As a big sports fan it's been interesting to have been in Philadelphia this past week - the whole city has been Superbowl crazy as the Eagles made it to the final for the first time since 1981.
Although I hold that football is a game that is played mainly by kicking a ball with one's feet rather than throwing it around in the gaps between commercial breaks (P Diddy Diet Pepsi ad was my favourite), I do actually have a pretty good understanding of what the big men in helmets are up to. Being in the US, I was invited to a full on Superbowl party, with beer, steaks and inebriated men screaming at a television whilst the womenfolk rolled their eyes. Best comment by one of the women - "how many quarters do they play?"
Not wanting to be unpopular, I became an Eagles fan by default and found myself in the position of cheering the underdog. The belief in the City was absolutely incredible, football jerseys, towels, umbrellas, key rings and every other conceivable item of merchandise seemingly being hawked on every corner.
Philadelphia seemed extra grey today as the locals digested their loss - 3 lousy points was the difference but the truth is that with all the hype they simply underperformed on the day. The Quarter Back had an off day, the rushing game was non existent and if anyone can explain to me how a pro athlete, paid millions of dollars a season limps off with cramp at half-time then I'll eat Pinkston's shorts.
Disappointed not to have been able to take part in a victory parade but happy to have taken part - typical Englishman!