
It was a fun experience and having enjoyed watching previous super bowls with friends and watching the game in a Memphis bar I realise that it is actually the fast food, commercials, beer and hype that make the super bowl such a spectacle. There also just happens to be two of the best teams in the NFL squaring off for the biggest prize in America's biggest sport.
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