The rivalry between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 was alive and well in Apia yesterday afternoon.
Local Super Bowl enthusiasts joined the millions around the world to cheer for the two teams who went head-to-head for the championship title of the NFL 2015 season.
And although the game was played in Santa Clara, California, thousands of miles away from Samoa, that did not stop the fans from getting into the spirit of the final.
There were many places where fans could have watched the game. But one of the more popular spots was JP’s Sports Bar at Vaimea. That’s where members of the NFL Samoa Club gathered for the big day.
Cliff Bartley, from the NFL Samoa Club, said the Super Bowl is an annual event for the local lads.
“Every year, we gather together to watch the Super Bowl Finals and have a few drinks with all the Super Bowl fans here in Samoa,” he said.
“This is the biggest sporting event in America and pretty much around the world.”
Bartley was cheering for his favourite team, Denver Broncos. He was on cloud nine because his team made it to the finals this year.
“Two years ago, when Denver Broncos got smashed by the Seattle Sea Hawks, it was the most disappointing day of my life,” he said. “But like they say, the sun will rise again and hopefully today, the sun will rise!"
“Denver Broncos all the way!”
There was loud cheering from the crowd and all enjoyed the entertainment from some of the most famous artists in the world such as Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Coldplay.
Although American football is not a famous sport in Samoa, Bartley believes that “Samoans are built for the sport.”
He believes that if NFL sends more scouts to Upolu instead of Pago, the game will slowly develop in Samoa and will open doors for the youth of Samoa to have a shot at a secure career to provide for their families.
Bartley is optimistic.
“So hopefully...we are slowly getting there, the scouts are coming and pretty soon, before you know it there will be a lot of Samoans in the NFL.”
The Super Bowl is an American Football game which started in the year 1967. The final was held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California between the NFC (National Football Conference) Champion, Carolina Panthers and the AFC (American Football Conference) Champion, Denver Broncos. Broncos won.