PUN-ting ahead 08 (1-4/FEB/13) – “SUPER BOWL” Edition

Everyone should have a Bucket List .  You know, that list of things and places you want to experience before you kick the bucket on your way to eternal extra time (not to be confused with Fergie time).  While the contents of that list is entirely up to you, pardonthePUN-dit for making the following suggestion to feature prominently on that list.  The SUPER BOWL!  This NFL (National Football League – yup that’s American football to the uninitiated) grand finale is consistently rated as one of the most watched annual sporting events, and with good reason.  The UEFA Champions League Final may draw a larger & broader viewership, BUT for sheer drama and non-footy-related entertainment, the UEFA Champions League Final is easily relegated to the sub’s bench as the SUPER BOWL effortlessly takes centre stage.  Since its 1967 inception the SUPER BOWL has grown into an entertainment extravaganza that draws in more than just the football mad fanatics.  Some people just tune in to watch the half-time entertainment!  Now to those of you that are unfamiliar with the SUPER BOWL SUNDAY experience, the whole half time emphasis may be a curious one for you BUT perhaps a SUP-Ah!? SLOWMO review of some former half time acts will help to bring you up to speed.

  1. 1991 – SUPER BOWL XXV:- New Kids On The Block (Yes that very same boy band you now hate to admit you once swooned over)
  2. 1993 – SUPER BOWL XXVII:- Michael Jackson!!! ( This halftime performance increased the TV ratings by a significant amount. It has been claimed to be one of the most watched events in American television history. After 1993, there was deliberate effort to attract top performers for the halftime shows.  So I guess it took the King of Pop’s performance to make the organisers realise that they Gotta Be Startin Somethin!)
  3. 2002 – SUPER BOWL XXXVI:- U2
  4. 2004 – SUPER BOWL XXXVIII:- Janet Jackson; P-Diddy; Nelly; Justin Timberlake; Kid Rock!!! (yup this was the infamous wardrobe malfunction edition, and since then all broadcasts will have a slight time delay, even if proclaimed as being broadcast LIVE, just in case they need to do a quick edit.  Another Jackson, another SUPER BOWL iconic moment)
  5. 2006 – SUPER BOWL XL:- Rolling Stones.
  6. 2011 – SUPER BOWL XLV:- Black Eyed Peas; Usher & Slash  (this combo contributed to a record average TV audience of 111 million, as this broadcast became  the most-watched American television program in history!!!)
  7. 2013 – SUPER BOWL XLVII:- BEYONCE’!!!! (yup and just like that I am sure we are set for a new American TV audience record.  And who knows, if you tune in you may just be the tipping point towards a record global TV audience too…….  Calling All The Single Ladies and everybody else to witness Mrs Jay-Z’s attempts to upstage the clash of  several brawny men, who she may have been a part of, if She Were A Boy, BUT will undoubtedly remind, in spite of their best efforts, that when all is played and won it’s still Girls-Who Run The World!!)

Ok enough of the side-show, let’s get into why you should watch SUPER BOWL XLVII (besides the fact that you can brush up on your roman numerals.  The XLVII is not just a SUPERsized number, BUT the roman numeral equivalent of 47!  Now you know)

NFL (AMERICAN FOOTY)

Thumbnail for version as of 02:23, 2 December 2012

 Baltimore Ravens (AFC Champs) -v- San Francisco 49ers (NFC Champs)

Having already highlighted the unique feat of the Brothers Harbaugh (who were the Sup Ah!? SLOW-MO 07 PUNishers of the week), in becoming the first ever brothers to go up against each other, as head coaches, for a SUPER BOWL, perhaps it’s time to showcase the other aspects of this game.

Now a slight confession.  Though it may not be so blindingly obvious to most of you, I myself am still a bit of a novice at this whole NFL/SUPER BOWL thing. So while I am chuffed to the rafters that you are willing to take my word for it on many, if not ALL the aforementioned tidbits, I too have had to diligently read up on this whole SUPER BOWL thing all in the hope that I can avoid any treacherous faux pas that are likely to rear their ugly heads when I am in the company of SUPER BOWL aficionados.  BUT do not despair I am more than willing to share this knowledge with you so that you too may avoid those awkward moments when you are tempted to say the silly things that may eventually be immortalised in the SUPER BOWL Hall-Of-Shame.  Here is The Casual Fan’s SUPER BOWL guide.

