Everything you need to know to enjoy the Super Bowl

Sport / February 1, 2019
by Aidan Jenner

The USA’s all singing all dancing sporting event of the year the Super Bowl takes place on Sunday 3rd of February, so grab some chips (A.K.A Crisps) a giant slushee, and a foam finger it’s going to be a goodun. We are aware that the Super Bowl can be a bit of a minefield for us brits. A few things don’t make sense on face value, they don’t really kick the ball which defeats the idea of football a bit. The half time show all just seems a bit much and well does anyone really understand the rules? Worry not fellow ‘soccer’ fans here’s what you need to know about the Super Bowl. 

What is it? 

The Super Bowl is the culmination of the NFL. Think of it a bit like the Championship Play off final. Two teams who have worked their socks off over the course of the season to battling it out to be crowned champions. 

Where does it take place?  

Unlike proper football, the states don’t have a national ground for their take on football. Instead the Super Bowl is hosted by a different city each year. Prospective hosts have to put in a bid and prove they’re worthy of taking on the event. This year the honour has gone to Atlanta and Mercedes-Benz Arena, who host the game for the first time. The ground has a capacity of 71,000 so it should be a full house for the greatest show on earth. 

Who’s playing?  

The Super Bowl finalists this year are the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. New England will make their eleventh appearance at the Super Bowl, their third in four years and their ninth under the guidance of head coach Bill Belichick. Their opponents the Rams, on the the other hand, have been to the Super Bowl three times and make their first appearance since 1999, when they were located in St. Louis, Missouri (they move around more than MK Dons).  

Key Players? 

Well, the best place to start is with one of American footballs most recognisable icons, like Messi and Ronaldo, or Lebron James, Tom Brady has become a world renowned sportsman. The 41-year-old quarterback’s success is something of a phenomenon and he is likely to be crucial to any kind of result for the Patriots. On the other side, it’s young gun Jared Goff that pulls the strings. The 24-year-old heads into his first Super Bowl with the potential to become an elite QB but could the pressure get the best of him? Elsewhere Patriot stalwarts Gronkowski and Julian Edelman will be sure to provide plenty of excitement and the Rams will be counting on a solid performance from Todd Gurley who has had an incredible season so far. 

The Rules? 

Ok so we’re not quite as clued up on this one. One thing’s for sure though there’s four quarters and a load of fast paced, high powered action. You’ll be on the edge of your seat from start to finish and if you’re lucky you’ll pick up a few of the regulations along the way.  

Anything else we should know? 

Well yeah, there’s the small matter of the half time show. Although subject to its own set of controversies over the years the Super Bowl half time show is always a spectacle. With a host of the world’s biggest music stars involved, its only close comparison is the Olympic opening ceremony. The thing is though that this is the most all American thing you’ll ever see so expect star spangled banners, unbelievable pyrotechnics and everything that comes with all out show stopper, NFL style. 

Where to watch it? 

This year you’ll be able to watch all the action live on the BBC both on TV and Iplayer. Coverage begins at 23:30 on Sunday the 3rd of February.  

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