Am I alone in feeling serious #FOMO when the Super Bowl rolls around each year?
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who lifts their nose up at the mere thought of NFL, making petty comments about why it’s called football when there are hardly feet nor balls involved.
But touchdowns involving literally zero touching-down? Ok, yes, I know, if I was anymore cliché I’d be saying don’t judge a book by its cover but that being said, you can’t please everyone… s***, there I go again.
Super Bowl weekend
Still, I can never muster the energy to pop my NFL cherry by raiding my local Morrisons for nachos, setting my alarm to stupid o’clock and spending hours of my life trying to spot the ball in amongst 40 blokes piling into each other.
Is it just me that needs to smush my face into the television screen holding a magnifying glass and sporting a massive pair of spectacles on the off chance that the burgundy egg makes a cameo beneath someone’s thigh?
Then again, that’s probably just me being thick because if I actually had a slight understanding of the complex offensive moves on display, I wouldn’t think that tens of brightly-coloured jerseys were mimicking real-life Tetris.
Besides, the 1% of Super Bowl knowledge that I can claim to possess has only been made possible by the fact Tom Brady – one of about three players I know – hoovers up more rings than a jewellery heist.
As a result, you’ll be glad to hear that the latest GIVEMESPORT Awards are about the football that I vaguely have an idea about, even if thousands of Facebook commenters would have you believe otherwise over the years.
So, swap out your Buccaneers jersey and foam finger for a pitchfork and picket sign as I bulldoze my way through the last seven days of the beautiful game with about as much seriousness as the Kansas City Chiefs managed points.
Goal of the week
Bruno Fernandes vs Everton
There’s something about the badassery of Fernandes’ wonder goal during the 3-3 Everton draw that we can’t get enough of and we think it more than deserves the comparisons with Eric Cantona’s iconic chip.
The combination of Fernandes’ delicious first touch and the impudent finish that sort of floats over Robin Olsen was enough for us to give it the nod over Nicolas Pepe’s double-nutmeg strike at Molineux.
Player of the week
It’s about time we tipped our hat to Gundogan because the omnipotent midfielder has played a huge role in Manchester City’s rise to Premier League favourites, chipping in with three goal contributions this week.
It’s credit to Gundogan that he’s won our award on the back of a penalty miss at Anfield, but his follow-up brace and glorious assist against Burnley were the perfect excuses for us to reward arguably the division’s best player this season.
Manager of the week
I’ll openly admit that I’ve been one of Pirlo’s biggest critics this season because, well, I can’t have been alone in thinking that his appointment at Juventus was a strange one from the off.
But credit to the Italian icon because he’s slowly turning things around in 2021 and this week has been particularly fruitful, scoring crucial wins over Inter Milan and AS Roma in the Coppa Italia and Serie A respectively.
Game of the week
Granada 3-5 Barcelona
Yes, we could have gone for Manchester United‘s record-equalling 9-0 win over Southampton, but we prefer back and forth entertainment here at the GMS Awards and that certainly wasn’t lacking in the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona sensationally came back from 2-0 down at Granada with just two minutes to play, courtesy of goals from Antoine Griezmann and Jordi Alba, only to have an extra-time lead pegged back by the hosts.
But with penalties on the horizon at 3-3, the Blaugrana dug deep and booked themselves a place in the semi-finals with Frenkie de Jong finding the net and Alba lashing home his second of the night.
Outrageous skill of the week
Mason Mount vs Sheffield United
It’s been a huge relief to see that the Thomas Tuchel regime hasn’t driven Mount out of the Chelsea starting XI because the England star has been superb this season. Just ask Sheffield United.
And when Frank Lampard’s favourite midfielder wasn’t scoring a fine left-footed effort at Bramall Lane, he was producing an outrageous piece of skill that had Dennis Bergkamp written all over it.
Willian Jose vs Arsenal
Frankly, there have been too many egregious refereeing decisions for us to keep up with in the Premier League this week, but none of them were more head-scratching than David Luiz’s red card at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Jose went to ground in about three separate stages under little to no contact, which was accidental at best, from Luiz in order to win a penalty for the hosts and see his Arsenal marker sent for an early bath.
Strangest punditry of the week
Paul Merson on Shkodran Mustafi
Now, let’s be honest here, there weren’t too many Arsenal fans shedding a tear when Mustafi confirmed his Deadline Day move to Schalke, but let’s just say that Merson was setting off more party poppers than most.
