Sunday, February 03, 2008

History in the Making...

Tonight is the 42nd Superbowl - ending the NFL season and pitching undefeated favourites the New England Patriots against tough, but tempered rivals the New York Giants.

It's an enormously important game - and here in New Jersey we're all rooting for our home team (New Jersey doesn't have it's own NFL team, so we root for next-door's Jets and Giants.)

The reason why this game is so important is because the Patriot's astounding success this season. They are undefeated after 18 games. If they win the Superbowl, they'll not only capture football's most sought-after prize - they'll also have achieved a straight-run of success not seen since the 1972 Miami Dolphins took the cup after an undefeated season.

It's hardly a David and Goliath story, since the Giants haven't had too disappointing a season themselves, winning thirteen of their eighteen games. However, calculating the odds based on the team's performance this season, it's clear that defeating the Patriots will be a challenge.

I'm off to watch the match with my brothers-in-law. I'm no great football fan, but I'm quite excited to see our home-team in the running. The NFL is a much more entertaining championship to watch than, say, the soccer World Cup. In 'European football' (as I've been reduced to calling it) the ninety minute kickaround generally ends with a penalty shootout - thereby eliminating all the strategy and competition and reducing the match to a random game of chance.

At least with American football, the outcome is never predetermined, the scores can always change and when victory is decided, it's normally decisive.

If the Americans know anything, it's spectator sports - and tonight's Superbowl XLII promises to be the ultimate example of that.

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