Super Bowl Sunday!

This Sunday is the Super Bowl.  The Super Bowl is the championship game for American football.  This year the New England (Boston) Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks will play.  Seattle won the championship last year, and people are excited about their chance to repeat as champions – something that rarely happens in football. 

Football is a very complicated sport that is really only popular in the U.S. and Canada.  In the U.S. it is by far the most popular sport, followed by basketball, then baseball, then hockey.  American and Canadian rules are slightly different, but in both games the goal is to move an oblong ball (like a rugby ball) down the field through a combination of running and throwing.  The defense tries to stop the other team by blocking passes and tackling the player with the ball.  When a player is able to get to the end of the field with the ball it is called a ‘touchdown’, and his team gets 7 points (YouTube link).  If a team kicks the ball through the yellow goal at the end of the field it is called a ‘field goal’ and the team gets 3 points (YouTube link).  An average team scores about 25 points in a game.  The game is played for 60 minutes, but because the clock stops and starts many times throughout the game, most games take about three hours with commercials (including a 15 minute halftime).

There are about 325 million people in the U.S., and about 125 million people watch the Super Bowl every year.  It has the largest audience of any TV program in America.   As a result, it has the most creative and interesting commercials of any TV program in America.  They are also the most expensive commercials (for the companies doing the advertising) in the world.  Last year, the average 30 second commercial cost about $4.5 million dollars U.S. (5億円).  For people like me that have no opinion on which team wins (my team is the Washington Redskins), the commercials are what we look forward to.  Usually the commercials are for cars, beer, and food.

Here are a couple of YouTube links of Super Bowl commercials:

Top Commercials of 2014 (I recommend numbers 9 (Dorritos), 7 (Cheerios), and 5 (Audi))

Top Commercials of 2013 (I recommend numbers 8 (Skechers) and 4 (Taco Bell))