Tag Archives: Patriots

Champions

So the New York Giants are the Super Bowl champions…pretty incredible game, and not just because of the number of burgers I managed to stuff down my neck.

Watching the TV broadcast, a few things sprang to mind:

1. How can one sports game last four hours? That’s not a sport, that’s some kind of endurance hell.

2. Speaking after the game, one New York Giants player claimed that he was just happy to win the world championship. Erm, anybody want to let me know how many other countries were allowed to compete in the NFL this season?

3. Even though I started watching the game wanting the New England Patriots to complete an unbeaten season, I couldn’t help but be caught up in the excitement of the New York Giants coming back to win the game in the final minute. Maybe I’m actually a lucky omen for New York sports teams, given how awful they’ve been over the last few years?

4. Apparently Mayor Bloomberg has agreed that there will be a ticker tape parade in New York this week, to celebrate the Giants victory. Given that the Giants (and the Jets) play in New Jersey, it’s like Manchester United winning the FA Cup, and then having an open-top bus parade in Birmingham.

5. The winning catch was made by Plaxico Burress, who had last week confounded pundits by predicting a 23-17 victory for the Giants. I so wish I could have been a fly-on-the-wall when Mr & Mrs Burress were thinking about a name for their soon-to-be born son.

Mr Burress: I’m thinking that maybe we should call him Philip after my dad.
Mrs Burress: I prefer Thomas, after my great grandfather who was such an inspiration to me when I was young.
Mr B: I just don’t like the name Thomas? What about Mike?
Mrs B: Mike? I hate that name. What about Billy?
Mr B: Over my dead body
Mrs B: OK, we’re getting nowhere here. Look, this is going to seem a little bit out of leftfield, but what about Plaxico?
Mr B: Perfect!

The car horns are blasting out left, right and centre in Brooklyn right now. With any luck, there might even be smiling faces on the subway tomorrow morning.

This is New York though, so I wouldn’t count on it.

Any given Sunday

It’s the Super Bowl this Sunday, arguably the biggest sporting day of the American year. Around 92 million people tune in to watch the event, which this year will be played between the New England Patriots and, incredibly, the New York Giants.

New York had a terrible start to the season, but somehow seemed to keep their head while all around them were losing theirs in order to make it to the big show. Sadly for them, they’re up against the New England Patriots, who have won all eighteen of their games this season (“eighteen-and-oh” in US parlance). They’ve won the Super Bowl three times in the last six seasons, and in quarterback Tom Brady they’ve got the David Beckham of the NFL. In sporting fame terms that is, rather than him being a text-maniac adulterer married to a woman who’s about as ‘Posh’ as haemorrhoid cream.

On the other hand, the last time that the New York Giants won the Super Bowl, I hadn’t even had my first kiss. Indeed, their quarterback Eli Manning probably barely knew what a kiss was, given that he was only ten at the time. It’s like Manchester United coming up against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup Final, except maybe slightly more one-sided. And if that kiss-of-death doesn’t allow the Giants to win, I don’t know what will.

My point is not that I don’t understand the rules of (American) football, because I do. But what I have no idea about is the Super Bowl grid that I was somehow persuaded to write my name inside today, in return for parting company with a fresh ten dollar bill.

When I was a kid, we always used to have a Grand National sweepstake. For those who don’t know, the Grand National is the UK’s biggest horse race – like a Kentucky Derby except with stonking great fences all the way around the course. Essentially, we’d all put 10p into the kitty, and in return we’d pull out the name of a horse out of a bag – and the person who ended up with the race winner would take everything.

Super Bowl boxes appear to be a super-fuelled version of this, invented by somebody with a mild mental disorder and a refusal to do anything the easy way. I can’t really begin to explain it fully – all I can say is that there are 100 boxes, each worth $10, and the numbers 1 to 10 are placed randomly along both sides of the grid. My box appears to be in the Giants 1, Patriots 3 box. That doesn’t need to be the final score in order for me to win, but it does mean that I need the last digit of the score to have those figures. In other words, if the Patriots win 43-11, I’m a winner.

Anybody still reading? Me neither.

Suffice to say that while I will almost certainly be watching my first Super Bowl as an American resident, I won’t be paying too close attention to the mathematics of the score.

That doesn’t mean numbers won’t be important on Sunday though. Far from it. I’ll be attempting to set a new record for number of organic burgers eaten in one four hour period.

Ladies and gentlemen, you’re about to see something very special.