I experienced the most American Superbowl while in a foreign country last night.
The Superbowl was like a mass summoning of American people and spirit last night. Bars airing the game required reservations–some of which were already sold out over a week in advance. Five of my housemates and I (4 Pats fans; 2 Giants fans) ventured out in the cold at about 11:45pm to The Clubhouse–an “American sports bar” that bartender Matteo had so kindly given us the grand tour of when Chelsea and I bought our tickets last week.
The venue had a lively atmosphere, with a good balance between a cozy, old feeling and modern, clean look. The TVs are rather small, but we landed a spot right up at the bar in front of a screen. What we really appreciated is how, well, American the owners managed to make it feel. Already, the room was swarmed with Americans all gathered in the wee hours of the night to celebrate our cultural holiday. But in addition to that, they served wings, hotdogs, hamburgers, buckets of beer, and colored shots to match the teams. They also broadcasted ESPN America so it was good coverage in English. (Commercials weren’t shown, but they did show flashbacks inbetween–like that other time we beat the Patriots at Superbowl :)). Other than the gorgeous Italian bartenders, who seemed to be amused by our passionate heckling and yelling, it was like we really were back in the United States.
I would LOVE to spend some time talking about how awesome my Giants are and how they have, at this point, completely annihilated the Tom Brady / Patriots dynasty. But I shall refrain 🙂 …That was an incredibly intense fourth quarter, though, which apparently lots of Americans here couldn’t power through to. When we arrived before 12:30am kick-off, the bar was packed: it had dwindled down to only a few hardcore groups of fans by the 3:45-4am end-time, though–a small but mighty crowd which still produced more noise than a fully-occupied room. The celebration in the bar was followed by a small rush of Americans all about the streets of Florence–some rejoicing, and some silently hating Chelsea and me for rejoicing.