February 4, 2012
Posted: 1449 GMT
The Super Bowl long ago became another holiday in the USA, bringing people together to enjoy the super-hyped finale to the NFL season. While families gather for Christmas and Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl gives Americans a chance to party with friends.
To gauge how highly Americans think of this event, it’s important to note that each Super Bowl is numbered by Roman numerals. In Sunday’s XLVI edition (that’s Super Bowl 46 for you non-history majors), the New England Patriots clash with the New York Giants in what is called one of the best matchups in recent memory.
The game is a rematch of Super Bowl XLII (42), when Eli Manning and the Giants spoiled the 18-0 Patriots’ quest for a perfect season. Manning threw the winning touchdown pass with 35 seconds left in the game to give Tom Brady his only loss in four Super Bowl appearances.
Brady will hope for a different ending in his fifth trip to the NFL’s Promised Land, but will be wary of the Giant-killers from New York. The Giants sneaked into the playoffs with a 9-7 record which was good enough to win their division.
After a comfortable home win over the Atlanta Falcons, New York produced a shock by beating the defending champion Green Bay Packers on the road. Their ticket to Indianapolis was punched after an overtime victory in San Francisco against the 49ers.
The Patriots, on the other hand, rolled into the postseason on an eight-game win streak, finishing with a 13-3 record. Brady threw six touchdown passes in a home rout of Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos to set up a matchup with the Baltimore Ravens. Brady and company escaped thanks to a missed field goal by the visiting team in the closing seconds.
Now that the stage is set for a Giants-Patriots rematch, neutral fans can only hope for a good game, but are sure to make the most of the event nonetheless. At the end of the day, the play on the field itself is largely a backdrop to a number of entertaining treats throughout the Super Bowl including the funny commercials and spectacular halftime show.
Advertisers annually mark the Super Bowl on their calendar and, with more than 110 million Americans expected to tune in on Sunday, are sure to debut memorable commercials they hope will make an impression. Hope is the key word of course, as a 30-second spot will cost them $3.5 million.
Sunday’s halftime show is highlighted by Madonna, who will make her Super Bowl debut, joining an impressive list of past performers including The Rolling Stones, The Who, U2, Prince, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. The legendary pop singer has promised that there will be no wardrobe malfunction, similar to the one in 2004 when viewers got a glimpse of Janet Jackson’s chest.
The rematch between the Giants and Patriots is a mouthwatering affair that should live up to expectations. But no matter what we see on the field on Sunday, Americans will be happy to fire up the grill, prepare a pot of chili and have chips and dip ready for the occasion.