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Super Bowl XXXVIII
Jan 15, 2004 03:48 AM 4738 Views
(Updated Jan 15, 2004 03:48 AM)

February 1, 2004. All eyes will be focused on Houston, Texas – the venue of this years’ Super Bowl XXXVIII. 32 teams of the National Football League (NFL) have competed fiercely and ferociously since Labor Day and only two teams will prevail and the winner will be awarded the Vince Lombardi trophy and all players of the winning team will walk away with diamond Super Bowl rings.


18 more days to go and counting…


Introduction


The American Football is played with hands. There are 32 teams and there are two divisions – the NFC (National Football Conference) and the AFC (American Football Conference). Each conference has 16 teams divided into four divisions – East, West, North and South – so you have the NFC East, NFC West etc etc.


The Football season begins in September (Labor Day) and ends in January. The regular season games are played on Sundays and on Monday Night referred to as MNF – Monday Night Football. The National beer consumption hits an all time high on Sundays and Mondays and so does the divorce rates.


Each team plays 16 games and the winners in each division and two wild cards with the better winning percentage play each other out for the Conference Championship. The Super Bowl is played between the American Conference Champions and the National Conference Champions.


Each team has 53 players and has three sets of sub teams – the offensive team, the defensive team and the special teams. The entire team is professionally run as a business. There is no concept of a draw or postponement due to bad weather – the games are played irrespective of rain, snow and inclement weather and that is what makes Football a great sport.


Super Bowl XXXVIII


Current status – as we go to the press.


Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots will play for the American Conference Championship this Sunday. And on the National Conference side we have the Carolina Panthers playing the Philadelphia Eagles. The winners will play in Houston on Feb 1.


The Super Bowl event is a cause for celebration – if you do not get invited to a party, you host one. The commercials shown during the game are one of a kind – several companies prepare ads just for the Super Bowl and they are very expensive – a 30 second spot costs about $2 Million.


My favorite 10 Football Teams


# 1.Green Bay Packers


I simply love this team for their sheer determination and style of play including their Quarter Back (QB) – Brett Favre. (Note: for the uninitiated-the QB is like the captain and is the one who makes all the plays). They got beaten last week by the Eagles, but they went down fighting. I like their home field in Green Bay which is nicknamed the “frozen tundra” and playing conditions can be nasty at times.


# 2. Philadelphia Eagles


They have an excellent QB in Donovan McNabb who is well supported by his defensive team. They give their best performance under pressure. The last three years they have been unlucky to win the National Conference Championship – hopefully this year they get crowned.


# 3. Miami Dolphins


I have been following this team since the days of Dan Marino – a good team to watch but a trifle unlucky to miss playoffs even with a good win percentage. Hopefully their luck will improve and they make the playoffs next year. Their running back Ricky Williams is one of the best – it is just amazing to watch him plough his way through the toughest of defenses.


# 4. New England Patriots


Their success is more so because of their coach – Billichek. Had an excellent season this year and are all set to win the American Championship this coming Sunday. I liked their previous QB – Drew Bledsoe who was replaced by Tom Brady. Some years back – the team was in jeopardy of moving to Connecticut but better sense prevailed and they continue to be in the Boston area.


# 5. Tennesse Titans


This is a team which refuses to go. Inspite of injuries they always find a way to make it to the playoffs and much of the credit goes to the QB – Steve McNair. One never knows how they will play on a specific day – and that is what makes it interesting to watch.


# 6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers


A colorful team literally with their Red and Pewter color combination. Last year they had a dream ride and won the Super Bowl – partly due to luck and partly due to their coach – Jon Gruden. Their defense is excellent. Their QB – Brad Johnson needs to take on a more offensive role.


# 7. Minnesota Vikings


Another colorful team who have a gem of a wide receiver in Randy Moss. Unfortunately he cannot be expected to perform every time – the rest of the team needs to step up. They will be back again with a bang next year


# 8. Denver Broncos


A team with a never give-up attitude. I have been following this team since John Elways’ days when they won back-to-back Super Bowls. The team is as fiercesome as their logo.


# 9. St. Louis Rams


This team has redefined the passing game as a means for winning. It is fun to watch them when they can get their act together – always a serious contender for the Super Bowl. Their closed stadium is one of the noisiest and helps the home team in winning most of the times.


# 10. Dallas Cowboys


My home team. The Cowboys are undergoing a transformation under their new coach - Bill Parcells. They have a long way to go. Hopefully they should be able to reclaim their unofficial position as the American Team.


Football is fun. And it is a healthy way to relax on a Sunday afternoon. However it takes some time to appreciate the nuances of the game amidst the physical banging of 300 lbs bodies.


If you are a novice, try to watch some games and I am sure you will slowly get addicted. And for those who are passionate – go Eagles go.


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