PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — At the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the Super Bowl is prime breakfast viewing.
With a buffet of wings and fries provided by the Olympic organizers — though with grape juice instead of beer — a few dozen journalists and staff are watching the game in the media center Monday morning local time.
The crowd’s about a 50-50 split between NFL fans from the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Not everyone knows the rules, but most are rooting for Philadelphia, whose touchdown late in the second quarter prompted raucous cheers.
Earlier in second quarter, groans rang out when the TV went out as the Patriots tried for a long completion on fourth and 5.
If you’re not a die-hard Patriots fan, “you’re going for the underdogs,” says Lachlan McKinnon, who works in media for the Australian Olympic Committee.
McKinnon follows Pittsburgh and the NFL’s Australian players from back home, so an early-morning Super Bowl is nothing new.
“I’m very much a fan of the spectacle,” he says. “Our time zone aligns with this so we’re very used to watching early morning. The added benefit of chicken wings and potato chips here is nice as well.”
Park So-young, a volunteer working for the Olympic organizers, is looking up the rules on her phone as the game goes on.
“I was curious about football. Heard it’s really famous in the USA,” she says. “It’s like when we watch a soccer game. They score, people scream.”
Just as in the U.S., the football isn’t always the main attraction.
Park’s friend Lee Na-young, also a volunteer admits: “We came here for Justin Timberlake.”