LONDON, FEB. 1 -- While the Redskins were rallying to defeat the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII on Sunday, fans were cheering -- and crying in their beer -- everywhere from London to continental Europe to Central America. For some, the game was a little bit of home. Others are still scheming to get a look at the big event.
The Super Bowl coverage came from the comedy team of "Angelo and Andy," otherwise known as "The Vicious Boys" and perhaps the biggest party was attended by none other than Brian Bosworth. And although no ratings were immediately available, it is likely the live television audience in Britain for Super Bowl XXII was at least equal to the 6 million who tuned in last year.
The first live Super Bowl broadcast here was in 1983, on commercial Channel Four, which has shown the game ever since. The overall popularity of American football has been on the rise here, and the NFL has moved into Britain in a big way, selling all the team paraphernalia you can get in the United States.
One of the places the NFL is most in evidence is a restaurant in London's Soho section called Superbowl I. Scheduled to open next Friday, it held a private party for the Super Bowl, where the star attractions were Bosworth and British heavyweight boxer Frank Bruno.
Bosworth was impressed with the knowledge British fans had of American football, but said they still have a lot to learn.
"They yell at the big plays but they don't really understand the complexities of the game," he said. "That takes time, but I was pleased to see how in tune everybody seemed to be with what was going on."
The restaurant -- owned by Martin, Rodney and Hussein, respectively a Briton, a West Indian and an Iranian who describe themselves as "citizens of the world" -- has been exclusively licensed by the NFL to use the name and merchandise their products here.
As for Channel Four's broadcast, Andy Smart and Angelo Abella were joined by Miami Dolphins Coach Don Shula. Smart and Abella relied mainly on humor; they dressed in outrageous flowered shirts and shorts and cavorted around San Diego, showing sun-deprived Britons what they were missing.
Channel Four wasn't overrating its viewers' knowledge of the sport. At the opening coin toss, it showed a graphic of the two sides of a coin, with pointers noting "heads" and "tails."
The game began at 11:30 p.m. here and coverage ran until about 3 a.m. Because the game ended so late, it didn't make the morning papers, but BBC morning television news showed scenes of Washingtonians rampaging through the streets of their hometown with joy.
Only the Evening Standard, London's one afternoon daily, had a postgame report, headlined "Williams on the Warpath for Great Redskins."