When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Super Bowl Show And A Super Bored Frenchman

A metaphor
A metaphor
Bertrand Hauger

PARIS Twice a year (for the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl), I renounce my 6-hour beauty sleep and fight timezones to tune in to a bit of live transatlantic spectacle.

Blame it on three reasons, ranked by order of importance: my americanophile wife; a chance to take the temperature of U.S. cultural hegemony; and my best efforts to keep up with the cool (Yankee) kids at Worldcrunch's Paris office.

The Oscars, I get, and get to share with my better half. But even for a fairly open-minded French-born 30-something, American football is one of the few staples of U.S. folklore that I am entirely hermetical to. The Brady Bunch? Why not. Beer pong? Sure. Dolly Parton? Yeah, alright. But football...? Americanah thank you. That's one of Uncle Sam's tricks this inheritor of the Revolution just won't abide by.

See, in my neck of the forêt, "football" means soccer. Good ol" straightforward and harmless soccer, as Donald Trump and his son Barron would agree — miles away from the seemingly brutal and very disruptive game of gridiron.

Still, every year, I give it a go (solo) — ultimately out of sheer curiosity, to see what this whole mind-blowing billion-dollar Super Bowl business is all about.

I had to rack my brains to remember the last time I was so little entertained by entertainment.

So there I was, comfy on my couch at silly o'clock, happy in the belief that my gradual understanding of the other side of the pond was worth the sleeping sacrifice. It was not to be.

CNN's Jeff Pearlman, in a Trump-tweet-like headline, summed it up beautifully this morning: This was "the worst Super Bowl ever." Fair enough, the fact that I haven't got a clue about the rules doesn't exactly play in my favor. But I wasn't the only one under the impression that, at times, the commentators themselves were sort of making it up as they went.

Let's face it, though: People don't watch the Super Bowl for the quality of the game. But from the play's low score to the marooned halftime show to the awkward ads and the generally uninspiring movie trailers, I had to rack my brains to remember the last time I was so little entertained by entertainment (Pokémon Go, summer of 2016). Pure consumerism and overabundance of pop culture in a grandiose show did nothing but keep me awake. Not to inflate a weirdly shaped ball out of proportions, but could it be that 3 A.M. me witnessed a flake of relevance come off of U.S. imperialism?

A thought not quite worth waking up my wife for, but let's see what the cool kids at the office have to say.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Photo of Tarragona’s “Correfocs” (fire runners) setting off their fireworks amid a cheering crowd gathered for the Santa Tecla Festival in Catalonia, Spain.

Tarragona’s “Correfocs” (fire runners) set off their fireworks amid a cheering crowd gathered for the Santa Tecla Festival in Catalonia, Spain.

Emma Albright, Valeria Berghinz and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Halo!*

Welcome to Monday, where Russia targets the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, Hollywood writers reach a tentative deal with studios, and an Ethiopian athlete shatters the women's marathon world record. Meanwhile, Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda tells the harrowing tale of “Conan”, a Ukrainian special forces operator who got lost at sea and survived 14 hours afloat, dodging Russian patrols, before being rescued.

[*Sundanese, Indonesia]

Keep reading...Show less

The latest