Everything you need to know about the main sporting event in America.

Material changed to the 53rd Super Bowl, which will be held on the night of February 4, 2019.

On the night of February 4, 2019, the Super Bowl will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta – the final of the National Football League (NFL). It will meet the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. The final game of the season is the largest annual event in American sports. The final attracts a record audience, companies are preparing expensive TV commercials for television, and world stars perform during the break.

collection the most important about American football, the history of the Super Bowl and the teams participating in it.

Fundamental rules

American football is played on a field 100 yards long (about 91 meters), divided into five-yard stretches. Moreover, every ten yards (about nine meters) are signed for convenience. The task of the team in the attack is to go through the whole field and bring the ball into the opponent’s test zone (the zone in which the “touchdown” is considered). Accordingly, the defense should prevent them from doing so.

The main difference between American football and many other team sports is the dynamics of the game. In basketball or regular football, teams can intercept the initiative, keep the ball in their hands or carry out several attacks in a row at once. Here, each match consists of individual draws (or “downs”). Each “down” is a separate attack, during which one of the clubs with the help of a combination tries to move as far as possible along the field.

In most cases, the rally lasts a few seconds, after which a pause is taken so that the players take a breath and receive instructions from the coaches. In total, four attempts are given for passing the field to the test zone. If the team has passed more than ten yards for these four draws (this is why special marking is needed), then their number is reset.

If the team for the first attempt advanced, for example, six yards, then the next combination begins with the line where the game stopped in the previous moment. Then, to reset the draws, players need to overcome four more.

AP Photo
AP Photo

A set of yards is one of the most important features of the game. In the NFL games broadcasts, it is constantly stated what the team is trying to score and what distance it has to go. If the attackers can not overcome ten yards for four attempts, then possession passes protection.

The combination is considered complete if the player with the ball falls after contact with an opponent or goes out of the field. The defense can knock down a football player, intercept the ball or provoke a loss (the attacker drops the ball).

The team has two ways to move forward: with the help of a pass and “removal”. Paz combination is most often carried out by the main person in the attack – the quarterback. For a rally, he has the right to make only one transfer forward and as much as he wants back.

“New England” holds the second draw of four. To reset the “downs” they need to overcome another eight yards (orange line). With the help of a pass, the players successfully cross the line and get four more attempts.

“Takeaway” is to try to break through the defense by running with the ball. Such combinations are less effective, but safer: a pass is easier to intercept and harder to catch.

The attacking team gains the necessary ten yards on the second draw with the help of “take-away”

If the attack is made by a touchdown (that is, it puts the ball in the opponent’s test zone, which is just beyond the field), then the team earns six points. This is the best way to get around an opponent in the long run, since other effective actions earn less points.

The player receives the ball from the quarterback and puts it in the opponent’s test zone, making a touchdown

After the touchdown team can score extra points. One of the ways is a bonus attack near the test area, for which two points are given. However, most often the players choose fieldgol – an attempt to score a ball with their foot in a vertical net (one point). It can be pierced during a regular attack, if the team decides to earn three points

Super Bowl History

Super Bowl 2019 will be the 53rd in the history of American football. The first match for the cup in 1967 became the condition for the merger of two leagues in the country – the National Football League and the American Football League (AFL). The winners of each championship met in the last game to reveal the “World Champion”. “Super Bowl” began to call the finals only in 1969, at the same time there was a tradition to write the number of the match in Roman numerals (officially this year the event is called Super Bowl LIII).

The name is attributed to one of the creators of AFL, Lamar Hunt. During the discussion, he proposed the Super Wowl option in league unification meetings. According to Hunt, the name he chose was due to the fact that his children called the football “Super Ball”. He combined this name with the term “Bowl games”: in the beginning of the 20th century, they nicknamed some American football matches in the student championship.

Later the leagues finally turned into a single NFL, but the tradition remained: the winners of the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC) participate in the Super Bowl.

Ticket for the first match between the NFL and AFL leagues called “The game for the title of world champion”, photo by Tony Tomsik
Ticket for the first match between the NFL and AFL leagues called “The game for the title of world champion”, photo by Tony Tomsik

The main match of the season is held in a pre-selected city. In 2019, it will be Atlanta. For the lifetime of the Super Bowl, the match was postponed once: in 1991, Phoenix was deprived of the right to accept the final due to the fact that they refused to recognize Martin Luther King’s Day as an official holiday in Arizona.

The great annual interest in the match is explained not only by the popularity of the sport in the country. In other Western leagues – NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball – the winner of the championship is determined using a series of games to four victories. In the NFL, only one match is traditionally held.

In 2015, the 49th Super Bowl broke the national record – its average audience was 114.4 million people, and the study does not take into account people watching the championship finals in bars and big companies. At the same time, the other champions are also the main NFL matches: in 2014, 112.2 million watched a game for the cup, and in 2016 – 111.9 million people.

The 2013 Super Bowl was remembered by fans of blackout at the stadium in New Orleans and went down in history of the league called Blackout Bowl. Light turned off almost the entire area of ​​the stadium at the beginning of the third quarter of the match after the performance of Beyonce at the show during the break. The power supply was restored only after 34 minutes.

