02:28 GMT11 April 2021
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    The 53rd Superbowl takes place on Sunday with the New England Patriots taking on the Los Angeles Rams. Sputnik's Chris Summers explains why he believes it is one of the most over-rated sports events in the world.

    So the Boston-based Patriots go head to head with the Rams on Sunday, February 3.

    Big deal.

    Superbowl Sunday is just a bore, am I right?

    So let me list my problems with it.

    The Sport Itself

    The most popular sport in the entire world — with the possible exception of India — is football.

    Not American football but Association Football (to give it its technical name) or as the Yanks call it, soccer.

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady catches a ball during practice for the Superbowl
    © AP Photo
    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady catches a ball during practice for the Superbowl

    That is because it is much more exciting game, with far more variety and skill.

    Gridiron — as it is sometimes called — is basically the same free kick performed over and over. Tedious beyond belief.

    Not surprising then that American football, as played in the National Football League (NFL), is popular in how many countries?

    Er, one.

    Possibly two, if you count Canada, although they are far more interested in ice hockey.

    Walter Camp, a Yale graduate who is considered the "Father of American Football", adopted the game from the rules of rugby, which is also a far superior game.

    More of that later.

    The Players

    In every Hollywood movie set in a high school the girls swoon over the football players, the "jocks" who swagger around the high school with a surplus of testosterone and an absence of brainpower.

    The adoration of football players in the US continues through "college" — where extremely dumb people can get a university education by virtue of their sporting prowess.

    So what attributes do you need to succeed in the sport?

    Good fitness levels, an ability to withstand frequent headaches and (only if you are running back) some athletic ability and speed.

    And for that they get paid astronomical sums.

    The Patriots' star player, Tom Brady, was given a contract extension in March 2018, which included a $28 million signing bonus.

    He is currently worth $44 million and he earns millions from endorsements with Under Armour and UGG boots.

    And how many games do they play? Sixteen. There are 16 games in a regular NFL season.

    That compares to around 38 games in an English Premier League season and 162 for Major League Baseball players.

    The Stupid Outfits

    NFL players have been wearing the same stupid garb since the 1930s — giant helmets and shoulder pads.


    The game is no more dangerous than rugby union, rugby league, Aussie rules football or Gaelic football and none of those guys where battlefield outfits.

    So basically, yeah, I'm saying NFL players are pussies who would not last five minutes in a man's game like rugby.

    Preparations for the Superbowl in Atlanta in February 2019
    © AP Photo
    Preparations for the Superbowl in Atlanta in February 2019

    The Fans

    Unlike football (soccer) NFL fans very rarely travel to away games.

    So the crowd will be 100 percent home fans, which leads to an extraordinary lack of tension or atmosphere.

    The Superbowl is the exception because it is played in a neutral venue — in this case Atlanta — and both sets of fans will be there.

    But even then they just sit and watch, literally spectate.

    There is no singing or chanting, let alone animosity.

    Compare that to the FA Cup Final or one of the big derbies in world football — River Plate versus Boca Juniors, Rangers against Celtic, Fenerbahce v Galatasaray or Olympiakos v Panathinaikos.

    Chalk and cheese.

    The Superbowl Hype

    From Christmas until the date of the Superbowl, the US media will be full of nothing but this pointless little game.

    I guess we can be grateful they don't give it a name like the World Series, and pretend the whole of the globe are genuinely interested in it.

    But NFL is determined to expand overseas. They are already playing games in London and broadcasting to other countries.

    We are not interested. Go away.

    And then there's the advertising.

    The Superbowl is basically just one giant excuse to sell advertising.

    Every year billions of dollars is spent on Superbowl-related advertising.

    This year fans of the cult movie The Big Lebowski got excited when Jeff Bridges, as The Dude, appeared in a teaser.

    But a few days later it turned out there was no Big Lebowski sequel, only an ad for Stella Artois beer. 

    The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta where the Superbowl is taking place on 3 February
    © AP Photo
    The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta where the Superbowl is taking place on 3 February

    Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Chris Summers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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