This is perhaps one of the more anachronistic posts you'll ever read. On one hand, it's me talking about, of all things, sports. On the other hand, it's a Filipino talking about American Football. Now I'd like to clarify that last statement. There are lots of Western sports which Filipinos are fanatics about. We Filipinos simply adore Basketball for example. During the FIFA World Cup, Filipinos were excited about Soccer. With American Football... I get more dialogue talking about Ultimate Frisbee than American Football.
That's not to say we've never heard of American Football. We know about it, we just don't play it. I remember during one lunch break, my high school class thought that hey, we should try out American Football. No one had helmets or protective gear, everyone removed their white polo shirts, and I don't really remember anyone getting injured in the tackle (although we did get dirty). Two days later, we forgot about it and went back to playing Soccer and Basketball (heck, even Baseball was more common). I wasn't familiar with the rules at the time (and come to think of it, we didn't really have an accurate method of keeping track how many yards one had managed to traverse) but then again, I was ignorant of the rules of most sports games.
That last fact eventually changed. I have anime and manga to blame. If you thought a Filipino talking about American Football was contradictory, you should check out the Japanese take on it with Eyeshield 21. Anyway, I learned the rules of American Football thanks to Eyeshield 21, just as I learned the rules of Basketball via Slam Dunk.
And then there's the Super Bowl that just occurred last weekend. George R. R. Martin sums up it up quite aptly. I'm reduced to watching footage from YouTube and yes, the entire event makes for a compelling story. The New England Patriots seemed destined for victory. They had a record of 18-0 this season. The New York Giants on the other hand was the underdog the entire time, turning around their game to barely qualify for the playoffs. Time and again, the New York Giants defeated teams that were deemed as stronger than them. In Eyeshield 21, they were easily the Deimon Devil Bats, the dark horse of the competition. And then came the finals, the New York Giants facing off against a team that had the perfect game so far. And it seemed like they would lose, with the New England Patriots gaining the lead with less than three minutes before the game ended. But in those three minutes, the New York Giants turned the game around and made one of the most amazing plays, defying the odds, and showing the determination in its players.
Could it have been more dramatic? Yes but not by much. When the New York Giants gained the lead, the New England Patriots still had a few seconds to score. But their pass was incomplete and the Giants won the game. But that aside, you should see the plays these guys made, everything from evading a near-tackle from three players and the receiver's skill at not only catching the ball but clinging to it like his life depended on it. The game was a huge upset, the type that you think you only read in -gasp- fiction or in comics.