DAVID PYE: How soon before Wembley hosts the Superbowl?

First published in Sport

NOBODY relishes a Monday morning in the workplace but the first one in February is always a little harder after a late night watching the Superbowl.

I am not a gridiron addict, but I rarely miss out on watching the big end-of-season showpiece.

It is a landmark event in the sporting calendar like the Grand National or the FA Cup final – and much of the world stops to tune in.

Being America, the showbiz factor plays as much a part as the sport with the half-time show one of the biggest gigs a pop star can have.

Probably half of the viewing public are as keen to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers as they are the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.

But I will be doing my best to keep my eyes open to see the game out.

This one in New Jersey will be intriguing as the best defence of Seattle comes up against the top attack of Denver – a traditional case of the immovable object against the irresistable force.

History dictates defensive sides come out on top in the Superbowl but one great play from legendary Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning could change that.

Manning is one of the most recognisable figures in the game, along with younger brother Eli, who plays for New York Giants with both already having Superbowl rings in their locker.

Both play in the iconic quarterback position – the modern-day Joe Montana or Dan Marino, who were the stars when I first started watching the NFL back in the 1980s.

Football English-style is, and always will be, my first love and nothing will change that. But, growing up, when the kids from Fame were dancing around our TV screens along with the swimsuit-clad Baywatch stars three decades ago, like many a youngster the American dream was tantalising.

And across the Atlantic, the sports franchises knew there was a potential market. All of a sudden we had basketball beamed on to late-night viewing slots and NFL merchandise on sale in shops like Allsports.

The strange look, back then, of a sports shirt with a number above 11 on it was enticing.

For a brief spell everyone in the playground wanted to be a quarterback almost as much as a First Division striker. Everyone expected a boom but it never transpired.

Recent years have seen more concerted efforts to take America’s game around the globe to try to take a slice of the pie largely dominated by traditional football.

And with in-season games now a regular part of the Wembley calendar, and talk of a franchise on these shores, maybe it will pay off this time.

Who knows, we may even be heading to Wembley for a Superbowl extravaganza one day?

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