Feb 14, 2012 Letters
I was never attracted to American sports like football (played with the hands as opposed with the foot) and baseball (with some similarities to cricket). I watched parts of the game two Sundays ago. It is amazing how many Guyanese and other Caribbean or foreign-born Americans were attuned to the game.
This is a positive development as it shows that Guyanese Americans are being acculturated to mainstream American sports, instead of being stuck to cricket that we brought with us from Guyana.
The US is a football (played with the hand as distinguished from soccer)-crazed nation and the Super Bowl – usually played in first Sunday of February annually between the top two teams in the country – is the most watched sport in the US.
Billions of dollars are spent on the sport on that day alone. Players earn several millions a year playing for a professional team. Stadiums attracting in excess of 50,000 spectators are usually filled to capacity and tens of millions spent on each game.
Teams run a profit of tens of millions a year. So it is big business, and Guyanese and other Caribbean-Americans are urged to get involved in the sports.
The 46th Super Bowl game was held on Sunday, February 5, attracting a huge viewership of Guyanese Americans. They also turned out for the Victory Parade held last Tuesday, with many also watching it live on TV. Guyanese clubs across Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens, known for their booming nightlife, did not disappoint, as Guyanese filled their bars in Astoria, Richmond Hill, Jamaica, Flatbush, etc. getting drinks and cheering the Giants’ victory against the New England Patriots.
The Giants played in New Jersey as their home stadium, but it is really a NY team that played in Flushing, Queens, near where I lived briefly during the mid 1980s. Guyanese were seen nursing a frosted beer and assorted Martinis with eyes glued on the giant screens at clubs. The screens switched from cricket to which it had been tuned for days with live matches in the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
The bars were packed with patrons as Giants fans crammed themselves around the bars. Those I spoke with said they came to support their team and were hopeful for a Giants win. The anticipation and the duration of the game were definitely exciting for them and they knew the rules. I must confess I did not know much about the game.
In their homes, Guyanese also watched the game with family members over snacks and drinks. They partied with friends and family members. People tend to consume alcohol on this day more than for Xmas and Old Year’s Night.
New York City hosted a parade that was held last Tuesday followed by a ceremony at City Hall Plaza, at which the Mayor presented the champion Giants with keys to the city.
The Governor, Andrew Cuomo, congratulated the Giants on beating the odds and winning Super Bowl XLVI.
“After nearly missing the playoffs, the Giants have made history by becoming the first NFL team to win the Super Bowl after going 9-7 in the regular season. And the team also barely eked out a win in the end by a few seconds.”
The Giants’ two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning was credited with the victory by every Guyanese and indeed others. Guyanese New Yorkers expressed pride in their home team. It was a good feeling to see our people being caught up in the excitement of the game of American football and it is hoped the youths would consider playing it as a sporting activity.
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