Superbowl XLVIII: the essentials

Dominic Kelly 29 January 2014

It’s the biggest event in the American cultural calendar but it’s as foreign to most Brits as a good proper cup of tea is to the Yanks. The Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos this Sunday at 23.30 UK time in Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey. Here’s a rookie’s guide to the game.

What is it? The Super Bowl pits the winners of each American football conference against each other, as if the top performing colleges had a climactic head-to-head exam to decide who’s the smartest. This season’s game takes place in a cold-weather city and could face a torrent of snow, which is the equivalent of being forced to take your final exams on Parker’s Piece in a downpour.

Who should I support? The Seahawks have a chip on their shoulder, largely consisting of talented players overlooked by bigger clubs whose potential has been brought out by the hippy love of Coach Carroll. The Broncos are built around the greatest quarterback of a generation, Peyton Manning, who hopes to prove that he can still win in his twilight years. Support Seattle if you were pooled, Denver if you’re a mature student.

Who’ll win? In Seattle’s favour, statistically defence wins Super Bowls, and theirs is air-tight. However, a great player in (potentially) their final game can never be underestimated. Even supporting Seattle, it’s hard to begrudge Manning getting the last hurrah he deserves.

Prediction: Seahawks 20, Broncos 24.