I love watching the Superbowl and I go to several American Football games every year. It’s the culmination of an excellent season of American Football. It’s got all the best of American spectacle and pizzazz, and the best, most skillful teams from the NFL. But it really grinds to hear the term World Champions being used to describe the Superbowl winners.
To call the Superbowl winners the World Champions, or Champions of the World – What’s that about?
They have fought their way through their division, and made it through the tricky play-offs. But ultimately the winners will come from either the AFC (the American Football Conference) or the NFC (the National Football Conference). Both of these NFL sub-leagues are populated by teams solely from the USA.
There are, and have never been, any teams from any other country other than the USA taking part in the NFL.
So, unless you are playing teams from another country, how can you legitimately call yourself a World Champion team?
World Champions are teams that win games against teams from other countries.
If your team doesn’t play any games against teams from other countries, then you can’t be World Champions. You are National Champions. It’s a simple definition.
Let’s look at a few equivalents,
Australian Rules Football – Do the winners of the AFL Grand Final call themselves World Champions? Just because no-one else plays their game? No.
Gaelic Football – Do the winners of the Sam Maguire Cup call themselves World Champions? No – because their competition is only open to teams from the island of Ireland.
Football (soccer) – Do the winners of the English Premiership call themselves World Champions? No. They are the best team in their country. They are national champions. I’m sure the winners of the Bundesliga, La Liga or Serie A would have something to say about it if the English Premiership winners tried to call themselves World Champions.
If the NFL expands in the future to include teams from countries other than the USA then the winners of the Superbowl could legitimately call themselves World Champions. But until then, unfortunately, you can’t call yourselves World Champions.
You have beaten the best teams available in the NFL. Congratulations and Well Done! You are well deserved Superbowl winners and National Champions. But the simple fact that the NFL (National Football League) only includes teams from America means you are not World Champions.