Arts

Commentary: Why the Super Bowl is Overhyped- Yet Viewership Still Rises

America Attracted to the Big Game Like Never Before

By: Eric Ransom

Eagles fans celebrate their Super Bowl victory in the streets of Philadelphia. (Credit: Si.com)

The first week of February brings that time of the year when Americans obsess themselves with an overrated, made-up holiday.

Yes, Groundhog Day.

Actually, it’s not Groundhog Day, but by now, the groundhogs don’t even take into account global warming, so what’s the point?

This event is, of course, the Super Bowl. It’s that special American pastime, which today has become the holiday of eating the worst food imaginable and watching Tom Brady play for another title at a party with people who either love football or could care less.

Firstly, above all else, the deeming of the Super Bowl as a “holiday” is pretty ridiculous- it’s just a game.

Through many decades, the final football game of the season has turned into parties that worship eating snacks, watching underwhelming halftime shows, and making the NFL and its partners a ton of money.

Nothing says “Super Bowl Sunday” like stuffing faces and TV sets everywhere with the worst junk food, and it be made acceptable because “it’s a special occasion.”

The special Super Bowl ads every year tend to gravitate towards selling junk foods and sodas like Doritos, Coke, M&M’s and various beers- all the good stuff.

The ad revenue generated with Super Bowl ads is outrageous. According to statistics posted in an article by AdNews, companies spent upwards of about five million dollars just to get 30 seconds of advertising in 2016 alone.

This is hidden by the fact that all of the commercials are supposed to be humorous and funny.

Is it not too much to ask for companies to write quality commercials like they do for the Super Bowl year round? Why must the Super Bowl be the only encouragement?

The advertising for and during the game has done so well, that they have convinced the public to actually look forward to watching commercials. That’s no easy feat.

Secondly, of course, there’s the Patriots.

At this point, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have made it incredibly easy to care less. Between the constant winning at the behest of the league, the New England Patriots make football boring.

Every year, no matter how old Tom Brady gets, another trip to the championship is always on his radar. If not for Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the Pats this Super Bowl, Brady would have won his sixth title in eight tries.

The NFL has Eli Manning and the Giants to thank for Brady’s first two defeats, otherwise football would be virtually unwatchable. As long as the Patriots team has a healthy Brady, it is almost a certainty how the Super Bowl will end up at the end of each season.

Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time, this is a given, but the unpredictability of the Super Bowl matchups each year has vanished, eliminating any chance of variety in the game (at least in the AFC.)

For many, though, watching football is a passion, and whether or not a football lover’s team is vying for football immortality in the Super Bowl or not, the big game caps off another season of watching the sport they love.

Let’s also not take away from the Eagles, who finally won their first Super Bowl since its inception in 1967, ending many years of heartache by putting a stop to the spoiled Patriots.

Generations pass down their love for a particular team, through the good and the downright awful, and somehow remain loyal to their team and the sport, which is something that should be respected.

Most importantly, die-hard fans of downtrodden teams who rarely play in the big game and are finally given the chance to win a Super Bowl should be able to cherish every moment, especially if victorious.

Despite these types of fans, over 100 million people will tune in to the game, many who don’t even watch football. It’s gotten to the point where watching the Super Bowl is a forced endeavor.

It has become a bastion for attention, all for a few hours of competition and a cute, free performance in the middle of it- two for the price of one. If there’s anything Americans love, its deals and free stuff.

The obsession with the Super Bowl should serve as a way of self-identifying an ever-expanding stereotype with this country.

We are now the land of encouraging its citizens to be capitalist consumers who will cheer and absorb anything on their 50-inch LED flat screen televisions (which they probably bought on sale just for the Super Bowl).

It is the icing on the cake of abundant American consumerism. Its advertising strategies are luring its viewers, and straying us from caring about the more important issues, like when those damn groundhogs will finally accept climate change. It’s science!

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