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The Super Bowl 2017

By Kevin Cain

Super Bowl 2017, more commonly known as Super Bowl LI (51), is back on the 5th of February and will once again go indoors. This time the mammoth summit of the season’s National Football League will be held at Houston’s awesome NRG Stadium. The NRG Stadium is the only rodeo and NFL indoor / outdoor retractable roof stadium that can be configured to utilize a 125,000 square foot space. The 72,220 capacity will be full to the rafters come 6:30pm eastern time with the cheering supporters of the two contesting finalists.

Although the Super Bowl is far younger than the World Series, the Masters or the Kentucky Derby, the NFL championship game has now become an American institution and virtually a national holiday, the whole of the country comes to a full and complete stop.The origins of this momentous competition lying in the creation of the American Football League (AFL) back in 1960. This was when a group of successful business men got together because they wanted their own football franchises but were frustrated by the NFL’s unwillingness to expand, the AFL forged ahead as an alternative league. So a rivalry was started that would help propel pro football ahead of baseball as the most popular spectator sport in the country by the end of the decade.

In 1966 while England were winning the World Cup of football on another continent, the NFL and AFL negotiated a merger agreement in which the two leagues would join in 1970.Whilst waiting for this to happen, the champions of both leagues would face off at the end of the season and the Super Bowl was born.

Since then many traditions have been born associated with the Super Bowl and one of the greatest is the half time show. Artists that have performed in the past have been; U2, Paul McCartney, Prince, Rolling Stones, Madonna, The Who, Bruno Mars, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and this year………...it’s Gaga Time. The huge global star, winner of six Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominee, will headline the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show. Just writing the official title was hard, I can’t imagine the presenter announcing that mouthful.

The show will come just three months after the release of her latest album, Joanne. Lady Gaga has appeared before at the occasion during Super Bowl 50, when she sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Levi’s Stadium before the Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers game. The Super Bowl is also famous for the breaking of new advertisements by the major corporations, advertisers are expected to spend over $4 million dollars on a 30 second commercial. In 2017 Toyota, Doritos and Bud Light are all releasing new commercials during the game. Only in America would people cue up in anticipation to watch a commercial! I wonder do they have ads to advertise the advertisements?

Americans are renowned for liking their food, and the Super Bowl is responsible for the most food consumed across the country in any one day apart from Thanksgiving. If you were wondering what are the choice items on the menu are then you would not be far off if you guessed Chicken wings, chips and pizza top of the list. I do not know how they came up with the figures but apparently 28 million lbs of chips, 1.2 billion chicken wings and more than 48 million pizzas will be devoured.

Betting is another tradition that has been formulated along with the growth and popularity of the occasion. It is the biggest betting event in the American sporting calendar and in 2016 it was estimated that $99 million dollars was bet legally with of course plenty of illegal bets as well.For as with most sporting bets across the world you can now bet on just about anything. How quickly the first score will come, to what colour the juice will be poured over the coach of the winning team.

Not to be missed out, even the President gets in on the act. For many years t has been tradition for the President of The U.S.A to phone the Super Bowl’s winners, perhaps in time to come this may change to a Tweet or a FB post.The New York Jets being the first winning team back in 1969 to start a tradition of the champions touring the White House after the big game.

As well as traditions there are many superstitions associated with the Super Bowl, many have to watch the game with the same people as the year before. Surprisingly even the stock exchange is caught up in the hype and hysteria, it is believed that if a NFC team wins, the market and economy will do better during the year.So whether you’re a Patriots, Cowboys, Seahawks or Chiefs fans there will be plenty of opportunities to catch the game right here in Pattaya although it might mean an early start or extremely late night as the live kick off should be 6:30 a.m. local time!