The Super Bowl has come and gone again. I always watch it – it's a gloriously over-the-top spectacle of glitz, glamour and showbusiness – and that's just the half-time show. That's the tag-line that is being used to sell the event to a predominantly sceptical UK TVaudience. Maybe it's just down here in the Cotswolds but I seem to be the only person that actually watches the thing.
"It's so over the top, they're just pansies in padding, it goes on for ever." These are the most common complaints. I happen to love the fact that the clock can stop when play does. This means that, as a spectator who has paid serious money to get a ticket, you get your money's worth.
You get a proper hour of play with two or three extra ones cocooned around it in which to enjoy yourself by eating and drinking half your body weight in hot dogs, nachos and beer.
The fans are ludicrously enthusiastic – way back, when I was in a band on a mini-tour of the East Coast, I arrived at an apartment in New York State where I was supposed to be staying for the night with friends of friends. The place was absolutely destroyed – I thought there had been a burglary. The windows were smashed, the doors were off their hinges and all the furniture was pulverised. It turned out that their team had lost the Super Bowl the night before and this was the drunken result of their disappointment. It was bordering on insane behaviour but they were all as proud as punch. They felt that their destructive rampage, leaving where they lived totally uninhabitable was a fitting testament to their loyalty to the team. I checked into a nearby motel. Curiously, this intense behaviour rarely turns into violence at the actual games. Maybe that's because there's enough of it on the pitch to go around? I know that they wear padding but most of the players weigh over 20st and move like souped-up freight trains.
The injury rate is spectacular and without the padding there would be a death toll to match Iraq. Occasionally when I've been wandering through some US airport I've passed a group of players that have truly resembled another species. Huge man-mountains heading for the burger bar – I have no idea what airline they travel on but none that I've ever flown with would accommodate them. Maybe they get about on those troop-carrier planes that the US use to move jeeps and tanks about? They should go one stage further. If you dressed these behemoths in US Army uniforms and got them to wander about the streets of Kabul then I feel confident that Obama could sort out the returning Taliban in a matter of days.
I always feel sorry for the specialist kickers when they get blitzed. These are often slight players, sometimes plucked from the world of rugby for huge sums of money who sit on the sidelines and only ever go on the field to convert a touchdown or kick a field goal. They have to set up behind a wall of defenders and try to kick the ball as an opposing pack of aggressive monsters bears down on them. I'd love to see Jonny Wilkinson pack it all in and move to the States. It would be hilarious – he'd still be in the middle of his "having a poo" set-up routine when a hundred stone of prime American beef would flatten him like a pancake. I'd pay good money to see that. That shouldn't be the only export. The half-time show always has a huge name playing – last night it was "The Boss" Bruce Springsteen.
If the NFL really wants the game to take off in the UK they should get a big name from the UK to perform. My suggestion would be Pete Doherty. The sight of this musical shambles warbling on about "Albion" and "gin in tea cups" would be enough to start a riot in the crowd. I should really go into sports promotion – I'm full of these kind of ideas. What else could I come up with I hear you ask? How about nude ladies' table tennis? You'd watch that wouldn't you?
I'm sure my potential will soon be spotted and I'll be putting on top notch sports events before you can say cheerleader wrestling – you'd watch that as well wouldn't you? Got to go – the phone's ringing – I think it's Barry Hearn, kerching.
Pitching into Bush
A survey just out says that "overthinking" ruins your golf swing. George W Bush is supposed to be a very good golfer – explains a lot.Reuse content