Today was a big American sporting event, Superbowl Sunday. It’s the Aussie Rules equivalent of the Grand Final, only with the Black Eyed Peas, a zillion glow-people and 30 second appearances by Slash and Usher for half-time entertainment and where companies pay $2.5 million to run a 30 second ad reaching over 90 million people.
I guess I expected a few more team colours splashed about the city like there is on grand final day back home, but the only ones I found were an inflatable Pittsburgh Steeler outside some place on Hollywood Boulevard and a glassy at Birds wearing a Green Bay Packers shirt.
I missed half of the first quarter as I was buying a GPS at BestBuy with my new housemates Gin and J. I had expected the city to be dead, most people at home watching the game, but there were lots of people at BestBuy, and lots of nerds in the Apple computer section.
When I arrived at Birds to the booth Ricky had saved, the one with a birdcage in the corner, the score was Steelers 0 : Packers 14. The Green Bay Packers (who I was “rooting”* for because they wore green and gold uniforms) were clearly outplaying the Pittsburgh Steelers, or at least that’s what it looked like to my half-interested Australian sensibility.
The atmosphere was a-mazing. It was so happy, cheery and beery. At quarter time, one of the big-bang commercials played a snippet of Elton John’s Tiny Dancer and then the owner, a super crazy woman who is entertainment herself, went and put the song on the stereo and everyone in the bar started singing along. It also happened at the end of the game with “We Are the Champions”. I loved it.
I chatted to a couple of people, we ate a big fry up of onion rings, frickles and jalapeno cheddar poppers (half a chilli with melted cheddar in a crumbed and fried case) and we perved on a guy in a trucker hat, denim shirt and jeans. It was great fun. Oh, and the game got better, although the Green Bay Packers still managed to come up trumps.
* Going for, or supporting a team in the US is commonly referred to as “rooting” which is as hilarious to us as calling flip flops on your feet thongs is for them.