For English, please scroll to the bottom.
「 朋友，你好，我是老桑。 」
超级碗期间的广告花费也非常惊人：30秒的广告费超过500万美元！中场秀也非常吸引人们的眼球，邀请的都是当时最受欢迎的艺术家，今年则是由歌手贾斯汀·汀布莱克（Justin Timberlake）担任表演嘉宾。每年的超级碗比赛都是先由一场现场盛典引爆全场，象征着超级碗的开始。此外，今年的超级碗还有一层特殊的含义，华人歌手吴亦凡（Kris Wu）担任第一位超级碗的中国推广大使。
Super Bowl LII: The underdog beats the odds
On Sunday, over 100 million Americans tuned in to the most watched television broadcast of the year. Although dwarfed in number to the over 700 million people who watch the CCTV New Year’s Gala, the Super Bowl still garners significant U.S. and international attention.
The Super Bowl has the greatest commercial value of all sporting events worldwide. The one-day event has a greater commercial value than the entire two-week Olympic Games.
Super Bowl ads cost over $5 million for 30 seconds. The halftime show features the most popular artists of the time, with this year’s show featuring Justin Timberlake. A Super Bowl Live festival leads up to the game, and this year the first Chinese singer, Kris Wu, performed as the Super Bowl ambassador to China.
Football is the most popular sport in the United States, followed by basketball, baseball, and hockey. As the CCTV New Year’s Gala is a nationally shared experience in China, the Super Bowl is the equivalent in the United States.
Despite this massive American interest, as well as in Canada and Japan, football has not taken root in China. The physical requirements and violence are considered too extreme. The complex rules and infrequent broadcasts can be a turn-off. The equipment needs can be cost-prohibitive for many schools and sports clubs. And football is not an Olympic sport.
Most Americans grow up with football being part of life. In my high school, the football players—especially the quarterback—were often the most admired (even though, in my opinion, the student who wins the science fair prize deserves greater respect). They trained hard and had to perform at their best during that one game per week.
The quarterback directs a football team’s offensive play. In English, one who directs and leads can also be referred to as a “quarterback.” For example, if you have organized and carried out a delegation visit, you can say: “I quarterbacked the foreign delegation’s visit to China last week.”
There is also a culture that surrounds football: cheerleaders and marching bands. I attended many of my high school and college football games, as I was in the marching band (I played the tuba, believe it or not). Our Temple University marching band is one of the best around, and a Chinese student member posts videos of their halftime shows (Youku: TempleSiwei).
This year’s Super Bowl was a match-up between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. There was a lot of drama leading up to the game, as both teams have notoriously avid (some would say obnoxious) fans.
I grew up in Connecticut, which is one of the six New England states (along with Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), so in theory I should be a Patriots fan. But Connecticut is also part of the Tri-State Area (along with New York and New Jersey), and my part of the state tilted toward the New York teams.
Yet Philadelphia has been my home base for many years, so it was easy to root for the Eagles this year. The Eagles were also the underdog team this year, as the Patriots were expected to win, so we often want to see the weaker one achieve an upset.
Many Philadelphia fans were proud of the underdog status, wearing dog masks as a sign of pride of their fighting spirit. Little did they know that they were unwittingly joining with the Chinese in ringing in the Year of the Dog!
Despite being the unfavored team, the Eagles went onto defeat the Patriots, 41-33.
What propelled the underdog Eagles to victory? Interviews after the game with players and commentators revealed the following mindset:
When you’re the underdog, you have to train really hard to prepare for the challenge, and then work really hard to get through it. In fact, when you’re the underdog, you have to work even harder to make it to the top. There’s no easy way out. There’s not much more to say about this point!
You know yourself the best. Even though the experts and public opinion were saying that the Patriots would win, the Eagles stayed focused on self-improvement and maximized their strengths. They then pulled off several surprise plays during the game, giving them an edge and surprising their opponents.
They knew their abilities better than others. They ignored the voices of the critics, being determined to prove them wrong. Even though the odds were against them, they gave all of their effort to defy the odds. This mental state was crucial to their success.
The team worked together, like a family. They knew that this would be a difficult game to win, but each player supported the other. They knew when to act and when to step back and support another player to make a play. As a team player, you sometimes sacrifice your own recognition so another player might take the glory.
As Philadelphians wore dog masks to show off their underdog grit and resolve to conquer a tough challenge, so can we adopt this underdog spirit as we seek to defy the odds in our own life circumstances.
My friend, even if you don’t understand the byzantine rules of football, we can learn from the Eagles’ spirit when we feel like the underdog in life: work hard, believe in yourself, and join with others who share your struggle. When others are telling you “no,” tell yourself “yes,” and fortify yourself the way the Eagles did to achieve an upset.
i.The Super Bowl always garners significant U.S. and international attention.
ii.He has garnered extensive support for his proposals.
c)近义词：acquire, earn, buy, score, find
i.As the CCTV New Year’s Gala is a nationally shared experience in China, the Super Bowl is the equivalent in the United States.
ii.I do this by thinking of sentences in Chinese and then writing the equivalent in English.
i.Little did the Philadelphians know that they were unwittingly joining with the Chinese in ringing in the Year of the Dog by wearing dog masks!
ii.He was unwittingly caught up in the confrontation.
i.They tried their best to pull off several surprise plays during the game, which gave their opponents a huge surprise.
ii.This team is most likely to pull off the feat next season.
c)近义词：win, bear off
i.All of us can fortify ourselves just like the way the Eagles did to achieve an upset.
ii.Eating the right foods can help lower your blood pressure and fortify your body.
c)近义词：brace, invigorate, reinforce, strengthen
Thank you for watching me to inspire, encourage, and accompany you.
See you next time.