The year's single biggest sporting event in the United States is about to unfold as two American football teams, the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, face off in Sunday's Super Bowl. In anticipation of the event, here are some key football concepts in terms surfers may better understand.
After a touchdown (6 points) is scored, a team is awarded a chance at extra points, conducting either a field goal (1 point) or a play (2 points). A two-point conversion is more risky than a field goal, as the offense must carry or throw the ball 5 yards (or 4.57 meters) with the opponent's defense blocking the way.
When a team is trailing and time is running out, it's sometimes necessary to go big or go home. In such do-or-die situations the quarterback may opt to try for a so-called "Hail Mary" pass, throwing the ball high into the air --- usually over half the length of the field -- praying that his receiver is the one to make the catch.
In American football it's often customary to celebrate one's glory and achievements after scoring a touchdown, not unlike pro surfers making a claim after a successful wave. Check out Owen Wright's Superman celebration in Tahiti.
Each football team is supported by a group of individuals cheering from the sidelines at every game. The responsibility of the cheerleaders is to motivate and encourage athletes to perform to their utmost ability. Arguably one of the strongest cheer campaigns in the history of professional surfing came from the #VaiMedina camp. Watch the reaction after Gabriel Medina became Brazil's first World Champion.
Americans tend to be fans of anything BIG. Big cars, big meals and -- when it comes to sports -- big hits. Not unlike watching a clean tackle in football, a heavy wipeout elicits equal parts sympathy and thrill. Compare this wipeout by Anastasia Ashley (USA) during an XXL session in Mexico some of Super Bowl Sunday's big hits and see for yourself.