Super Bowl in China

It’s Monday, and it’s the day of the Super Bowl in China. Thanks to our good friend time difference, we watch the Super Bowl at around 7am on Monday morning here in China. (What time could be better, right?)

In case you missed the ChinesePod episode on the Super Bowl, “Super Bowl” in Chinese is 超级碗. Literally, it means (brace yourself for this)… “super bowl.”

Somehow this feels wrong and fake and anticlimactic and too easy to me. It feels something like this:

super bowl

But anyway. that’s what it is. Chāojí Wǎn.

Most Chinese spend Super Bowl Monday Morning completely unaware of the great American advertising sporting event that is the Super Bowl. Some expats in Shanghai spend it at the sports bars, eating a fancy breakfast and getting drunk before 10am.

It can be difficult to get up around 6am for the sake of one’s home culture, but this year I have once again opted to make that sacrifice.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Super Bowl is all about BEER So what made it difference to me was the fact that I have been sitting here all day long working my ass off. Yay! That’s Super Bore! Too bad I missed all the commercials!Nah….. life is perfect with Youtube and its loyal video uploaders!

  2. Last year when my husband told some of his employees he was taking the day off to watch the Super Bowl here in Shenzhen, one of them said, “I understand this is a very important American Holiday, so I want to wish you the best for your celebration.”

  3. Glad you decided to make the sacrifice….worth it though, huh? What a game!!

    Out of curiosity (I’m in the states at the moment) was it being carried on Chinese TV? If so, what channel?

  4. SMG Sports. And yes, they call it the 超级碗. (卫星直播:2007-08NFL超级碗(纽约巨人-新英格兰爱国者)

  5. And??

  6. as I noted to the ChinesePod crew on my visit, Taiwan Mandarin uses the term 超級杯. Here’s the headline: NFL 超級杯巨人險勝 愛國者全勝奪冠夢碎

  7. btw, the game was not, I repeat NOT broadcast in Taiwan on normal cable. Star TV out of HK decided in their great wisdom to bring us a replay of Taiwan pro basketball instead. Oh, and don’t let me forget the billiards. How the sports programming director at Star can wake up tomorrow and still have a job proves there is a God. I only hope He is a vengeful, wrathful one.

  8. Ugh.

    As a Boston native, I must say that was not the best game I’ve seen.

    However, you should see the sense of entitlement New England Sports fans have. It’s not enough to have won 4 superbowls and 2 world serieses, people are still moping around this morning 😉

  9. In Shenzhen, people who stayed home watched it on Atv out of Hong Kong. Those of us who went out to get a 48 RMB all you can eat ham and eggs breakfast buffet watched it on satellite sports network out of the Phillipines.

  10. LOL. The game was a dud. Listened to it on Internet radio while at work yawn … got home, had dinner, turned on the TV and lo and behold, Tom Brady busts inside the pocket and guts a bomb way deep across the field to a Randy Moss covered by a pair of defenders. No chance, no cigar. Last ditch bomb in an NFL game? How cliche – yawn

  11. And… it was a good game!

    Sorry Wilson, gotta disagree. Do you even remember how many boring Super Bowls we’ve had??

    @ambrose: yeah, it was on satellite sports network out of the Philippines at Big Bamboo in Shanghai, too. But much more expensive! We had to keep watching some stupid commercial for Alaska powdered milk on every single commercial break!

  12. So, what’s the deal with CCTV not picking it up this year? I was bummed it wasn’t on in Beijing. Even if it was something like what they did a few years ago with some NFL guy with horrible Chinese and a Chinese guy who didn’t know a thing about football as announcers, that would at least be better than nothing!

  13. Oh, yeah…Solar TV or whatever. Alaska powdered milk – I’m buying some today! I’ve been totally indoctrinated.

    And the game was spectactular. Just because 10 points were scored in the first three quarters – that’s an excellent defensive game. If you don’t appreciate a defensive game, then you’re not a football fan. The fourth quarter had all the fireworks, along with the Cinderella ending complete with an escape, a throw, and a catch that will surely become a Named Play.

  14. It’s on replay right now on the channel formerly known as CCTV 5 (not sure how to type the stupid Olympic symbol they changed the name to). But it is that schizo replay where the selectively edit out time in between plays and cut straight from the pile to the snap of the next play, but not always, just when they feel like it. Really nauseating.

  15. I love the graphic of the bowl with the Super man logo over the top of it. John, did you make this? It’s really well done.

  16. Kaeshi,

    Actually, all I added to the graphic was the bowl. The rest of it came from the movie poster for the last Superman movie, I think.

  17. The only thing that is really annoying is that Americans have the gall to call themselves “World Champions”. The last time I checked, there was more than one country in the world other than the U.S.A. And many of them also have professional football and baseball teams.

  18. Paul:
    American also call Oscar awards world crowns and as a matter of fact, Oscar is just a national movie festival.

  19. How about the 2009 super bowl?
    My wife has me going to ShenZhen before the Super Bowl.
    I couldn’t talk her out of it.
    Anyone know what channel it would be on in ShenZhen?
    thank you—-yours truly———-desperate (football) sports junkie.

  20. I’m going to be in Shanghai Super Bowl Sunday ( actually Monday morning there) can anyone tell me if the game will be broadcast there?

    And if so what channel?

    Gotta see my Chargers take it all!

  21. Dr. Dennis Robinson Says: January 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Hey I am in Nanning and would like to know where I can watch the superbowl the great american game. We are not the only country in the world but the only country in the world that plays the best and most exciting game in the world. Yes I have seen rugby and “not as good” i like soccer also and you have never been to a game until you go to one in Brazil. But American Football is my favorite.
    The best Superbowl party I have been to was in Mexico, the XL game and it was exciting watching with a hundred or so great football fans.

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