The case for giving new sports a chance
I WAS once the biggest sceptic of American Football you could find.
The rules confused me, and the lack of continuity was frustrating.
What other sport spans upwards of four hours, but only promises one hour of actual action?
And of those 60 minutes of 'action', a single play will last for no more than 15 seconds with a minute or more between that play and the next.
It takes a patient person to be an NFL fan. But then again, cricket is an equally time-consuming sport for fans.
If you have ever ventured into the comments section of the rare cricket story covered by US media, you would know the Yanks are as sceptical of the bat and ball sport as Australians are about America's 'favourite past-time'.
People are entitled to their own opinions, but from personal experience those opinions are usually formed too early.
I have always considered myself a fan of sport in general, but I never really gave American Football a chance.
It was not until I learnt the basics, and found a group of mates who had already embraced the sport, that I warmed to the idea of actually sitting down to watch a game.
For many in Australia, their first game would have been Monday's Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
And let me tell you, they picked a ripper of a contest to tune in for.
The Eagles landed their first Lombardi trophy, and simultaneously halted the Patriots' charge to a record-equalling sixth Super Bowl win.
SBLII produced the most total yards on offence of any NFL match in history.
The Patriots became the first team in history to top 600 yards on offence and not win; simultaneously making the Eagles the first team to concede as many yards and win.
New England quarterback Tom Brady threw for more than 500 yards - again, the most ever in a Super Bowl.
But he was arguably outplayed by Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who topped 300 yards and threw for three touchdowns.
Foles even found the endzone as a receiver, on a trick play to end the first half, and it had Phily fans in raptures.
For the NFL purists, the defence on both sides proved near non-existent for three and a half quarters before the Eagles D showed up clutch at the death.
But if there was ever a match which highlighted everything that makes American Football worth watching, this was it.
Statistically, SBLII broke numerous records. It also produced a multitude of storylines.
The under-appreciated Eagles defeating the heavily-favoured Patriots.
A franchise with no Super Bowl wins defeating a dynasty the likes of which the sport had never seen.
A backup quarterback proving the doubters wrong, and becoming Super Bowl MVP in the process.
Aussies love an underdog, and Phily's road to glory is one we should appreciate.
Even if the title of 'world champions' in a sport contested only in the US is rather egotistical.