If there ever was a game that strictly belonged to America, then it would have to be football. Whilst basketball and baseball are the two other great American games, neither of them can be referred to as American and American only. Baseball is played in several other countries, such as Japan and Cuba, whilst basketball is big all over the world: across the continents of Europe, Asia, South American and Africa. Football, on the other hand, is played only in North America, with the version played in Canada much less popular.
Why football never spread out of America like baseball and basketball did is complex, but it is in part due to the existence of already competing games, such as rugby. Also, the game requires a lot of expensive equipment, which makes it unsuitable for poorer countries. In any case, it is many people's favorite sport in America. Part of the excitement generated by the sport is due to the small number of games played during a season (19 games to get to the Superbowl), unlike basketball and particularly baseball, in which the amount of games can dilute the excitement.
The Superbowl is what makes the game so special. The Superbowl final is one of the greatest sporting events in the world, and viewing figures are only topped by major international sporting events, such as the UEFA Champions League final in soccer.
The first Superbowl: Superbowl I, took place in 1967. It was created as a merger between the NFL and the rival league, the AFL. The two champions of each league met up for one great game. After that, the two leagues became conferences in the one big league that we love today: the NFL.
The Superbowl is so big in America that even if you don't like the sport you might just end up watching it anyway! The day of the final is considered a de facto American national holiday, and only on Thanksgiving do US citizens consume more food and beer! The Superbowl held in 2010 drew 106 million viewers in the US - which is almost one in three residents of the country.
As a result of these figures, the cost of advertising in the breaks during the game is astronomical. Expensive advertisements are produced and aired, some of them being so innovative that they have become a significant part of the event.
So who is the greatest Superbowler of them all? If you are a Steelers fan (of the older generation), then you will have tasted victory on Superbowl Sunday on no less than six occasions. The Cowboys and 49ers have done it five times. On the other end of the spectrum - if you are a Browns, Lions, Jaguars or Texans fan, then bad luck, because you have yet to see your team make it to the big one.
Well, whatever your team may be, here's to it getting to the greatest game (The Superbowl!) of the greatest game (football!) in America!