Super Bowl LII: Ten reasons to watch the game

Media playback is not supported on this device

The NFL Show's Osi & Jason hand out their end-of-season awards
Super Bowl LII: New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles
Date: Sunday, 4 February Time: 23:30 GMT
Venue: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Coverage: Live on BBC One, Connected TV, BBC Sport website and mobile app from 23:15 GMT plus live text coverage.

Whether it's because you're a huge NFL fan, or you just can't resist watching the glamorous half-time show, the Super Bowl is undeniably a huge event in the sporting calendar.

Drawing in more than 160 million viewers worldwide, it's clear to see the pinnacle of the American Football season attracts fans both young and old - regardless of whether you're clued up on the rules.

And it's clearly not just about watching the game. Fewer than half of people who tune in are doing so specifically to watch the action, according to a statistical breakdown of why people watch the Super Bowl.

My favourite stat is that one-in-four Americans say the most important part is the adverts, while 15.7% use it as an excuse to get together with friends, 10.5% of the audience are watching for the half-time show, and 5.8% admit they watch the Super Bowl because of the food they have prepared for watching the game.

So if you've never heard of a third down, or have no idea what the quarterback's job is, then you may be in good company.

Here our are 10 reasons to watch this year's Super Bowl - we promise it will be worth the late night!

1. It's a big deal and not just in America

The chances are you'll know someone who's going to watch it - so wise up and impress them with your knowledge. The Super Bowl is televised around the world to an estimated 180 countries, streamed live on the Internet and translated into 25 languages. It's got global appeal, which leads us nicely onto reason number two...

2. The feeling of being part of something

Everyone knows big sports events like the Olympics and the World Cup have that extra something about them which can turn your average sport-opposing person into a jersey-donning, screaming and shouting super-fan (even if it is just for the duration of the event). So grab your foam fingers, pick a team, and relish in the feeling that you're part of something amazing. Because you are - it's the Super Bowl!

Tom Brady
40-year-old New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a 5x Super Bowl champion, a 4x Super Bowl MVP and holds the record for the most Super Bowl appearances (eight)

3. It's the underdogs v the dynasty

The Philadelphia Eagles are undoubtedly this year's underdogs as they go in search of their first-ever Super Bowl win. The New England Patriots, meanwhile, have won two of the last four Super Bowls - and a win at the US Bank Stadium in Minnesota on 4 February means they'll secure three titles in four years for the second time.

That third win came against the Eagles in 2004, with the Patriots running out 24-21 winners.

The Eagles will have a huge following of neutrals who can't bear the thought of the Pats winning yet another title. On the other hand, the Patriots are chasing a record-equalling sixth Super Bowl win, which would see them draw level with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Whose side are you on?

4. The half-time show

The average NFL game lasts just over three hours due to the clock being stopped every time the ball goes out of play. That means, despite the first half being split into two 15-minute quarters, it's already well into the small hours when the reward of the half-time show appears.

Reap the rewards! This year's half-time show is being performed by Justin Timberlake - which is a good enough reason to make sure you're tuned into the coverage on BBC One. The Sexyback singer is set to perform a melody of hit most famous hits, no doubt featuring singles from his fifth studio album Man of the Woods, which is released two days before the big game. Perfect timing, hey?!

Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson
Justin Timberlake previously performed as a special guest during the halftime show in 2004 alongside Janet Jackson, who you may recall had an infamous 'wardrobe malfunction'

5. Brilliantly choreographed touchdown celebrations

Minnesota Vikings' Kyle Rudolph and the majority of his team's offense sat down to play a game of duck-duck-goose. New Yorks Jets' Robby Anderson took a nap while using the football as a pillow. Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams jumped into a bobsled to "Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme!"

In a nutshell, NFL touchdown celebrations this season have put Premier League celebrations to shame. So, here's hoping we can count on the Super Bowl to deliver equally hilarious moments.

6. The food - enough said

OK, so I'll elaborate slightly. A quick Google search will prove just how big a deal snacks during the game are - with one website claiming: "If your eats aren't touchdown-worthy, your team might lose."

So the pressure's on to deliver an Instagram-worthy banquet. And if that wasn't enough proof, the American Institute of Food Distribution, cites Super Bowl Sunday as the second-highest event in America for the most food consumption - following Thanksgiving.

Countless articles offer seemingly endless suggestions to tantalise your taste buds, including Buffalo wings, pulled pork burgers, nachos and pizza. Buffalo wings and the Super Bowl have a pretty solid relationship - with Americans set to eat a staggering 1.33 billion chicken wings during the sporting event.

And given there were around 111m people watching the game in the US last year...that's almost exactly 12 chicken wings, per man, woman and child. And in case you were wondering, that's enough wings to circle the Earth almost three times.

Chicken wings
The 1.33 billion chicken wings weigh in at about 166.25 million pounds, 338 times more than the combined weight of all 32 NFL teams

7. The adverts

As per reason number four, NFL games have their fair share of stoppages. And one way broadcasters in the US try to fill these gaps is through the use of adverts. OK, so it's nothing out of the ordinary, but it is when ads during the Super Bowl are like gold-dust.

Businesses take advantage of the high audience viewing figures, and use the platform to showcase their services to the world - but it comes at a cost.

In Super Bowl I, way back when in 1967, the average cost of a 30-second ad was a feasible $40,000 (approximately $300,000 today). Fast-forward to Super Bowl 50 in 2016, and the average cost for a 30-second commercial soared to $4.8m.

Admittedly, those adverts won't be shown on UK television, but a quick Twitter search will give you the goods and allow you to join in with the conversation. Talking of Twitter...

8. Twitter can help with any in-game plateaus

OK, it's 2am. You've had so many Buffalo wings that even the TV is starting to look like a giant chicken wing. The game seems like it's never going to end. You've been informed by your Super Bowl-watching, clued-up mates that some guy called Tom Brady's thrown another touchdown pass. You're in desperate need of a respite. Well, we have a solution. Head to Twitter.

Even if you've got no idea what's going on, at least the Twitter-sphere can give you some nuggets of information to impress your friends with. More than 27.6m tweets were posted about the Super Bowl last year during the live broadcast, including pre and post-game conversations. So there's plenty to go at.

Plus, use #BBCNFL and watch the likes and retweets come rolling in. Win-win.

Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl in 2017
The end of Lady Gaga's half-time show during the 2017 Super Bowl was the second-highest tweeted moment on Twitter during last year's game

9. BBC coverage for all your Super Bowl LII needs

Because you'd expect nothing less, the BBC will bring you comprehensive coverage of Super Bowl LII. You can watch live coverage of the game on BBC One, Connected TV and the BBC Sport website and mobile app, as well as follow text updates and analysis online throughout the night. Head here for the complete breakdown of our Super Bowl LII coverage. See you there!

10. It's an excuse to stay up late

Remember the days when you'd have a sleepover with friends and pull an all-nighter, thinking you were the "cool kids"? Well, the Super Bowl lets you relive the good old days by letting you stay up all night - and for a very good reason.

BBC One coverage runs until 03:50 GMT, but if we have a repeat of last year's game which ended with overtime for the first time, then you better have a power nap before we start the proceedings, because it's going to be a long night. So stock up on caffeine, take the duvet into your living room, and enjoy the mammoth event in comfort.

Top Stories