If you prefer your sport served up with bling, unashamed pizazz and men so big, they have nicknames like ‘The Refrigerator’, then it’s a fair bet that you’re eagerly awaiting the start of Superbowl XLVII.
Unlike the football we know and love in Blighty – which first became popular with working class northern men wearing flat caps, gathering every other Saturday on run-down, piss-soaked terraces – our transatlantic colleagues’ version of the sport has always had the viewer at the heart of the experience. So much so, that the entertainment at half time isn’t the stadium announcer playing tracks from Now 35 over the tannoy. Oh no, our Yankee counter-parts have the like of Beyonce or Janet Jackson putting on a mini-concert.
Despite the fact that NFL players sometimes talk nonsense, Sunday’s game is not going to be one to miss. So, if like us, you’re planning on catching it, where exactly are the best places to savour the atmosphere? This is the Londonist guide to watching Super Bowl in London:
Where: The Social, Little Portland Street, W1W 7JD; Tube: Oxford Circus.
What you’d expect to see: An all-American celebration, complete with competitions, food, DJs and the big game itself pumped through The Social’s epic sound system – all in aid of the homeless charity Shelter.
Cost: £8 – with every penny raised going to the charity.
Which half-time entertainer would it be: Bob Geldof and Bono. Entertaining, but you also know that you’re raising money for a worthwhile cause while you have a great time.
Where: Bar Kick, 127 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JE; Tube: Old Street/Shoreditch High Street Overground
What you’d expect to see: That friendly Bar Kick atmosphere, foosball tables, food until late, five plasmas and a mega-sounding life-sized 80” HD TV to watch all of those crunching tackles in detail and high definition. Wow.
Cost: Free. Result!
What halftime entertainment would it be: Can Can girls – like those little wooden players on a foosball table.
Info: 020 7739 8700 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: Walkabout, Temple Place, WC2R 2PH; Tube: Temple
What you’d expect to see: Entertainment, and lots of it. A USA theme with cheerleaders (of course!), American food, 16 HD plasmas and a ‘huge’ HD big screen. From the sounds of things, it will be physically impossible to miss the action here.
Cost: Multiple packages available including tables in front of screen (£10/head deposit – returned in the form of a bar tab), VIP packages for 15 with booze and food (£250) and Beach Club area hire with capacity for 200 people (POA). For those without a booking, the cost is £5 on the door.
What halftime entertainment would it be: Kylie Minogue. Comes from a land down under, and if you’re really honest about it – is one of your guilty pleasures.
Info: 020 7395 3690 / http://www.walkabout.eu.com/venues/walkabout-temple/
Where: Roxy Cinema, 128-132 Borough High Street, SE1 1LB; Tube: Borough
What you’d expect to see: All the action played out on the Roxy’s 4m wide cinema screen with cinematic sound, hot dogs, snacks and the bar is licensed all night.
What halftime entertainment would it be: Justin Timberlake. Successful track record in movies and has links to Super Bowl (with that wardrobe malfunction).
Where: Skyloft, Millbank Tower, SW1P 4QP; Tube: Pimlico
What you’d expect to see: The only thing which could compete with the panoramic views of our beautiful Capital city at night is a ginormous 9m screen! On-screen action is complimented with table service, American themed food, complimentary Ultimat vodka cocktails, fussball tables and interactive American football games. Enough activities for even the most attention deficient amongst us.
Cost: £15 per person.
What halftime entertainment would it be: Boris Yeltsin dancing after a skin-full – vodka-soaked entertainment at its best.
Where: Clapham North Pub, 409 Clapham Road, SW9 9BT; Tube: Clapham North
What you’d expect to see: Draft beers and American themed food served up to revellers watching one of their five plasma screens dotted around the venue.
Cost: Free and tables can be booked in advance by visiting their website.
What halftime entertainer would it be: JK Rowling – a classy resident of Clapham bringing a little bit of magic to the party.
Info: 0207 274 2472 / http://www.theclaphamnorth.co.uk/
Where: Hippodrome Casino, Cranbourn Street, WC2H 7JH; Tube: Leicester Square
What you’d expect to see: For sports fans who like a flutter, a casino showing the game might be the ideal choice…
Cost: £15 gets you a guaranteed seat, two beers and a ‘Touch Down’ platter. Just don’t plant it on the floor. £20 gets your party seated in a booth.
Which half-time entertainer would it be: Elvis. Vive Las Vegas!
Where: Koko, 1a Camden High Street, NW1 7JE; Tube: Camden Town/Mornington Crescent
What to expect: Super Bash is NFL UK’s official Super Bowl party in a venue more used to hosting the likes of the like of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Cribs. Entry is by ticket only, but those lucky enough to have one will get four free Budweisers, free soft drinks and food courtesy of NFL UK. Entertainment includes NFL legends and cheerleaders and so would be the party for a more discerning American Football fan.
Which half-time entertainer would it be: A collaboration between Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Madonna, all of the Beatles (including Lennon and Harrison), and Michael Jackson. A-list.
Cost: We’re afraid that if you haven’t already got your ticket, your name’s not on the list and you ain’t coming in.
Where: Bridge Bar, Voltaire Road, London SW4 6DH; Tube: Clapham North
What to expect: Cocktails, beers and hand-selected wines in the “latest addition to Clapham’s gay scene”, with the game being shown on two big screens.
Which half-time entertainer would it be: Lady Gaga. Flamboyant!
Where: The Maple Leaf, 41 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LJ; Tube: Covent Garden
What to Expect: American Football isn’t just for those in the USA: this Canadian bar has three big screens pumping the game through your goggles and straight in to your brainbox. Traditional Canadian and American food will also be available from the bar’s kitchen.
Which half-time entertainment would it be: Michael Bublé. Smooth and unmistakably Canadian.
Cost: Pre-book your place for £10 which includes admission, a prime seat and a £5 drink ticket.
And for those that don’t fancy venturing out, Bodeans are producing special BBQ takeaway packs. Choose spare ribs, baby back ribs, half chicken, burnt ends, chicken wings and pulled pork in take-away BBQ packs – available from Soho, Fulham Tower Hill and Clapham branches.