The American NFL may seem like a pretty complicated and alien game for the average fan of sports to understand, so here’s everything you need to know!
What Exactly is the Super Bowl?
It is by far the biggest sporting event in the U.S. calendar and has a worldwide following stretching into the hundreds of millions, many of whom are outside of the United States.
Think of it like you would the World Cup.
32 different NFL—National Football League—teams compete in two sets of 16 during the regular season. After this, the winning teams are split into eight smaller groups of four and the winning teams from these smaller groups qualify for what is known as the post-season playoffs.
After the knockout stages, two sides make it through to what is known as the Conference Championships—one from the AFC and one from the NFC.
These are the two teams that go head-to-head during the Super Bowl.
While not many people outside the U.S. tune into the playoffs, the actual Super Bowl itself is watched worldwide with many countries staying up through the night in their favorite bars and pubs to see who reign victorious.
How many people attend the match itself and the festivities surrounding it, you ask? Usually between 1 and 1.5 million people!
Who is in the Super Bowl This Year?
On Sunday, February 3rd, the two-time defending winners from the AFC, the New England Patriots, and the NFC team, the Los Angeles Rams. The winner of this match will be crowned the winner of the NFL for the 2019 season.
What Time Does It Start?
This year’s Super Bowl takes place in the Bank Stadium, Minneapolis and the match kicks off at 17:30 local time. It will last through the night so make sure you’re prepared for a long stint staying awake if you want to tune in and watch it!
A Brief History of the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl started out in 1966 with The Green Bay Packers winning the first two competitions. It wasn’t until after the first two matches had taken place that the tournament was renamed from the AFL-NFL World Championship to the Super Bowl.
It was during the 1970s when the Super Bowl really began to grow and make a name for itself throughout the world. Interestingly enough, it was three teams—Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers—who won eight out of the ten Super Bowls during the 1970s.
1982 is widely regarded as being the most popular Super Bowl when it was watched by almost 50% of households in the United States.
As for television coverage, the official broadcaster is split evenly between NBC, CBS, and Fox, with ABC covering the occasional game.
The Super Bowl Halftime Show
It is the Super Bowl Halftime Show that is perhaps one of the most popular aspects of the entire game, especially between people who aren’t particularly into their sports.
Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Justin Timberlake are just a few of the many famous faces that have participated in the Super Bowl Halftime Show in recent memory. While the earliest Super Bowls tended to consist of Half Time Shows involving marching bands from colleges and high schools, the trend has shifted to popular singers and bands.
There are 30 minutes allocated to each Super Bowl Halftime Show and it is prime time for advertisers to slide in there, too. Millions of dollars each are spent by huge brands such as Disney, Apple, and Pepsi to get as little as 30 seconds of airtime during the halftime show.
That’s a lot of money!
Will You Be Watching?
The best way to learn more about the Super Bowl and see what it’s all about is by watching it. If you’re located outside the U.S. in places such as Europe, get ready for what will be a long, long night.