Apparently the BBC have just signed a deal to televise the next two Super Bowls on free-to-air television. Channel 4 and Channel 5 (or ‘five’, as I seem to remember we’re told to call it) have both televised the Super Bowl before, but could this be a sign that Brits are about to take America’s national game to its collective bosom. Or grant it a quick roll in the hay, at the very least?
Last weekend saw the start of the new season of gridiron (I’m sure it’s only the British who use this tag, as some kind of bitter revenge for the American obsession with calling our national game ‘soccer’), and New York Giants and Jets fans are already pretty much writing off their teams’ chances after opening weekend defeats.
It’s a shame that the Giants (or any of the New York sports teams) aren’t looking like being a force this year. Not just because it would have been good to bask in the happy glow that victorious (American) football, baseball, ice hockey or basketball teams bring to their home cities. But also because this season the Giants will be travelling to the UK for the first ever regular season NFL game outside America, when they take on the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium.
North London actually seems like a pretty good place for the Giants to be playing, given that they’re the NFL’s equivalent of Tottenham Hotspur – a side that has had success in the past, and always threatens to do pretty well, but in the end proves to be little more than a bitter disappointment.
Anyway, New York can’t exactly be said to be a hotbed of sporting success at the moment. The Rangers haven’t won ice hockey’s Stanley Cup since 1994, with the night they won it weirdly coinciding with my first night ever in the United States. The Yankees may be responsible for more baseball caps than Disney, but they still haven’t held the ‘World’ Series since 2000. Although admittedly they did beat the New York Mets to win it.
As for basketball, well the Knicks last won the NBA Finals in 1973, and haven’t even made the finals for eight seasons. I wasn’t even born when the Knicks last won their championship. Even New Jersey have been in the finals more recently than the Knicks. Twice.
With the Giants, you have to go back to 1991 to find their last win in the Super Bowl. That’s a long time for a city the size of New York to have to wait for the prize they desire the most.
Still, however long the wait goes on to win the ultimate title, it’s always comforting to know that Liverpool have waited longer, eh?