On a day like today, when the Super Bowl is the predominant topic of conversation at the watercoolers of American offices, I may as well walk around the city with a giant pink neon sign above my head that reads “I’m British, please ignore me”.
It’s not that I don’t understand what, erm, wide receivers and tight ends are. It’s just that nobody believes that I know what they are – or indeed, that I care. To be fair, they may well have a point on that second issue, but that doesn’t mean I’m not prepared to give it my best shot in the interests of community spirit.
Twice today I saw my fellow man’s excitement at the prospect of discussing “the greatest New York sporting triumph of the last twenty years” vanish into thin air when they suddenly realised that I’m not a natural-born fan of that game with the funny shaped balls.
Entering the office this morning, a few guys stood around reliving the final few moments of last night’s game. Back home, I would have quite happily barged my way into the conversation with talk of how Adebayor should have buried that last minute chance, or how Robinson had had a complete shocker with that cross from Mellberg. Here in New York, I simply received a sympathetic look that was almost certainly intended to convey something along the lines of “we’d love to talk to you about this historic sporting moment, but you were probably watching repeats of Fawlty Towers on BBC America while eating cucumber sandwiches”.
Later on in the day, I made my way downstairs in the
liftelevator to grab a sandwich. The one man already in the elevator gave me a big smile, and said “What about those Giants, man?!” I was pretty sure my response was “Incredible, huh? Manning’s ability to avoid the Patriots blitz before passing to Tyree was a pivotal moment that changed the course of the game.” From his reaction to my British accent, I can only assume that I actually said “Who are the Giants?”.
Thankfully I’ve always been a fan of awkward silences.
Enough of this talk of gridiron though. If you want to talk to me about valiant against-the-odds sporting victories with an oval ball, talk to me about Wales defeating England in rugby’s Six Nations on Saturday.
Sadly, I’m not sure which one Americans are less likely to have heard of – rugby or Wales.