x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The Super Bowl

Float through any social event with M's fast facts. This week John Mather explains the Super Bowl.

THE BASICS The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL) season (the other football). It is always played on a Sunday and this year, the Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints will kick off tomorrow in Miami at 6.30pm EST - that's 3.30am here.

THE GAME The first great Super Bowl occurred in 1969, when Joe Namath, quarterback for the New York Jets, beat Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts. The Pittsburgh Steelers have won the most Super Bowls (six), and five teams have never played in one. The biggest losers could be the Buffalo Bills, who lost four straight Super Bowls in the 1990s. THE SPECTACLE The game draws between 80 to 90 million viewers in the US, and a global audience of about 10 million. Many tune in for the half-time musical performance, which has featured acts such as Ella Fitzgerald and the Rolling Stones. When Janet Jackson sang in 2004, her "wardrobe malfunction" was more talked about than the game. This year, The Who will take to the stage. Companies pay up to US$100,000 a second for a television advertising slot.

THE CONVERSATION Suggest it's not too late for a Super Bowl party. This instant expert did it last year, and despite indigestion from eating chilli at 4am, it was worthwhile. Download a "best of" Super Bowl commercials from YouTube if no one is willing to wake up for your chilli.