I hope everyone in the States enjoyed the Superbowl. Unfortunately Sunday in the U.S. is Monday morning here in Japan thanks to the time zone differences, which kind of makes it hard for expat gaijin to get into the spirit of things properly. Although the Japanese are generally open to importing just about any aspect of contemporary culture from the U.S., the rules of Ame-Futo (as American Football is usually abbreviated here) are confusing to most people, and the sport doesn't have a lot of critical mass here. Surprisingly, there is a small professional American Football league in Japan with team names like the Asahi Soft Drink Challengers, Panasonic Impulse, the NEC Falcons -- even our favorite computer peripheral company Elecom has a team, the Elecom Kobe Finies. The national championship for the league is the "Rice Bowl," and I went to watch a game just for the lulz once, because how often do you get to go to an American football game in Japan? I noticed that the Lingerie Football League had started broadcasting games late at night on Japanese television -- this seems right up Japan's alley, and I'm sure it can only increase the popularity of the sport in the future.
"American Football" is not huge here, though there are fans.