Thursday, April 26, 2007

Super Bowl

First played in 1967, the Super Bowl can be defined as the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) in the United States, which takes place at the end of January or the beginning of February.
After its creation in 1920, the NFL had to cope with rival leagues, such as the AFL (American Football League). The competition between these two leagues became so strong that ideas of fusion emerged. The first Super Bowl sealed the reconciliation between the two leagues: the champion teams of each league played against each other to consecrate the best team of the year. After the merger between the two leagues in 1970, the Super Bowl became simply the “NFL’s championship game”. Roman numerals are used to identify each game. (e.g. in 2007: Super Bowl XLI). The name “Super Bowl” was suggested by an important character of the American Football world, Lamar Hunt, whose children had a toy called “Superball”.
Another important figure in the history of the Super Ball is Pete Rozelle. He was an NFL commissioner and also at the origin of the fusion between the two leagues. Moreover, he was selected by “Time Magazine” as one of the hundred most important people of the twentieth century.
When the first two Super Bowls were won by a team from the NFL (the “Green Bay Packers”), it was feared that the AFL was not good enough. But the next year, the “Kansas City Chiefs” proved the contrary. 27 Super Bowls have been won by NFL teams, 12 by AFL ones and 2 by teams created after the merger (the winners of Super Bowl XLI are the “Colts”, the team of Indianapolis). The trophy awarding the champion team is called the “Vince Lombard Trophy”, Vince Lombard being the coach of the first team that won the Super Bowl.
The city that welcomes the event is chosen several years in advance and strict rules have to be respected, for example an average high temperature of at least 50°Fahrenheit (=10°C) in February, or a stadium containing at least 65,000 seats. The event takes place on a Sunday, called the “Super Bowl Sunday”. There is a strong competition between the cities to organize the event, since it is one of the most widely watched US television broadcasts of the year (with an average audience of 80 to 90 million Americans). It is so popular that there are pre-game and halftime shows and ceremonies, during which many popular singers and musicians perform (e.g. the Rolling Stones, Janet and MichaĆ«l Jackson). One might remember the scandal due to Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s performance, during which Miss Jackson’s breast was “accidently” - or was it a part of the choreography? – uncovered.
Companies that want to broadcast commercials between the games have to pay a lot. In 2007, a 30-seconds spot cost 2,6million dollars…

Margaux and Michael

No comments: