All those locals and expats who follow sports played with the right-shaped ball (i.e. oval not round) are eagerly awaiting this weekend.
By Martin Pütter
During the last few days, two sporting events have put many sports fans in the Basel area into a state of eager anticipation: “Super Bowl” and “Six Nations”, the annual highlights in American football and in rugby. During the night from Sunday to Monday the Denver Broncos will face the Seattle Seahawks in «Super Bowl XLVIII», but it is rugby that will kick off this first February weekend: On Saturday, Wales start their title defence against Italy, afterwards old rivals France and England clash, and on Sunday the Ireland versus Scotland match will complete the first round of the “Six Nations”.
Now, what the fans of these sports most urgently wanted to know was: Where can we watch this? Anybody who fancies watching the “Super Bowl” from the comfort of their armchairs, on their own or with friends, can turn to German TV channel Sat1 (German commentary), or – with English commentary – to Channel 4 from the UK – all cable companies in the Basel area should have these channels readily available. And the rugby fans are mightily relieved that the BBC is showing all the matches of the “Six Nations” (click here for the fixture list) – when it comes to rugby no other UK channel has come anywhere near the quality of “Auntie’s” commentary.
Another much loved way for local sports fans to watch these events is in the pub, together with liked-minded people. Both Mr. Pickwick Pub in Steinenvorstadt and ZicZac in Allschwil had applied for late licences to show the “Super Bowl” – and been granted them. ZicZac also offers newcomers to American football the chance to quiz players of the local club Basel Meanmachine about the match, the teams and the rules. Rugby fans will flock to either Paddy Reilly’s at Heuwaage or to Mr. Pickwick Pub. In both places you will recognise these fans easily by the team shirts they’ll be wearing. And one thing is guaranteed in all those places: it’s party time, whether it is “Super Bowl” or “Six Nations”.