Does anyone like american football?
Next sunday in Santa Clara, California, the championship game will be played. It's emphatically called Super Bowl and is one of the biggest events (not only sports event) of the year in the United States.
TV ratings are going to skyrocket as more than 100 millions Americans are expected to watch the game. This is why commercials aired during the game are ridiculously expensive, about 5 millions dollars for 30 seconds! But for me the prices of the tickets to attend the game are even crazier, up to 25.000 dollars!
The two teams that will face each other in this year's game are the Carolina Panthers (coming form Charlotte, North Carolina) and the Denver Broncos.
The game is supposed to be really exciting because it's a duel between the best offense (Carolina) and the best defense (Denver). But most of all it's fascinating because it's also a match between Denver's Peyton Manning, 40 years old, a bit beaten up, one of the gratest player of all time, probably playing his last game and Carolina's Cam Newton, 26 years old, energetic, dazzling smile, definitily on the rise.
Whatever the outcome of the game will be, american media are going to have a great story to tell: either the last strike of the old lion who retires on the highest note or the "change of the guard" rhetoric with the youngster taking over and becoming the new face of the National Football League.
PS: hey, american people, has I been adequately accurate in my description? :-)
Finally an interesting thread on italki! It's fascinating to read everyone's thoughts on two great sports.
As someone who has played football/soccer for more than 30 years (and at 38 years of age is still not considering retirement), I would have to say that the physique of the average football/soccer player is of course different to that of the American football player, but I can see some ovelap between the two. I myself would much rather be on a football pitch (soccer field) than on an American football field. Why? I play in goal these days and the worst I've had is a few mild concussions when I've been clattered by over-enthusiastic centre forwards, but I understand head injury is a big concern in American football as well as a subject of heated debate. We see the same debate over here in rugby, and those guys don't even wear helmets!
As for the Superbowl, the timing is never good for us Brits as we have to stay up through the night to watch it. I'll be giving it a damn good go though. Monday at work will be painful.
I want to see the Panthers win it. It's thrilling to see a dual-threat QB at the top of his game causing havoc for a defense. It's going to be fascinating to see how the Broncos will try to nullify the threat.
Hi Dan, you wrote: "There's a reason the US national football/soccer team isn't great. It's because the best athletes in the US play American football".
I agree, this fact surely plays a significant a role, but on the other hand I think that the physical structure requested for a football player is slightly different from the one requested for a soccer player. I mean, Lionel Messi, the best soccer player in the world, is 5' 5'', how could he play football? Yes, maybe as a punter or as a kicker :-)
I think that there's another explanation, namely that there aren't the big bucks in american soccer! I believe it's because soccer doesn't have time-outs and interruptions, only 15 minutes break at halftime. So TV networks cannot air as many commercials as they'd like to and then they are not going to pay the same amount of money they pay for NBA or NFL games, not even close.
OMG, breaks! I LOVE american sports, I love how Leagues works, the draft system, the salary cap mechanism, almost everything. The one thing I really can't stand are breaks.
Take an ordinary NFL game.
X team scores, but, damn, we need a scoring review because we are not sure the ball reached the end zone. 3/4 minutes
"The call on the field stands". Great, let's kick the additional point and then let's have another break. 10 seconds play and 3 minutes break
X team has now to kick off, the kicker kicks to the bottom of the end zone, touchback. Let's meditate on it a bit. 5 seconds play and 3 minutes break
So, from the score we have had 15 seconds of playing time and 10 minutes of breaks.
3 hours and an half for a game, are you f***** kidding me?!
PS: just joking, I like NFL and NBA so much that breaks are a toll I gladly pay :-)
I would have to say that the physique of the average football/soccer player is of course different to that of the American football player
I tried to tell him as hard as I could, I swear. But he's American, you know...
but I can see some ovelap between the two.
Ok, let's pretend to give him a bit of credit, don't humiliate him...you are right, I get it.
:-) Just kidding Dan, you know about soccer much than most of we Italians do (normally our deepest analysis is "man, the ref screwed us!")
Being serious, James raised a topical matter. I seem to understand that the concussion debate is heating and heating, also owing to the movie starring Will Smith recently released. It struck me to hear LeBron James saying that he isn't allowing his kids to play football, even though he did when he was young "I needed a way out, my kids don't" he added. And last year the promising (although undersized :-))49ers linebacker Chris Borland was prompted to retire by the fear of long term brain damages caused by concussions. Someone even says that the very survival of the game is in danger, at least as a major sport. For what it's worth, I don't see it coming. Especially this week!
And back in topic, prediction time!
Panthers are 5,5 points favourite. I think they win and cover the spread (No, actually I have no clue, but I like the expression and I wanted to write it down :-) )
if you remove Messi, the only other Player of the Year/Ballon d'Or winner in the past 10 years under 180 cm would be Fabio Cannavaro.
Yes, that's a way to say it. Another way would be: if you remove Ronaldo, the only other Player of the Year/Ballon d'Or winner in the past 10 years over 180 cm would be Ricardo Kakà
Hahaha, what a blunder on my part! Go back 20 years, not 10!!!
But yes, you make a valid point - my argument based on POTY awards still isn't very strong since there isn't much parity.
I won't be discussing découpage in any language, but I look forward to chatting about the Super Bowl next week :-)
Thank you guys for your kind words.
Altough I am italian and I've been to the US only on my honeymoon, I am a HUGE NFL fan.
I'm rooting for the San Francisco 49ers since the 80s (yes, Joe Montana was pretty famous even in Italy), I watch every game (it took guts this year...), I follow many american sportswriter on Twitter and much other :-)
And Mike, I also get the college stuff: don't get me started with the bowl games. Do you think I didn't watch Alabama defeating Clemson in the national title game? Do you think I didn't already checked several mock drafts to find out what the best college prospects are and who my beloved 49ers could draft with the 7th pick? You are wrong :-)