Millions of TVs tuned in to watch the Seattle Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII. One of these was being watched by my Australian mother, who wanted to learn about the NFL.
Kate learned from our first outing that one doesn't traditionally drink vodka while watching the Super Bowl, so she raided the refrigerator for a beer (which she never drinks). Yuengling and a plate of wings in hand, she quickly became disillusioned by Denver's inability to do anything. "Come on Denver," she exclaimed, normally quickly followed by a "poor Peyton."
Monday morning I realized she was trying to be a ringer. The first thing she read was an article about "Russell Johnson, who plays for the Seahawks" in an attempt to have good answers on the tip of her tongue. It didn't matter that Kate was talking about Russell Wilson, she enjoyed the game.
The Super Bowl
Q: So mum, what did you think?
A: It was good, but I felt very sorry for poor old Denver.
(At this point Kate wanted to go off the record to say "Denver people are going to hate that. Maybe just say "poor Denver, not poor old Denver." I did not acknowledge her request)
A: It seemed to me from that first piece of miscommunication (the early safety) that it all went down hill.
Q: What do you think Seattle did to win?
A: They had a very good defense and they were very fast. They were good runners. I mean that's what impressed me, and their communication skills were great.
Q: What did you think of all the pre-game introductions? The national anthem etc.
A: I felt as if I was at the Olympics.
Q: Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
A: Oh, I found it entertaining. Especially whats-his-name, the singer... Bruno Marr. (That is not a typo, she called him Bruno Marr)
Q: What should Denver have done better?
A: I don't know, they seemed to get addled.
Q: Who do you think was the best player in the Super Bowl?
A: Russell Wilson
Q: What was your favorite Super Bowl ad?
A: The one with Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld.
Q: That wasn't an ad.
A: Oh, wasn't it?
Q: Did you like the Super Bowl halftime show?
A: Yes, because it had Bruno Marr in it.
Q: What did you think of the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
A: I didn't like his stockings.
The game of football
Q: Who is the quarterback?
A: The most important player on the team. He organizes the plays. He's the lead fellow.
Q: Okay. Now that you watched a game, what's a wide receiver?
A: He's the fast thin fellow who receives the ball.
Why the NFL always wins
Is Pete Carroll going to change the NFL with the world champion Seattle Seahawks? Steven Godfrey went to New Jersey, and found a coach and a team content to enjoy their moment.
Q: What did you learn about football?
A: Instead of rugby where it's a continuous game they run a certain number of yards, and they achieve that then they line up in a scrum to throw the ball to their teammates -- then they run again.
Q: Favorite moment?
A: I don't know, it all ran together. There was a part when a very thin fellow ran very fast and got the ball over the line. (I'm assuming this was Percy Harvin's kickoff return to start the second half).
Q: What do the winners of the Super Bowl get?
A: A trophy.
Q: Anything else?
A: Money. What else do they get?
Q: A Super Bowl ring. It's a big diamond-encrusted ring.
A: All of them?
A: Wow. They'd need to measure all their fingers!
Word association 2.0
Q: Peyton Manning
A: Oooh, good looking. He was on the Seahawks. He was the coach. I'm right, aren't I?
A: HE WAS THE DENVER FULLBACK! Take that out. The Seattle bit. I knew that, I got confused. He was going against the Boom of Destruction.
Q: Pete Carroll
A: He was the coach of the Seahawks, and he was the good looking one.
Photo via Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports
Q: Percy Harvin
A: He was the smallish fellow, wasn't he? He's 5-foot-5 and he's on the Denver team.
Australia and the NFL
Q: Do you think the NFL will every be successful in Australia?
A: Yes, I think they could be. We love any sort of football, but I think it would be difficult. There are already three strands of football in Rugby league, Rugby Union and Aussie Rules. They're having a hard enough time getting people to go to soccer games.
Q: Who will play in the 2015 Super Bowl, and who will win?
A: The Carolina Panthers and the Miami Dolphins, I think it will be 32-28 Carolina.
Q: Who wins the MVP in 2014?
A: I hope Peyton Manning does.
Did Kate learn anything meaningful about football? Maybe not, but she has a new appreciation for the game -- specifically throwing the ball forward. I also learned that she has a healthy attraction to Pete Carroll, I mean who wouldn't?