Bruno Mars was a star of the game
It was notable that TV5 allowed local sports fans to take a peek into the hoopla of the Super Bowl. Pro football as played in the US is not exactly one of our regular sports fare but a sizeable following of those who have experienced the tailgate parties in America or have been caught in the frenzy continue to follow the game here in any way they can.
It might take some time before we integrate the game into our own menu. For one, we don’t exactly play the sport, save perhaps for a group of regular players who have clubs and a league. I met some of them years ago on a soccer field and they passionately played their game even if only friends and family were in attendance.
Unlike baseball that is played regularly in our school leagues and in the provinces, American football has never had a real chance to plant its seeds and spread its roots in the country. But the game is a television delight, when covered well and analyzed incisively by former players and coaches who know what it’s like to be sacked or bludgeoned on the field.
Without having to go into the technicalities, pro football can be appreciated on two counts. First, the skills of the players: Plays of course start with the quarterback calling out the pattern, making the pass and attempting to create the openings for the team to advance the ball to the end zone and score. The skills showcase is in how the offense attempts to penetrate the behemoths that are trying to stop the ball from advancing.
Then, there’s the defense. Body contact that can either be bone crunching or sufficient enough to contain an attack provides the other thrill. Critics of the game have of course pounded on the violence involved but the same has been said of boxing and now, mixed martial arts. An integral ingredient of sports with inherent violence is how one avoids the contact that adds to the appeal of such sports.
In the game we saw this week, the Seattle Seahawks did almost everything correctly in their thrashing of the Denver Broncos. Turnovers are nasty in pro football and can be converted fast into the gap from which a fumbling team may never recover. The Broncos had an early error that the Seahawks immediately pounced upon.
Though nobody’s fault, the game failed to provide Filipino viewers with a better opportunity to appreciate the strategies that could have emerged in a tighter contest. The analysis from the broadcast panel could have been more insightful rather than an attempt to hold viewers’ attention in a blown out game.
Refreshingly, a highlight of the show turned out to be Bruno Mars’ halftime concert. I like the online media discussion about Mars’ Filipino lineage. The energy of his performance was high from the time he hit the drums until the very last song. The choreography with the musicians was engaging and moved like a well-run football offensive pattern. The halftime show is part of the total package of the Super Bowl.
It’s good to be exposed to all kinds of sports, from popular to Olympic, from mainstream to even indigenous. It gives us an appreciation of what others find spectacular, dramatic and entertaining.