The Superbowl in its own right is a mighty affair but this year’s game is particularly exceptional as it marks the 50th one. The countdown is well and truly now on with the game to be played out at the Levi Stadium, Santa Clara on Sunday 7th February.
There are few other one off international events that capture such a global audience to watch a sport that has little active participation outside of the USA.
So what is it that gets us all hooked and how is the match actually played out?
Park the fiercely contested, physically ruthless and outlandish theatrics of the game play to one side and the Superbowl remains one of the biggest showcases in the entertainment calendar. The infamous half time slot attracts performances from the biggest stars in the business with past acts including; Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sting, Bruno Mars, Janet Jackson and many others. This year the fans and viewers around the world will be treated to performances from Coldplay with rumours of an appearance from Beyonce & Bruno Mars.
Okay that’s the half time show but what about the game itself?
NFL is split into divisions, 8 in total. AFC is made up of North, East, South and West as is the NFC. Last week the divisions were decided leaving us with 8 fighting it out for a place in the Superbowl. Division winners played each other in Championship games to leave us with 4 teams playing it out in the conference play offs leading to 2 eventual winners who will compete for the Superbowl.
The 4 teams are; Patriots, Cardinals, Panthers and Broncos.
This is how it played out so far…
And finally how is the game played and what does the terminology actually mean…
- There are 15 minutes in each quarter
- Each team is made up of 3 subteams ‘Offence’, ‘Defence’, ‘Specials’ (unlike many other sports players specialise in one role be that attacking, defending or kicking.
- The pitch is split into 10 yard segments and the ‘Offence’ team have 4 attempts to make ten yards – make the yards and you continue with 4 more attempts…fail to make 10 yards and the play hands over to the opposition.
- A touchdown is scored by a player making it into the in-goal area with the ball in hand.
- 6 points for a touchdown
- 1 point for a kicked conversion
- 2 points for a touchdown conversion (team runs the ball into the endzone rather than kicking the conversion)
- 3 points for a field goal
And here are 3 key terms and what they mean…
- INCOMPLETE – Quarterback throws the ball but it isn’t caught by a team mate.
- SACK – The defending team tackle the quarterback before he can pass the ball.
- PICK SIX – a quarterbacks pass is intercepted by the opposition for a touchdown of their own
Oh and the QUARTERBACK if you’re wondering is the player who throws the ball and the highest played player on the pitch – Think Tom Brady…