A GROUP of Warrnambool gridiron fans were yesterday among the expected audience of 160 million people worldwide tuning in for the biggest day in America’s sports calendar.
In a close contest the underdog Baltimore Ravens won the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl XLVII, defeating the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31.
Watching with a group of friends and family, California native and Warrnambool resident Clark Smock naturally threw his support behind the 49ers as his home state team.
“An interesting thing about this match is it has two brothers coaching on opposing sides,” he said.
“The quarterbacks also have completely different philosophies in their approach to running plays.”
He said while there was always interest from Aussie sports fans, NFL coverage on One HD had improved American football’s profile in recent years.
“It’s always been undertonal,” he said.
“They’ve attempted to get gridiron going in Australia but it’s difficult when Australia is so embedded in Aussie Rules and there’s all the equipment that goes with it.
“It’s been interesting lately to see some Australians playing over there as kickers.”
Mr Smock’s son Tim said the story of Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis had a lot of people cheering for the Ravens.
“I kind of want the Ravens to win because it’s his last year,” he said.
“It’s kind of a crazy redemption story where he was involved in an investigation around two killings in 2000, but he’s turned it all around and now he’s become a role model for everyone.”
The group admitted they were disappointed the One HD broadcast did not include the much-anticipated US commercials, which are said to cost advertisers more than $A3.8 million on average for 30 seconds of air time.
Aside from the game time action, the Super Bowl delivered its usual expected talking points, including Alicia Keys’ national anthem performance, Beyonce’s half-time show reunion with Destiny’s Child and a stadium power outage which delayed the second half by about 35 minutes.