That’s because, in one of the more amusing moments of TV punditry we’ve seen recently, Merson responded to a reminder that Schalke sit bottom of the Bundesliga by saying that Mustafi will ‘keep that record going.’ Savage.
Disasterclass of the week
Alisson Becker vs Manchester City
If ever we’ve needed proof that even the world’s best goalkeepers are human, then Alisson provided us with plenty of evidence during Liverpool‘s 4-1 defeat to City at Anfield, dropping two clangers in three minutes.
Alisson’s ‘cold feet’ made for some terrible distribution that allowed Gundogan and Raheem Sterling to score, duly taking our disasterclass award in a week Mike Dean and Alex Jankewitz were also in the running.
Tweet of the week
KFC on Michael Edwards
With Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all holding hands on the Anfield treatment table, the Reds were forced to scramble around for centre-backs on Deadline Day, snapping up Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak.
And Edwards’ supermarket sweep of defenders was so impressive that KFC couldn’t help heralding his efforts, essentially declaring that his local branch would bow down to him if he ever graced their dining hall.
Craziest bet of the week
Massive Super Bowl wager
Yes, that’s right, we couldn’t resist including the other ‘football’ somewhere in the GMS Awards and we’re pretty sure that Super Bowl LV tempted more punters into a flutter than Fulham’s 0-0 draw with West Ham United.
But I’m inclined to think that Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale was alone in posting a gargantuan $3.4 million wager on the Buccaneers, duly earning himself a $2.72 million payout when Brady’s men romped their way to a 31-9 win.
Sunday League award
Ajax forget about Sébastien Haller
Anyone who’s played the beautiful game on a rain-trodden field on a Sunday morning with seven pints of lager sloshing around your stomach will be well aware of the signing-up process required to compete.
And clearly Ajax took a leaf out of the Duck and Hound’s book when they farcically forgot to include their club-record signing, Haller, in their Europa League squad in the same week that Andre Onana picked up a 12-month ban.
Ben Godfrey vs Manchester United
It’s fair to say that United players were raging when Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a stoppage-time equaliser at Old Trafford on Saturday, but it was Everton’s Godfrey who rubbed salt in their wounds just seconds later.
With the hosts ambitiously appealing for handball, TV coverage showed Godfrey turning in their direction and shouting ‘f*** off’, which left United Stand presenter Mark Goldbridge slamming his desk.
Roy Keane award
Roy Keane dancing on FIFA 21
We don’t need to argue why Keane might have found this infuriating because Michah Richards, the Irishman’s official sidekick, provided us with footage of the United legend finding it just as bewildering as you’d expect.
There’s something downright hilarious about seeing Keane bash out Jesse Lingard-esque dance moves in a viral TikTok video and the hardman himself being forced to watch it makes it even more side-splitting.
Urban dictionary of the week
Word: Klopp (verb)
Definition: To be charming when things are going well, but salty as soon as things take a turn
In a sentence: Debra from across the road was klopping like there was no tomorrow on Monday. You should have seen her delight when she perfectly baked a red velvet cake for her brother, only to completely lose the plot and burn down her kitchen when she buggered the icing.
Managerial innuendo of the week
“Harry Kane being alone in our box amazes me but there you go. Son and Harry Kane have scored because of our weaknesses there.”
Even by our standards, we’re doing the dirty-minded mental gymnastics of a 15-year-old here to make this madness work, so be sure to enjoy the image of Kane we’ve conjured up there… yup… ermm…
TV Burp award
Most unexpected press announcement by Emperor Palpatine of the week
A behind-the-scenes documentary of West Ham where David Moyes barks out ‘let the anger flow through you’ in the dressing room is what I need in my life right now.
Football and football
In a week where American Football has been hogging the headlines, it’s remarkable to think that soccer has been making so many waves of its own with drama, goals and controversy in spades.
But for all the talking points that emerged from United’s record-equalling win, Dean’s dodgy decisions and City’s crucial victory at Anfield, you’d be pretty darn cold to numb yourself to the hype around the events of Sunday night.
Besides, I might not know anything about Tom Brady winning his seventh Super Bowl ring, but what I do know is that one of sport’s biggest events pulling through in such a tumultuous time is nothing but a positive.
The viewing figures for the Super Bowl are nothing short of staggering each year and with the in-person attendance stunted in 2021, I don’t doubt for a second that millions will have been watching on from their sofas.
It demonstrates that in the world of sport, even in a global situation of incalculable tragedy and loss, the show always goes on.