Reuters Photos
Reuters Photos

A lot of advertising, but little action

In American football, teams play four quarters of 15 minutes each. However, due to the large number of stops, the matches actually last a lot longer. At the same time, most of the time is taken by pauses and preparing players for a new rally.

In 2013, The Wall Street Journal estimated that the average game in the National Football League lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes, but the actual action takes only 11 minutes. During the TV broadcast, the rest of the time is “hammered” by repetitions (17 minutes) and watching the players, the coaching staff and the judges (75 minutes).

A significant place is occupied by advertising. NFL games are considered very convenient for promoting products and brands: constant pauses, frequent prime time shows and a large audience. The average match includes more than 20 special “advertising breaks”, during which the audience is shown about a hundred videos. According to the publication, together they last about an hour of three hours of play.

The Super Bowl, which annually attracts more than one hundred million TV viewers, has long been a place where companies show their best commercials. They have become an integral part of the game: a survey of Prosper Insights and Analytics showed that almost 18% of American adults consider advertising to be an important part of the event.

On the first Super Bowl in 1967, a 30-second advertisement cost about 42 thousand dollars. With the growing popularity of the league among TV viewers, the slots for the final game became more and more expensive. In 1995, the cost of placing the video for the first time exceeded a million dollars.

In January 2017, the media reported that the placement of a 30-second video during the broadcast of the 51st Super Bowl will cost $ 5.5 million. At the same time, advertisers are so confident in a large audience that they do not pay attention to who will play in the final: 90% of the slots Fox sold the rights to broadcast in December 2016, when the participants of the match were not yet known.

Sports Illustrated recalled that videos of similar length showed in the final of the World Baseball Series for 500 thousand dollars, and at Oscar – for 2 million.

According to the Fortune editors, companies are trying to make their best commercials to the Super Bowl, so that they continue to talk about them after the game ends. The most interesting advertisement from the NFL final appears in the selections of various media outlets and gains millions of views in social networks. Even before the start of the game on the Internet, track teasers and roller leaks.

According to Emarketer, from 2006 to 2015, the five largest companies spent over $ 745 million on the Super Bowl slots. They include the largest American brewing company Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, as well as the Chrysler Group and General Motors.

At the same time, the producer of Pepsi has been sponsoring the performance of stars in the big half-time of the match for the last five years. During the very first Super Bowl in the pause between the quarters, symphony orchestras of the universities of Arizona and Michigan showed their program, but since 1991 there has been a tradition to invite stars of the first magnitude.

Over the years, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Beyonce and Madonna became participants of the Halftime Show. Mini-concerts on the main match of the season last about half an hour, which is almost three times the time of the game moments.

The headliner of the 53rd Super Bowl will be the Maroon 5 group. Two more artists will join him: rapper Travis Scott and local Atlanta rapper Big Boi, known for participating in the OutKast group.

Quarterback Duel

On Sunday at 6:30 pm local time (2:30 am February 4, Moscow time), the champion of the NFC “Los Angeles Rams” and the champion of the AFC “New England Patriots” will compete for the cup.

The main favorites of the meeting are the “Patriots”. Most of the ESPN experts gave the victory to the club from New England. This is not surprising: New England is one of the most successful teams in the 21st century. A 18-year-old club from Massachusetts has played nine times in the final, having won the Super Bowl five times. The 2019 final will be the third in a row for the Patriots.

The team leader is quarterback Tom Brady, who has long been turned into a living legend of American football. All five titles Patriots took with the help of its main star. Twice the quarterback was called the most valuable player of the NFL season, four more times he became the best player of the Super Bowl. Brady is 41 years old, and more and more often the media are wondering if he is the best player in history.

The favorites will try to impose the fight “Rams”. The team is led by the youngest coach in NFL history, Sean McVay. He took the club at 30, and shortly before the first Super Bowl, he turned 33 years old. The main quarterback of Los Angeles is also quite young – Jared Goff is almost 16 years younger than Tom Brady. In 2016, he became the first number of the draft (the ceremony where teams take turns to select promising players), and now he is preparing for his first final.

"Los Angeles Rams"
“Los Angeles Rams”

Where to see

The rights to broadcast the Super Bowl are owned by CBS, so the TV audience will see the main match of the season on the same channel. Representatives of the television station also announced that viewers will be able to watch the final free of charge on the CBS website or application. However, this feature is available only to users in the United States.

The match between the Patriots and the Rems will also be shown by the official service of the NFL Game Pass League, which is available worldwide. However, for viewing the Super Bowl with additional materials, users will have to pay 20 euros.

Russian channels usually bypass the finals of the American football championship. After in 2016, “Match TV” abandoned the idea of ​​broadcasting the anniversary Super Bowl, they didn’t talk about this topic on the channel anymore. But in 2019, the finals in American football with Russian comments can be seen on Viasat Sport. Glavred channel did not disclose the cost of a license to show the match.

Some profile communities on VKontakte offer their own broadcasts of the match with Russian commentators: for example, 36th Studio and Touchdown TV . Also in the cities of Russia will be held joint views of the Super Bowl in various institutions, the biggest event of them – SB Party in Moscow.