So you’re an NFL Fan living in the UK, and the Superbowl is just a few weeks away. You’ve missed your chance to attend Super Bash, the official NFL Superbowl party in the UK, but you still want to enjoy the action. Follow these top tips to ensure you have a great night of Football.
1. Watch With Friends.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but watching a game like the Superbowl is way more fun with friends, even if those friends aren’t normally big NFL fans. It’s a common complaint, but the NFL can be kind of stop-start at times. And alone on your sofa in the wee-hours of the morning, your chance of making it through the next ad-break decrease with each passing drive. But with friends keeping you company the time just flies by.
If you can find a local sports bar showing the game, then you’re all set, but even if not, or sports bars aren’t really your scene, watching with others is by far the best way to enjoy the game.
You’d be surprised by the amount of people who are not regular NFL fans who still make it an annual tradition to watch the Superbowl each year, so put it out there on Facebook and Twitter that you’re hosting, and you’re sure to get a response.
2. American Food Draws A Crowd.
Your friends may not be NFL fans, but you’re certain to find some food fans. While the idea of a full on tailgating party, complete with barbecue at approaching midnight may not appeal, beer and coke, fried chicken, hot dogs, burgers, Doritos and dip, ribs, and wedges are certain to draw a crowd of non-NFL fans on its own.
Also bacon. Bacon on everything.
Make it a night of American food and drink, and you can’t go wrong.
3. Start the Party Early.
Sure, the game may not kick off till 11:25PM, but that doesn’t mean the party has to wait till then. A couple of games of Madden, Football themed films like Remember the Titans, The Longest Yard and Gridiron Gang to name but a few, all help set the tone for the evening.
These are also an easy way for non-fans to get a feel for the sport. Speaking of which…
4. Make sure newcomers don’t feel left out.
If you’re going to invite friends who are new to the sport—which you should, it’s a great time to evangelise gridiron football to them—it’s important to ensure they don’t feel left out.
The BBC, which don’t have adverts, used to do a really good job of explaining what’s going on during commercial breaks, but now the NFL has shifted to Sky Sports and Channel 4, which both show adverts during the breaks, expect to spend a lot more time than usual explaining things like down-and-distance, scoring and penalties to them. Vidjug’s “How to Understand Football” is a great primer covering all the basics, and in the absence of the helpful BBC explanations, may be a great intro for those who are unfamiliar.
Additionally, having a few extra jerseys on hand to give to newcomers is a great way to ensure they feel included—check out our buying guides and reviews to find sources of cheap replica Jerseys.
5. Know How You Are Going To Watch.
In 2014, the Super Bowl is going to be broadcast in the UK on Sky Sports and Channel 4.
Both channels re-broadcasts Fox’s High Definition stream, including commentary. The difference between the two will be pre- and post-game coverage. As newcomers to the Superbowl, predicting the quality of Channel 4’s coverage could be difficult, but on the basis of their regular season coverage, should be good.
Sky Sports are, of course, seasoned veterans at NFL broadcasting and their coverage is historically very good also. If you are concerned at all about Channel 4 coming up short, and do not have Sky Sports, a Now TV box and Sky Sports Day Pass may be a good option.
Numerous online streams of the US broadcast including pre- and post-game coverage, and the famous Superbowl commercials, are also likely to be available on the day, but really, this should be considered a last resort. There is no reason to worry about the streams provided by Sky Sports or Channel 4 being sub-par.
Neither Sky nor Channel 4 have announced pre or post game coverage yet, but historically, Sky has been able to draw the bigger stars and more knowledgable pundits when compared to the BBC (the former terrestrial broadcaster), and have committed to a longer pre-game build up show.
If you prefer british commentary, Absolute Radio are also providing commentary of the game, and you should be able to watch video from either Sky or Channel 4 alongside the Absolute Radio commentary.
Other than that, find a venue with the biggest screen you can find—a projector would be ideal. Many churches, community centres or halls would have a projector and screen, and may be willing to hire it out to you. However, if you are doing this, make sure you test things like TV signal or broadband speed well in advance, and ensure you can hook up your intended receiver to the projector before the event to ensure your feed will not be interrupted during the game. If you cannot hook up your Freeview or Satellite TV box to the projector, or do not have a signal in your chosen venue, remember, you can watch Channel 4 live on TVCatchup in the UK. You will need stable broadband connection with at least a 3 megabit speed to receive a high quality stream.
6. Have Fun.
Sure, you may want to host the perfect party—especially if you’re trying to win new fans to the sport—but that should not stop you from having fun. If you are so caught up in being the perfect host that you miss the game, or you’re so stressed making sure everything goes smoothly that you can’t even kick back and enjoy yourself, then you’ve failed.
If you’re enjoying yourself, then everyone else is sure to as well. The Superbowl comes around but once a year, so make sure you enjoy it.