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The new hot question on many Irish sporting lips this weekend is a simple one – are you watching the SuperBowl? Photo by: ESPN

Super Bowl fever is suddenly sexy all over Ireland again

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The new hot question on many Irish sporting lips this weekend is a simple one – are you watching the SuperBowl? Photo by: ESPN

The question has suddenly become relevant again. People want to know the answer.

A Liverpool fan demanded a response on Tuesday night as he celebrated a Darron Gibson goal for Everton against Manchester City, quite a feat in itself.

A man at a rugby press conference – a journalist as it happened – just had to tell me his answer.

Even at the Golf Writers dinner on Thursday night, a lovely girl from Solheim Cup hosts Killeen Castle wanted to know.

The new hot question on many Irish sporting lips this weekend is a simple one – are you watching the Super Bowl?

I am – but just to prove my unease with this subject I don’t know whether to call it the SuperBowl or the Super Bowl. Is it one word or two?

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Is there a sponsor’s name to go in front of the title, like the Budweiser Derby or the Barclay’s Premier League?

Are we supposed to genuflect in reverence every time we type the word SuperBowl or the words Super Bowl?

There was a time when the Super Bowl featured large on the horizon for every Irish sports journalists worth his or her salted peanuts.

That phenomenon started somewhere in the late 80s as I remember it – and had more to do with the refrigerator in the old Chicago Pizza Pie outlet at the top of Grafton Street than the footballer known as the Refrigerator.

There was a time you see when Budweiser used to throw the mother of all parties in Dublin as quarter-backs were throwing the mother of all passes in Texas or California or wherever the big game was beamed from.

The beer was free, the chicken wings were tasty and life was good. Until 3.30am that is when the bar would close, the bouncers would do their job and we’d all be out on the street.

Those still interested in the match would scramble into the nearest taxi and head for a house with a television screen.

The rest of us would search for a late night den of liquidity and wait to hear the result when we awoke the following morning – or afternoon!

Like all the good times in Ireland, the SuperBowl – or Super Bowl – party came to a halt. The Chicago Pizza Pie closed, Budweiser altered their marketing budget and the Bowl (it’s easier to call it this from now on) became a distant event in a distant land.

Things did begin to change a few years ago mind, thanks to the man by the name of Rupert Murdoch who has transformed our sports options on televisions beyond all recognition.

I can easily sit at home now, sometimes with a can of Bud in hand in deference to old times, and watch golf from Dubai, rugby from New Zealand and soccer from Scunthorpe, sometimes all the same time with the aid of the Sky Sports remote control.

I can also watch live American Football every Sunday night, not that I do.

My kids, the two boys Cillian and Ciaran, however love it. On a Sunday night they will hog the Sky remote and watch at a time when they should be in bed ahead of college and school the following morning.

A few weekends ago they got very excited when 49ers beat the Saints in that incredible finale in San Francisco. I did watch the re-run and yes, the changing lead was dramatic to say the least.
I’ll watch the Bowl with them this weekend as well. So will many people I know. They’ve told me as much the last week when the Bowl became a hot topic once again.

The renewed interest is, I believe, down to the New York-Boston rivalry. We feel like we own both cities in this part of the world and we do have a Giants jersey somewhere in our house from a visit to the Big Apple with the Irish soccer team a few years ago.

We also know about Tom Brady in this part of the world. He’s a Cavan man by all accounts and many Irish fans I’ve spoken to this week will be rooting for him. So will many of the girls but I think that’s for a different reason altogether!

Me? I’ll be a New York fan come Sunday night. Me and my Bud. Go Giants. Stick it to the Cavan man.

*Cathal Dervan is sports editor of the Irish Sun newspaper and a columnist with the Irish Voice and Irish Central

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