So, as I’m sure most of you are aware of, last night was the Superbowl. In America that means lots of amazingly awful food, beer, great commercials, and your family friends dozing off on your couch to some or all of those things. In Britain it doesn’t mean much. But for some British kids at the University of Westminster it meant learning a new sport and watching it with some new American kids they kind of know now.
First off, when the Superbowl is shown on the BBC, guess what’s not included. The amazing commercials. Arguably the most interesting thing about the entire event is cut out. It was difficult trying to explain to these “blokes” why missing these commercials was so heartbreaking to us, but we tried. I still don’t think they get it. The night’s just not the same without being able to laugh at some hilarious commercials while also analyzing our country’s twisted societal values. Instead of commercials, on the BBC they simply have three dudes (two Americans, one Brit) sitting on a couch with some slacks and button down shirts reviewing plays that didn’t matter for a few minutes at a time. Over and over again. I didn’t really listen to them, but these commentators actually just looked like a couple of bros just chilling to some American football. It was pretty funny, but also a little bootleg and depressing.
Aside from that, however, the experience was pretty extraordinary. Above all, I would say that these British kids were actually more into the sporting event than anybody I have ever watched with. Rather than simply stuffing their faces with stale potato chips, these kids were hootin’ and hollerin’ at every damn play, every measly tackle, and every missed catch. “That was absolutely superb!” is something I’ve never dreamed of hearing being said about an interception, but by golly, these kids said it. After briefly and horribly explaining the game to them — and to one of my American friends who evidently didn’t still doesn’t understand the sport, and is now a huge Colts fan (she was heartbroken when they lost, though she was just yelling “go Bush” the whole time so I think she was confused) — these chaps were ready to do some yelling. In a dirty room filled with cigarette smoke, these kids just couldn’t get enough of this aggressive American game. They freaked out when “they dropped the yellow rope again!” (referring to the flag on the field) and said that every field goal was “Amazing.” It was all so exciting! And the one who actually knew football (better than any of us Americans) was just quietly watching the game.
Lucky for these newcomers, though they may not have known it, it was a tremendous football match, good from start to finish (aside from that shitty band that played at halftime. That was pretty pathetic). All-in-all it was an “absolutely superb,” interesting experience . . . but damn I missed those commercials.