So…where were you last Sunday between 11 pm and 2 am (GMT)? If you were like a lot of Americans, you were in front of your TV set watching the Super Bowl the annual championship game of the National Football League (highest level of professional American football in the United States) and munching on snack food.  This quintessential sporting event unifies the whole country and makes a show of patriotism which is symbolized by the singing of the National Anthem this year sung by Kelly Clarkson, an American Idol superstar (downloaded from a French TV channel which proves the interest that this sporting event arouses across the world):

The American football season starts in the late summer of the previous year…just in time for back to school activities and the annual homecoming celebrations in high schools and universities.  The Super Bowl is the culmination of the football season.

The 46th Super Bowl took place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana (the first time for this cold weather city) and kick off time was 6:30 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).

United States times by region:
6:30 p.m. Eastern
5:30 p.m. Central
4:30 p.m. Mountain
3:30 p.m. Pacific

Quick additional tidbits for 2012 Super Bowl:

  • Date: Sunday, February 5, 2012
  • Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • National Anthem: Kelly Clarkson
  • Halftime: Madonna
  • Super Bowl Number: 46 (XLVI)

This year it was played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion “New England Patriots” and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion “New York Giants” to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for  the 2011 season.  Both teams had already won 4 Super Bowl championships so the tension was palpable during the game to see which team would come away with a 5thvictory. Finally the Giants beat the Patriots 21 to 17.

Super Bowl Sunday is now considered by most people as a de facto American holiday helping everyone get over the winter blues and the anticlimax after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. According to statistics, it is the second largest day for US food consumption (that is…after Thanksgiving Day…let’s not exaggerate!).

More statistics:

Average Super Bowl Party: 17 people

Most popular snack foods: pizza (#1), guacamole and chips, chicken wings, hot dogs…and beer!

Over 2 million pizzas were sold by Pizza Hut alone not counting Domino’s, the Godfather’s and small ‘Mom and Pop’ pizza places (at $13 a pop…that’s a huge profit!)

Guacamole Consumption: 8 million pounds (they forgot to count the chips!)

1 in 12 people watch because of the commercials (no wonder Clint Eastwood decided to do one)

Ticket costs (face value): $800 to $1200 (secondary market: more than $3500)…(no wonder most people watch the game on TV!)(the first Super Bowl game tickets went for $6…now that’s inflation!)

Now we know why obesity is a problem in the States!

The Super Bowl is usually the most watched American television broadcast of the year with people tuning in from all over the world…especially from Anglo-Saxon countries such as the UK (the BBC broadcast it on Sunday evening) and Australia. Because it is such a popular event, a lot of people watch the game just for the commercials which are the most expensive ones of the year due to the huge viewing audience. Here’s a commercial on the American automobile industry with Clint Eastwood (a commercial which has caused quite a stir in the States because of the upcoming presidential election):

TASK: Go to Debbys Corner to do an oral comprehension exercise on this commercial and to give your opinion.

Also popular during the Super Bowl game are the halftime events. Many popular singers and performers participate in the pre-game ceremonies and the halftime show. It’s an excellent way to advertise their talent and be a part of the most patriotic game of the year. Here’s a short extract of the halftime show performed by Madonna:

So-o-o…where were you last Sunday? Shoveling off some snow in front of your doorstep or watching the game?


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