Sport Other Sports Super Bowl 51: Planning to skip it? You shouldn’t. Here’s why

Super Bowl 51: Planning to skip it? You shouldn’t. Here’s why

What both teams are playing for: the Vince Lombardi trophy. Photo: Getty
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On Monday morning, while you are possibly making a coffee, in a pilates class or stuck in a ho-hum business meeting, something colossal will be happening in the United States.

And it is not Donald Trump’s new wall.

Houston’s NRG Stadium will host the biggest show in sport as the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl LI, to start at 10.30am (AEDT).

In related news, millions of Americans this week learned that “LI” is 51 in Roman numerals.

The reasons for watching are many and varied, be it for tradition, gambling, expensive ads, socialising, culture, music, cheerleaders, history, mayhem, food, a day off work, hatred, fear of missing out, passion, boredom and escapism. And then there’s the game itself.

Many Aussies reading this will be thinking ‘why is the Super Bowl such a big deal?’

But it shouldn’t be surprising that, like us, Americans love their sport – the biggest of which is “football”.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong and the Super Bowl is, by far, the biggest day on the American football calendar.

An estimated 200 million people around the world will bet on the match, while more than 100 million people will watch it in the United States alone.

Putting that figure into context is the fact around 6.5 million Australians watched the 2016 AFL grand final – and that figure dipped to 4.2 million for the NRL decider.

I love the NFL and will often roll these figures out to people who tell me that the Super Bowl isn’t worth their time.

My follow-up will involve kale. Yep, kale.

Sometimes we try things purely based on their popularity, like kale, Pokemon Go, Bali or exercise.

We might even become immersed – despite our pre-existing reluctance – and catch ourselves smiling.

Beyonce, Chris Martin and Bruno Mars perform at the 2016 Super Bowl. Photo: Getty

Like Game of Thrones, the Super Bowl can be enjoyed and consumed on several different levels.

Lady Gaga will be performing the Pepsi Zero Sugar Half Time Show – yes that really is what they are calling it!

A guy who usually sings country music is performing the prestigious national anthem before the kickoff.

And amidst it all, intertwined in the overwhelming periphery, two teams will be striving for victory, glory, immortality and the Vince Lombardi trophy.

It is undeniable that the popularity and awareness of gridiron has grown across Australia since Foxtel and the internet came to prominence. Ask around.

The NFL Super Bowl is the world’s biggest annual sporting event – whether you like it or not.

So, to get you up to speed on what you’re about to witness, here is the world’s shortest match preview …

Both teams are great – they won 29 out of 36 games combined.

Both have great quarterbacks (QBs), the sport’s most important position.

Tom Brady is New England’s star man. Photo: Getty

Both are very exciting to watch, electing to predominantly pass the ball rather than run with it.

The Patriots won the Super Bowl two years ago, making it four since 2001. The Falcons have never won it.

Most fans hate the Patriots and many believe they cheat.

Julio Jones catches passes for Atlanta and is amazing. Most neutral followers will be cheering for Atlanta.

The stadium holds just over 70,000 fans. The retractable roof is awesome and will be shut. Many believe the game will be high scoring.

The winning team gets to visit the White House.

The match involves four 15-minute quarters but will, somehow, take over four hours!

Also, this will be Patriots QB Tom Brady’s seventh Super Bowl appearance.

If he wins, he will be widely regarded as the best player ever. He turns 40 later this year and has played in more Super Bowls than 28 NFL teams!

Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Photo: Getty

New England’s head coach Bill Belichick is large and largely disliked, largely due to his genius and success.

Samuel L. Jackson, Usher, Jimmy Carter and Evander Holyfield are all Falcons fans. Peter Griffin from Family Guy loves the Patriots.

So, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons to tune in to Monday’s spectacle.

I can assure you, it is worth a look. Surely 100 million Americans can’t be wrong.

Mark Franklin, formerly a radio host on 1116 SEN, is a Melbourne-based sports journalist.

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