Sunday, February 1, 2009

Football à la Française

When a friend asked me if was going to blog about the Super Bowl, my first reaction was "no way!" I didn't really think it had any relevance for a travel blog, unless I was actually going to Tampa to watch it. But then I had a flashback. The year was 2004, the place was Nice, France, and the event was Super Bowl XXXVIII. So, yes, I am going to blog about the Super Bowl.

Watching the big game in France is very different from watching it in the U.S. For example, game time is different, as France is 6 hours ahead of the east coast of the United States. You think you're tired this morning, try watching an entire football game that doesn't even start until after midnight. The food is different as well. There were no wings, dips or mini wieners in crock pots. Instead, we ate a Pissaladière, otherwise known as Provençal Pizza, which basically consists of pizza dough slathered in onions and olives. And by "we" I mean "them." Watching the Super Bowl with people who don't really understand football américain is different. I was an instant expert in all things penalties, downs and field goals. But the biggest difference between watching the Super Bowl in France and watching it in the U.S. is that in France, no one reacts to seeing Janet Jackson's right breast flashed across the screen. I almost thought I hadn't really seen it - there wasn't a single peep out of my fellow spectators! - until the next morning when French television was all abuzz about the fact that l'amérique puritaine was all abuzz about Janet Jackson's right breast.

Truth be told, watching the Super Bowl in Nice isn't a bad way to go. It's the south of France! But there's definitely something missing in terms of the atmosphere. In the U.S., it's not just the Super Bowl that's a big deal, the entire build-up to the game is just as fun. And there's nothing better than watching with true football fans, eating the snack foods you love, and discussing the good, the bad and the ugly commercials come Monday morning. Even though the team I was rooting for this year lost, it was still a great Super Bowl Sunday in the United States. Might have had something to do with the buffalo chicken dip.


Anonymous said...

Umm, unless something weird happened with the International Date Line, France is 6 hours AHEAD of the U.S. East Coast, not behind.

Tanya said...

Ooops! Nope, the International Date Line is all well and good (last time anybody checked), I just made a typo. Luckily, for the time zone-challenged, blogger has an "edit post" function.

Thanks for the catch!

Greg Wesson said...

I have watched the Superbowl now in a number of different countries, and always enjoy the somewhat different experience that each place brings. It is interesting to watch something that is SO important in North America in an area where most people might not even be aware that the game is on.