Monday, January 22, 2007

The old razzle dazzle

Prince, Cirque du Soleil, Louie Vega and renowned artist Romero Britto. The coin toss conducted by one of the great players in the history of the game, and the trophy presented by one of the great coaches. These are the sideshows that will accompany the game to make Superbowl XLI in Miami one of the great spectacles in world sport.

The London Community Gospel Choir, an Army brass band, Deacon Blue, Madness and Lesley Garrett. The sideshows that have accompanied recent rugby league Grand Final and Challenge Cup Finals in the UK.

Yes, I know nobody goes to big games just to see the pre-match and half-time entertainment. Yes, I know essentially it's just something to distract you from the impending tension of the match itself.

What I also know however is that the quality of guests and entertainment a sporting event is able to attract is a fair indicator of its standing on both a national and global level, and the two lists above say a lot more about the NFL and rugby league in the UK than certainly the latter would like to acknowledge.

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