SACRAMENTO, California—I tried but failed to get hold of PBA great Abe King last night to spur him into a friendly wager.
So I ended up making a fun bet with my town mate Joey Antonio, a resident of the Seattle area like Abe—the former San Beda and Toyota Tamaraws stalwart—on the outcome of this Sunday’s (Monday in Manila) match pitting the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers.
“Your gift box of Washington apples, smoked salmon and artisan cheese for two bottles of superb 2009 Freemark Abbey Merlot from the Napa Valley,” I challenged Joey, who readily accepted.
The Seahawks and the Niners—the National Football League teams most followed and favored by Filipinos stateside—will clash at Seattle’s Century Link Field Stadium for the league’s National Football Conference title.
Also on Sunday, the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots will play in Denver for the American Football Conference trophy.
The winners of the NFL conference championship games will face off for the 48th edition of the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 at the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Super Bowl Sunday is when everything is at a standstill in America. The country’s biggest sporting event attracts record television viewers.
Last year, 108.4 million Americans tuned in to the Baltimore Ravens-49ers match, making it the third most-viewed program in television history.
The most-watched events in US TV history were the 2012 Super Bowl, seen by 113.3 million and the 2010 game, with 111 million viewers.
Enriched by its halftime entertainment show, the Super Bowl is where new television product commercials are launched.
This year, a 30-second spot on the Fox Network, which will air the game to a world-wide audience of 750 million to 1 billion, will cost a reported $4 million (roughly P179 million)!
The four best teams in the NFL, all with at least 12 wins each, are in Sunday’s card, which don’t usually happen.
It’s a battle of the old guard quarterbacks in the AFC and the faceoff of two upstarts in the NFC.
The Niners, featuring QB Colin Kaepernick, are playing in their third consecutive NFC championship game. The Seahawks, with play-caller Russell Wilson and Filipino American receiver Craig Baldwin, competed last in the NFC championship in 2005. They have been on a collision course with the Niners all season long.
The two teams tangled with each other two times this season, each winning in their own home field.
“The Seahawks are talented and focused, they’ve been a thrill to watch all season,” said my friend Joey, who will watch Sunday’s game at his brother Nemy’s place along with family and friends.
“This is the way it is supposed to be—the West’s two winningest teams in the conference finals,” said my Bay Area uncle Abel Ysmael.
“Nothing’s finer than a 49er, we will beat the heck out of Seattle,” added Abel, who will host beer buddies and relatives at his Antioch home Sunday.
The NFC title protagonists are fortunate to play in places with passionate fan bases that include Filipino diehards.
The 2010 US Census counted 3.4 million Filipinos in the US with the largest share (1.4 million) being in California and a fair number (almost 140,000) in Washington state, including Seattle, the biggest city in the Pacific Northwest.