Gridiron (American Football)

The Cult of UK Gridiron

Written by Jonathan Whitelaw.

It’s almost that time of year again. When the world turns it’s attention to what has been colloquially called the “Greatest Show on Turf.” It is, of course, The Super Bowl.

Returning this year to its spiritual home of New Orleans and the Superdome, the Super Bowl is regarded as an unofficial national holiday in the US. Millions of red-blooded Americans gather around the TV to watch the AFC Champions take on the best the NFC has to offer, the title of World Champion awaiting the battered, bruised and branded winner.

The annual championship game is always a ratings winner, with numerous Super Bowls from the past regularly appearing in the most watched events and broadcasts of all time. But the game is something much more valuable to the NFL and the sport as a whole than simply crowning the season’s best.

In an ever-shrinking world thanks to multimedia, technology and the advent of the digital age, the Super Bowl is now the front shop for the sport internationally. And it has been for a very long time. The late January and early February dates usually mean that the game is one of, if not the first major sporting event broadcast to an international audience.

As such, everything is under the ever-watchful eyes and close scrutiny of the world’s media. Everybody from event organizers to bookmakers watch the developments of the Super Bowl, jotting down ideas and tidbits which will undoubtedly become trends for the ensuing year.

While that all seems grand and ever so important, there has been a quiet, very homespun attitude developing towards the Big Game. With all the stiff upper lip, faithful dedication and downright madness that make us Brits just that little bit unhinged to the rest of the world, the cult of Gridiron has steadily grown in size, strength and exposure in the past thirty years.

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