This week in Off The Ball, Sports writer Charles Nurick pokes fun at the self-absorbed nature of the NFL and its illogical decision to crown the Super Bowl winners with the title of ‘World Champions’.
“World”. It’s a funny old word isn’t it? To most it implies the whole Earth: all seven continents, all 196 countries, even all five oceans. However, there are others who struggle with this concept.
I talk, of course, about our beloved neighbours from across the pond. In the immediate aftermath of the Super Bowl last Sunday, the New England Patriots were referred to as ‘World Champions’. Sorry, but teams from only one country are allowed to participate in the NFL – the National Football League.
In a similar vein, the World Series is an annual Baseball competition for teams solely in North America. Now, unlike American Football, there actually are other people in world, other than Americans, who religiously play Baseball.
The Sport has become massive in South America, not to mention in Japan, where baseball is arguably the nation’s favourite past-time. How then can a single, domestic tournament crown its winners as the ‘Champions of the World?’
Maybe it’s just an American thing.
Let’s look at this differently: I’ve just set up a tiddlywinks league but only my family is allowed to enter. Will my mum become British champion if she wins?
Say what you like about the British, but modesty is a strong suit. The Premier League winners do not proclaim to be the best team in the world. In fact they don’t even call themselves the best team in Britain (just as well: did you see the quality of the Old Firm?). They humbly announce themselves as ‘Champions of England’ – so modest in fact that they don’t even include Wales.
Maybe America should take a leaf out of Britain’s book and start calling their teams what they are: ‘Champions of America and Nowhere Else’.