The List

5 Reasons Why it's Worth Staying Up Late for the Super Bowl

Every year, you say you'll see it through to the end. Every year, you start drifting off on the first extended warble of Star Spangled Banner. But, trust us, for those willing to dig a little deeper this Sunday there are rewards to be had. Here are five:

1| THE KUDOS Except for spontaneous mescaline binges and incarceration in southeast Asian prisons, there are few more exotic reasons for arriving at work on Monday all bleary-eyed and incoherent than watching the 46th Super Bowl.

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2| THE RULES In broad daylight American football makes no sense whatsoever. Yet, like Open University programming and The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine movie, all that flag-dropping and QB-sacking becomes newly coherent at 2am.

3| THE PLAYERS Improbably bulky men with lantern jaws, Michelin Man arms and Shrek bellies, American footballers are like seeing the future of the human race if we interbred with Hereford cattle. Which could happen.

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4| THE COMMENTATORS There’s nothing quite as unsettling as an ex-NFL player in a tailored suit: invariably a shiny three-piece that’s two sizes too small and straining at the buttons (which remain steadfastly fastened at all times).

5| THE HALF-TIME ENTERTAINMENT Enjoy famous pop stars opening nipple flaps (Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, 2004) and fluffing the words to the national anthem (Christina Aguilera, 2011). Madonna will be performing the half-time honours this year.

Superbowl XLVI, live on BBC1 and Sky Sports 1, this Sunday from 10.30pm

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