Subject Material

SUPERBOWL - The Ultimate American Sports Event

Published: 09.02.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017
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A sports competition with a glorious combination of patriotism, entertainment and commercialism, the NFL Superbowl has once again proved itself to be the major attraction in American sports and entertainment. More than one third of the American population follows the event on TV and about one hundred thousand spectators watch the game live, and pay more than a thousand dollars for a ticket.

American Football - Action Packed EntertainmentAmerican Football - Action Packed EntertainmentThis year’s Superbowl was played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, between Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. The winners were the Green Bay Packers, who come from Green Bay, Wisconsin. They beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31 to 25, which is classified as a sensation, as the Packers were considered the underdog in the match against the Steelers. The result is of course important to the devoted fans, but many of the spectators turn up just to savour the moment or to enjoy the intermission entertainment.

Aguilera Missed a Line

This year Christina Aguilera missed a line of the national anthem, and the other main attraction, the Black Eyed Peas, were criticized for a poor performance. Nevertheless, the event matched the success of previous years’ Superbowls, with scandals (remember Janet Jackson’s tit?) and great, flamboyant entertainment the American way.

$3 Million = 30 Sec

The Superbowl has a lot of spin-offs like all kinds of items and memorabilia that can be purchased before and during the match. And the event is of course prime time for commercial profiling on TV. Companies pay up to 3 million dollars for 30 seconds of attention. This year the products promoted were cars and car-related products, and snacks and sweet beverages, not exactly un-American commodities. So in total this event may be as close as you can come to the essence of American glamour and standards.

Check the links below for more information about the match and this year’s winners:

 

Discussion

  1. A lot of Americans watch the Superbowl on TV. Do you think Americans spend more time watching sports than Norwegians?
  2. Why would you say that the Superbowl is a typically American event?
  3. There are about 200 active players of American football in Norway; do you think this sport could catch on here? Why / why not?


Vocabulary

Explain these expressions in English. If you don’t know them you should be able to understand their meaning from the context.

  1. commercialism
  2. underdog
  3. savour
  4. spin-off
  5. intermission
  6. memorabilia
  7. beverage

 

Key
  1. Commercialism is the practice of making money from a product without caring about its quality.
  2. Underdog is the expected weaker part in a contest or game.
  3. Savour is to appreciate and take pleasure in something.
  4. Spin-off is a product that comes as a result or effect of something else.
  5. Intermission is the break between the first and second half of a performance or match.
  6. Memorabilia are keepsakes or souvenirs.
  7. Beverage is a drink, usually non-alcoholic.
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