PUN-dit Pointers

  • Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh met once before as NFL head coaches. On Thanksgiving Day of 2011, John’s Baltimore Ravens defeated Jim’s San Francisco 49ers, 16-6.  The Ravens sacked 49ers quarterback Alex Smith nine times in the game, their highest sack total in 92 games under John Harbaugh.  It is also the most sacks allowed by the 49ers in 36 games under Jim Harbaugh.
  • The San Francisco 49ers had the NFL’s second-best scoring defense this season, allowing 17.1 points per game (the Seattle Seahawks had the top-rated scoring defense, allowing 15.3 points). The Ravens had 12th-ranked scoring defense in 2012, allowing 21.5 points per game. In Super Bowl history, teams with a top-two scoring defense are 16-5 when they do not face another top-two scoring defense on Super Sunday.
  • Among the 18 teams with multiple Super Bowl appearances, the San Francisco 49ers are the only team never to have lost in the Super Bowl, going 5-0. The next-best winning percentage among teams that reached multiple Super Bowls belongs to the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants, with each going 4-1 on Super Sunday.
  • What might be the most telling statistic explaining the San Francisco 49ers’ perfection in the Super Bowl (five wins in five games) is that their starting quarterbacks  have combined to throw 17 touchdowns and NO INTERCEPTIONS!!
  • Through his first three games of the 2012 playoffs, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has eight touchdowns and NO INTERCEPTIONS!!!  In NFL history, five previous quarterbacks have completed a postseason with eight-plus touchdowns and no interceptions:  Each won the Super Bowl and was named the Super Bowl MVP.
  • Colin Kaepernick will become the fourth quarterback to start in the Super Bowl in the same season as his first career NFL start. Only 3 other quarterbacks done so, with 2 of those eventually going on to win the Super Bowl in their first season as starter.
  •  In the teams’ last head-2-head Alex Smith was sacked nine times (Week 12 of the 2011 season). Colin Kaepernick has been sacked a total of nine times in his last six games, and has not been sacked multiple times in any game since Week 14.
  • Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has 44 tackles in the 2012 playoffs, the most of any player this postseason!  Oh deer, oh deer!!

Now hopefully y’all can appreciate why most people have struggled to name an outright favourite for this SUPER BOWL.  The stats speak favourably for both teams so the deciding factor may turn out to be something that can’t be highlighted by stats.  It could come down to the Ravens being inspired to send off the legend that is Ray Lewis into the sunset as a SUPER BOWL champ.  Or it could be decided by Kapernick being so inspired to vindicate his coach’s decision to stick with him, in spite of conventional wisdom to bring back the more experienced #1 QB, Alex Smith.

There is PUNting of a draw to save myself this time, as tempting as it may be (no need to re-read the casual fan’s guide for this one……coz besides the fact that it’s a title game, where there must be a winner, Americans hardly ever accept draws as a result!)  So I am just gonna have to go with what I hope will happen and PUNt a narrow VICTORY for the RAVENS (by no more than 3).  Mainly coz I wanna see a victory shuffle by Ray Lewis at the White House, and with any luck President Obama will join in.  Coz If You Like It Then Put A SUPER BOWL RING On It!

NB**:- Majority of the above stats were sourced from www.nfl.com  & wikipedia.

Okay, just for the rest of you who still need their regular fix of PUNting of the usual sports (DON”T you dare say “the REAL football, within ear shot of an American) I have selected a few Sunday fixtures, which to be fair will prove to be no more than mere curtain raisers to the real even that makes this Super Sunday more than just Any Other Given Sunday!

QUICK PUNts

  1. Manchester City -v- Liverpool (EPL) – A.K.A every Manchester United fan’s other favourite fixture, because whatever the result there will be a set of fans to taunt.  Even though Citeh have managed to keep 4 consecutive EPL clean sheets, Liverpool are more than capable of ending that run (even though they have have their own Etihad funk which has seen them fail to score in their last three Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium).  Considering that Liverpool have conceded at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 away matches in the Premier League, a mini goal fest could be in the offing at The Emirates.  Manchester City have won only two of their last 17 league and cup games against Liverpool (W2, D8, L7). So my PUNt? = A SCORE DRAW!
  2. Bayer Leverkusen -v- Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga) – Leverkusen are currently unbeaten at home in the Bundesliga this season, and have won their last five BayArena clashes.  What’s more, they have only lost two of their last 16 games. Ominously, these both came on a Sunday afternoon. Dortmund have only lost one of their last 11 games against Leverkusen – a 2-0 home reverse on the opening day of the 2010-11 season.  So not much to choose from between these two, BUT I still feel that Sven will be happier of the two Bender twins (the other being Lars who plays for Leverkusen), which is why I my PUNt is = A MULTI SCORING AFFAIR FOR BOTH TEAMS RESULTING IN A WIN FOR DORTMUND!  There may be no traditional jersey swop at the end of this match BUT the teams will change log positions as Dortmund go into this, in 3rd position, a point behind Leverkusen.
  3. Cote D’Ivoire -v- Nigeria (AFCoN) – There was a time that this would have been a show-stopping blockbuster of a match-up pitting Africa’s finest, BUT now that The Super Eagles of Nigeria are rebuilding, and the Ivorian Elephants are aging, it does not have quite the same clout.  We will watch it all the same, after all it is the quarter-final of the continental tournament so a lot is at stake.  I will be really shocked if Nigeria do anything to counter my PUNt of = A WIN FOR THE ELEPHANTS!

NB* majority of quoted football stats above were sourced from www.whoscored.com ; www.bbc.co.uk ; www.goal.com

So Sunday night beckons (early Monday morning if you share my Zimbo time zone).  If you have never experienced the event that America gladly calls “the greatest show on earth” then hopefully my PUNting has done enough to make you consider giving the 47th edition a watch.   With some luck you may just get a pleasant SUP-Ah!?-Bowl surprise (The Best Thing You Never Had?), BUT on the off chance that it happens to be a SUP-Aaaaaargh Bore instead, then I pray that you will still find it in you to…….pardonthePUN-dit!

Be blessed …. and ….Be Great!

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2 Comments on “PUN-ting ahead 08 (1-4/FEB/13) – “SUPER BOWL” Edition”


  1. I struggled through it. The puns kept me going through all the american football jargon. Watch out for my debate on Wednesday, i’m going to TACKLE this….


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