It’s come that time of year again, the first Sunday of February when a special sporting event is about to take place. Even more special this year as it marks the 50th rendition of the Super Bowl. That means for an excess of 50 years now, America has been refusing to accept the word “football” was already taken. Which I’m sure Jennifer Garner can relate to every time she leaves the nanny alone with Ben Affleck. Maybe starring in Gone Girl was the wake up call he needed to realise “them bitches be crazy”

Each year that I’ve had the pleasure of catching the Super Bowl, it’s been a real spectacle to watch, producing no end of drama on and off the field. Last year Seattle were handed the Superbowl on a plate in the dying seconds of the game but instead opted to pass on that occasion. It didn’t help though that Tom Brady had got a hold of the ball before hand and deflated it to the characteristics of a limp whoopee cushion. There may be some people who object to this accusation, so I apologise, I got my facts wrong and I was mistaken… it was in fact during the conference game against the Colts that the balls were deflated to represent Donald Trump’s face. Speaking of Donald Trump, it’s at the odds of 500/1 that the MVP thanks him first during his speech, with God, being the favourite at 2/1. Should that ever come up on a Pub Quiz, you can thank me then.

A big talking point of the Super Bowl actually happens when the players have left the field for the half time show. Last year Katy Perry wowed her fans around the world, not least the recruiters at Hotdog On A Stick, who must have seen her rocking the uniform and offered her a full time position, given her absence from music for the past year. We were also graced with the presence of Missy Elliot as part of the NFL’s “out of the hood” programme. Living proof that you can wear a tracksuit and still be successful, regardless of the fact nobody has a clue what you’re saying, just so long as you’ve really worked on your choreography. Social media went crazy over her performance, saying she “Killed It” if they were referring to any positive vibe I may have had, they weren’t wrong.

This year, given the hype surrounding the anniversary year of the big game, the producers  have dug deep and brought us two amazing acts that compliment each other like a chesty cough and diarrhoea. Coldplay and Beyoncé will be tearing up the stage during this years half time show, with their little buddie Bruno Mars tagging along for the ride, already planning a cheeky nipple slip to boost his career. The Bermuda Triangle of pop acts. The entire city of San Francisco is on stand by with their back-up generators for when Beyoncé blows the fuse again. Which was surprising considering her Mic was barely even on the first time. I’m not sure the producers realise just how boring Coldplay are. I remember catching a live performance on TV once before when, I’ll be honest, I was actually impressed with what I saw. It was only a little while later I realised I’d lost the signal half way through and I’d just been watching static.

Another thing that surrounds the big game with hype, that isn’t the big game itself, is the famous commercial breaks. All manner of weird and wonderful commercials grace our screens every year that it’s almost an event in itself. Not in the UK though. If we’re watching the game on the BBC which doesn’t have commercial breaks, we head back to the studio where some British guys heatedly debate a ruling on the field of which even they don’t understand. Or if we watch the game on Sky Sports, we’re presented with endless Pick-Up truck commercials, as if everybody in America drives a Pick-Up truck…

Come game time, my wife and I will have just awoken from a power nap. Given the game doesn’t end until after 3am and we have a toddler who will have fully recharged her batteries come 6am, a power nap is a necessity.

This year sees the return to the Super bowl for veteran quarterback Peyton Manning. I’m not a violent man but I will gladly watch somebody end his career mid-game. If I can hear something break that would also be a welcome bonus. Given the fact he’s most likely retiring come the end of the game, I think it’s only right he leaves us with a parting gift. May I suggest his ankles?

It seems that the NFL season comes and goes faster than any other sport and I’m sad to say I’ve only caught perhaps two games all season. Not being able to follow the Chargers this year has been difficult, but I’m confident that they had a tremendous season under the leadership of my wife’s lover, Philip Rivers. I can only assume they came unstuck at the business end of the Play-offs, but I have faith that next year will be our year…

And so the stage is set for Super Bowl 50. A match up of the Denver Broncos Defence V the Carolina Panthers Offence. Manning V Newton. Old V New. Comparing the two quarterbacks on paper makes for a very different read. Manning has broken record after record over an impressive career, while Newton has burst onto the scene and has really been the cream of the crop of the emerging quarterbacks. Andrew Luck being the only other candidate in my opinion. Newton has all the speed and grace of a Gazelle, hopping about the field as if it’s going to give way any second and present a burning pool of lava. While Manning moves with the legs of a chronic Oedema sufferer, breathlessly chasing down the bus to his weekly bingo night. Eli Manning must be rubbing his hands together at the thought of his brother retiring with less rings than him. Then again I could be made to eat my own words, which I certainly hope doesn’t happen.

We are now fully prepared for the evening’s entertainment ahead. Snacks are waiting in the cupboard and the beer chills in the fridge. I even have my excuses ready for why I missed a certain play, that doesn’t involve being distracted by the cheerleaders with their incredible flexibility and their… Pompoms. Only a Broncos victory will dampen my spirits as I hang up my number 17 jersey for another year. We were close, so very close…

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