Things to do once in your life – watch the Super Bowl in its entirety live on British TV Channel 4, sleepless in Strasbourg, France.
If you’re (i) into being very patient, that is. The coverage began at 11.30 pm and finished at 4.25 am with only 60 minutes of actual football played. I very nearly had enough time to eat my own weight in nachos. (ii) If you’re into sporting inanities being punted by studio guests in what seems like a familiar language and yet one which has a bafflingly new vocabulary, for a rookie like me, that is. (iii) If you’ve been inspired by recent blogging from J & G’s sojourn in New York, that is. Oh, and (iv) if you love collecting acronyms, that is. OIA
My own MVP, or man of the match, was no. 11, one Percy Harvin, but then my vote mattered not a jot, despite the fact that I though his pacey, skilled and wily long run to touch down the most enthralling moment of the match. No matter that neither he nor any other player did actually touch the ball down, unlike those other sportsmen with green home colours who were also playing with an egg-shaped ball in the Aviva stadium, Dublin, earlier in the day.
Not one of the Irish or Scottish rugby footballers had been wearing gloves and yet almost all of the American soccer players were sporting them. Why? I supposed it was to further conceal the whereabouts of the ball which, along with running decoys and fake toss, I had a job spotting on the screen. Though I’m not entirely sure that some of the players could see it either given that they were wearing black visored helmets à la Daft Punk.
My favourite player was an incredible hulk called Richard Sherman, as in tank, though after being charged at from behind and thus injured, by one of his own side, he was forced to watch on crutches and resembled more the Cerne Abbas Giant by the end of play.
But he was on ‘my’ team and they had won convincingly long before then. A friend claims that the best coffee in the world is made in Seattle, so it was for no other reason that I supported the Seahawks. And a Blackhawk was thrown in for free, along with the Chinooks, at half time!
Given the planning involved in this ‘world’ series, and its carefully choreographed build-up on the day it was unsurprising, to me at least, to see that the Americans in the MetLife stadium seemed, like their compatriots following the invasion of Iraq, unable or ill prepared to know what to do once they had won. Throughout the match rather a lot of people seemed to be milling around on the side lines. A huge number of people had descended onto the pitch at the end of the second quarter, and not just those who must have been authorised to build the set for Bruno Mars and his bizarre double act with the not so RHCP (oh, why not Bon Jovi in New Jersey?), but the pitch was totally invaded at the end, and a scene of chaos ensued.
It was an underwhelming conclusion, especially after the mannered success of the Irish across the Atlantic. As the Bosnian writer Sasha Hemon retweeted, Screw the Superbowl. Read a book.