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The Super Bowl (?) in New Zealand

(Reprint from News: February 7, 2002)

February 6, 2002


I got back to Auckland Sunday afternoon after a congested 3-hour drive from Taupo and got a motel room north of Auckland where I spent that evening packing up.  My plane for Sydney didn't leave until Thursday, but I wanted to get packed up and ready to go a few days early so I could spend some time visiting the northern tip of New Zealand called, not surprisingly, The Northland.  I stayed in the motel room the next day, as well -- which happened to be Super Bowl Sunday (or, because of the time difference, "Super Bowl Monday" in New Zealand) so I watched the Patriots beat the Rams Monday afternoon while packing two big boxes of camping gear to send off to Sydney and another box to send back to the U.S.  


2-2057_Watching_Super_Bowl.jpg (38274 bytes)

Left:  In an Auckland motel room, packing up for my trip to Australia and watching the Super Bowl.  They didn't show any commercials, though, darn it.


Unfortunately, as I discovered, New Zealand television stations broadcast only the "European Version" of the Super Bowl.  They're the same video feeds as the American version, but they use a couple of second-rate American announcers and some hyperactive Scottish guy  (folks in Europe apparently understand football better if it's translated by a guy who sounds like Scotty from "Star Trek.") 


Throughout the game, the announcers painstakingly described many of the game's intricacies, such as the subtle difference between "Holding" and a "First Down," since football is, I'm sure, a mystifying sport in Europe, just as cricket is in America.  The biggest disappointment, though, was that they didn't show any commercials -- undoubtedly the best part of any Super Bowl broadcast.  Frankly, without the commercials the game was pretty bland, despite both the close score and the sputterings of the lone Scotsman:  "Captain, the Patriots have lost their dilithium crystals!  They can't take much more of this!" 


Despite the announcers, it actually turned out to be a pretty good game, which is unusual for a Super Bowl.  Still, though, it just wasn't the same without the ads.


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