My Virgin Super Bowl
So, get a cup of tea (hot for UK peeps and iced for USA folks) and prepare for my Super Bowl installment…..
My previous blog got me two invitations to Super Bowl parties, which was a lovely thing. So off I popped to the supermarket/grocery store to get my additions for the parties. Chips (crisps) and dips. Oh my, see the lady in her Ravens top buying six massive Ravens cakes and 20 Ravens helium balloons. My paltry bag of chips and dips looks a bit measly.
You have to bear in mind that the Baltimore Ravens are playing – that, for my British friends, is like me being in a little village near Bath and Bath are playing in the biggest national finals of rugby / football ever (more likely rugby, obviously) with the entire country watching. Everyone is getting in the mood, with pride oozing from every Baltimore-loving American’s pores. They’re playing the San Francisco 49ers, a rather glamorous team, but one that does not have the raw edge of the Ravens.
Interestingly, the two Harbaugh brothers coach the two teams in question, so there is immediate drama and rivalry. Movie-worthy already.
This particular Sunday is all about Super Bowl and I’m getting in the mood. Must wear purple, but when Harry and I go into the store to get our Ravens gear there is only a man’s XXXL t-shirt left, so we decide not to bother. Regular clothes will suffice, though Harry decides it is a party, so he’ll be making it work in his Halloween Zombie party outfit instead.
What I learned…..
I learned an awful lot of stuff about the Super Bowl, and this is worth sharing with you:
The Super Bowl Sunday is considered to be an unofficial national holiday.
Commercials - companies spend over $4m for a 30 second ad, which is played during the Super Bowl and there is much talk and excitement about the ads, some of which are available to be previewed. http://www.superbowl-commercials.org/ Take a look! The ads are ranked, rated and tweeted about, and are part of the whole experience. Movie trailers also play out, and many of the top movies for this year bank on the success of their ads in the Super Bowl.
Fumbles and interceptions – this most excellent phrase is all about the mistakes and challenges made during the game and warrant a great deal of pre- and post-match analysis. A lovely phrase, that I am surprised was not used in Fifty Shades of Grey more overtly….
Ticket sales – I checked…. it costs $2000 upwards for a ticket for the Super Bowl and there were 203 tickets available two hours before the game with the highest costing $8950. Wow.
Food – a lot of the deal with the Super Bowl parties is about the food (not just chips and dips, you understand). And the food which is from the area of the other team or the location of the Super Bowl is also included, so think Gumbo Shrimp and dirty rice (for New Orleans). I have no idea what the San Francisco delicacy is, but I imagine a hot dog would suffice. There were definitely those available.
This is what I ate….
Burgers, chicken wings, Gumbo Shrimp and dirty rice, pulled pork, buffalo chicken, cupcakes, pizza, monkey bread. What a lot of cholesterol raising food, hey?! It was lush! It’s pretty much all about the junk food. OMG, monkey bread is to die for: http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/grands-monkey-bread/7a1e41b1-4708-4028-8ce6-fcb5baebbc19 Cook it, it is awesome. My new fave thing.
Male cheerleaders in Ravens – yes, apparently the Ravens is the only team to have male cheerleaders. How progressive! Bless their Lycra hot pants
A late start the next day – some schools, and this is amazing to be honest, told parents that there would be a later start time on Monday to accommodate the sleepy heads of the young Ravens fans. I had a sleepy-head this morning, but he still went to school on time
Half-time entertainment - this is all about the show, the spectacle, the drama, so roll out Beyoncé (singing live this time) and you get the men at the parties deciding they need to sit down and check out the screen for a little bit, because they’ve been doing a lot of standing and shouting….. Nothing to do with Beyoncé’s legs. It was very amusing to watch the body language of the men in the room change as they sat and admired for 10 minutes
Lights out – so the lights in the stadium did go out after Beyoncé’s performance, and I’m just putting this out there….. is it anything to do with the fact that this part of the Super Bowl used up the rest of the entire world’s energy supply? Just saying, it ain’t all that green…
Hitting the road – so with a five-year old in tow, I didn’t stay at the second party to watch the second half, but hit the roads, which were incredibly deserted. It made me wonder, though, how many drink drivers there might be that evening….it is a common occurrence, sadly. Which led me on to think about the American sobriety test, which is about putting your finger on your nose and walking a straight line and nothing like the breath test back in the UK. Which then led me on to remember the scene in Steve Martin’s brilliant movie The Man with Two Brains, where he performs the sobriety test. Watch it, it’s v v v funny… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0MXU3J6Qbs
Anyways, all in all, the Super Bowl was a new, amazing, weird, commercial and cultural experience for me. Food, football and friends, that pretty much sums it up. Awesomeness America, well done. And thanks for the hospitality – this Brit very much appreciated it, and the lesson in American football.
I leave you with this image of Ray Lewis’ crotch and grassy knee in admiration of his time with the Ravens…..