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Monday, February 07, 2005

I say. Good show!

Right up front, let me say that I am not a regular "fan" of American football. Yes, I watch it from time to time, and yes I will read the occasion sports news story on how a local team is doing -- but I do not go out of my way to do so. I am capable of getting a bit "fan"-atic about a sports team, as I did during my last year at the University of Kansas (1987-1988) when the Jayhawks went to (and won) the Final Four. But typically you won't find me in front of the TV at a scheduled time or place to take in a game of football, basketball or baseball. It just ain't the kind of thing I enjoy doing.

That is supposed to be different for the Super Bowl -- it is estimated that 120 million Americans now approach Super Bowl Sunday as a national holiday, and by all measures it is the watershed event of the first two months of the year in the US (far surpassing the few official holidays we have). But even when in the US, Super Bowl Sunday is nothing special for me or my family -- sort of like New Years, when only some invite to a special event might pull us out....

But last night I did catch the first half of the Super Bowl from my perch in Belfast -- tuning in around 11PM or midnight and glancing over at the TV while I typed away at last night's blog and chatted with Randi over the Yahoo Messenger program. After all, I do live in New England, and it is the local team (the Patriots, for those who don't know) attempting to win still another Super Bowl (unlike with the much discussed Red Sox World Series' effort last fall, over the past five years New Englanders have come to expect the Patriots to be in contention and at the Super Bowl). And it was a good game -- if you like lots of turnovers and big plays, all going for naught. The half ended in a 7-7 tie -- all very exciting. But that is not really what kept me tuned in. I really just wanted to see Paul McCartney's halftime show, and was rewarded by his performance of three or four classic Beatles/Wings tunes (too tired to recall). And then to sleep. Like I said, not a really big fan....

There is another attraction to taking in the game from over here -- and that is the very "British" commentary that took place during breaks in the action and halftime. It is strange enough to hear a discussion of American football in a British accent, and the fun was made moreso by the presence of a retired US football player on the panel of commentators (didn't catch the name) who provided a stark contrast in phrasing and tone as well as accent. That was also worth staying up for.

But best of all was the BBC web site story on the game that I clicked to this morning to find out what happened -- it is terrific, and almost reads like a Monty Python skit. My Northern Ireland and UK friends might not get it, but any American who reads this write up will fall over laughing.

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