Monday, February 11, 2013

European Super Bowls

Getting settled in to watch the big game in Germany.

  Last Sunday, many of you had a big bash to watch the Super Bowl.

  I watched the big game too, but I can hardly call my watch-party a 'bash'. See, it was the middle of the night.

  Just like celebrating Thanksgiving in Europe, the people around me dictate what kind of Super Bowl party I'm going to have. And not too many people want to destroy their Monday, and possibly their week, just for the sake of an American Football game.

  Schedulers don't have the European NFL fan in mind when slating the biggest game of the season to kick off at 12:30 in the morning. I know, I know, Europe is hardly a hotbed for American Football fans. And definitely not in the target group. But as an American overseas, there's no way I'm missing the Super Bowl!

My Super Bowl XLVII 'party'!
  So I stay up all night, and watch the big game.

  I've always tried to find a way to watch, no matter where in Europe I was. Either with a group of friends who were just as excited to watch the football extravaganza, or by myself. It doesn't matter. I always want to watch!

  As of a couple years ago, it got a lot easier when I found ways to watch a live broadcast online. Before then, it was hit or miss. You either had to have a satellite package with a channel that carried the game, or you had to find a place in town that would stay open all night, and show the game.

  Here are a few memorable Super Bowl moments from my Euro days:

  Italy -- My second year in Como, in 2005, some friends and I made an Irish Pub in Cantù stay open through the night so we could watch the game. This was the Janet Jackson 'wardrobe malfunction' Super Bowl, and the European crowd hardly bat an eye. It was fun to watch the game with people from all over the world. There were a few other Americans in the crowd, but our watch-party definitely had an international flavor!

New Orleans vs. Indianapolis -- on the big screen!
  In between Italy in 2005, and when I played in Sweden in 2009, I don't remember getting to watch the big game. Unfortunately, that was before people started streaming live channels/sporting events online. I wasn't in an area where I had a place to watch it (or others around me who wanted to watch). And I never had a satellite package with a channel that aired the game live.

  I was so deprived!

  Germany -- In 2010 we watched the New Orleans/Indianapolis Super Bowl at the local movie theatre. It was probably the coolest way I'll ever watch the big game (unless I somehow get to watch it in-person in the future!). 

  The local movie theatre in Wolfenbüttel was one of our team sponsors (we actually watched game film on the big screen on a regular basis there too. THAT was scary occurrence sometimes! Imagine yourself making errors on the gigantic screen.)

This is the last I saw of Super Bowl XLVII -- lights out for me too!
Some teammates and I, and some of the men's team, had the entire theatre to ourselves. And we got to go get some popcorn too! (In Germany, the 'common' popcorn is kettle corn -- there's some trivia for you!) The only downfall was that we had to listen to German commentary. But not a bad trade-off!

  More often than not however, I watch the Super Bowl on my computer, in bed. If it's not a good game, as was the case this year, I can go to sleep right away! Though, if there hadn't been a 35-minute blackout, I may have stayed up for the whole thing.

Beyonce Halftime show.
  Obviously, I always prefer that it's a good game. If I'm going to put my sleep schedule out of whack, it might as well be for a competitive game! The downside of watching the entire thing, obviously, is that I'll be up til four or five in the morning.

  No one, outside of myself, in Dunkerque or Sweden, the most-recent stops in my playing career, has been too interested in watching an American football game into the wee hours of the morning. So being the sports junkie that I am, I watch it solo.

  It's not quite the same, but I enjoy it regardless. I couldn't exactly call myself a football fan if I didn't tune into the Super Bowl! What's the most memorable way you've watched the big game?


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