American Football London | Super Bowl Guest Blog

February 5, 2013

An American living in London watching the Super Bowl for the first time over here. Will it be the same?

A small insight into the world of an American living in London, and the trouble faced when the realisation kicked in that he would be watching the Super Bowl in London.

Was it as good for him as being back home…..
 

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The 2013 Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers offered one of the most intriguing matchups in recent memory. Dubbed the “Harbaugh Bowl,” it featured two brothers, John and Jim coaching against each other, putting familial allegiances aside in an attempt to win the Lombardi Trophy. Additionally, this would be the last time fans would witness the Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis, one of the game’s all time greats, set to play the last game of his unbelievable career. The 49ers were led by the young Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback who can make incredible plays happen with both his feet and his arm.

This however, would be the first time that I was not in America to watch the big game as I am studying in London. Normally, there would be a gathering at a home complete with a big television, enormous amounts of Super Bowl staples such as chicken wings, and of course Budweiser.  I was stumped as to how I would watch the game, would a bar show the same American commercials that I am used to? Would there even be places that stayed open for a game that started at 11:30 p.m.?

My friends and I gathered on Saturday trying to figure out where we would watch the game, finally settling on Walkabout, normally an Australian bar that was converted for the game.  As we walked up to the bar, a ‘cheerleader’ in an American flag outfit greeted us. Inside, it felt as though we found a little slice of home. Huge flat screens adorned the walls and the crowd was eager for the game to start. There were not many British accents to be heard as many Americans were all seeking to try and find some facsimile of the Super Bowl experience that we were used to back in the states.

It seemed to be more of a celebration of American culture rather than American football itself. Red, white, and blue balloons filled the room and mini American flags were passed throughout the crowd. Cold Budweiser and Coors Light were the beers of choice instead of the warm and flat ale that is served over here. My friends and I ordered 24 chicken wings to start off the night thinking that would be a decent amount. However, we were shocked when the bucket of wings came over. The wings were not fried, but also they were not separated as they are back in the states, a simple reminder that we were “not in Kansas anymore,” to quote the Wizard of Oz.

The crowd was filled with anticipation for the game to begin despite the late hour of the game and seemingly did not lose this intensity for the entire game as only a handful of people might have left before the game concluded. From the exciting on field action to Beyonce’s legendary halftime performance, all eyes were glued to the televisions when they weren’t on their beer or food. Even during the power outage, the bar was still energetic, as everyone was anxious for the game to resume. Once the game was finished and the Ravens emerged victorious, I looked down at my watch to only realize it was a ghastly 4 a.m. and I had to be up at LSE at 9 for 6 hours of class. Despite the late hour, I had a fantastic time watching my first Super Bowl in London and would be sure to watch at Walkabout again if I am here in the future. 

That was my Super Bowl experience in London and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Where did you guys watch the big game and how did you find it?

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