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After The Super Bowl 2016
What Makes The Super Bowl So “Super”?
In the USA, the Super Bowl is a quasi-religious experience. First of all, it’s played on Sunday. Secondly, when the Vince Lombardi Trophy is presented at the end, it is first passed along down a corridor of people who touch and even kiss it as it goes by (it reminded me of a religious artifact being carried through a crowd). Additionally there is a special music, food, clothing, and all the other trappings of a sacred event. Not to even mention the amount of money involved.
If you have any doubt about the significance of the Super Bowl, pay attention to what people are “talking about” the day after (and even the entire week after) the event. There will be seemingly endless conversations about individual plays and players, what could have been done differently, and how the two teams handled themselves in victory vs. defeat.
It’s More Than Just Football
Even if you don’t care for football (I know – perish the thought), there are still the commercials to watch. Some organizations use their entire yearly advertising budget on one Super Bowl TV advertisement (the base rate is $5 Million for 30 seconds). Doritos even runs a “Crash the Super Bowl” contest to have their fans come up with a commercial, with a $1 million prize for the winner. Unfortunately, Super Bowl 50 is the last year for the contest. But don’t worry; there are plenty of other advertisers, with some pretty funny stuff.
And let’s not overlook the halftime show. Or, in this case, let’s overlook it. For some reason, it just felt like they were trying too hard. There was so much going on, I was on sensory overload. Flashing lights, loud music, unintelligible lyrics, gyrating dancers, and so on. In a nutshell: too much. But that could just be me.
The worst part about the halftime show was the content of the lyrics (if you could actually understand them). They were downright obscene. I miss the days of marching bands doing interesting formations, and actual music you could appreciate. It’s a sign of the times, I suppose.
Winners and Losers
It is now history that the Denver Broncos, led by quarterback Peyton Manning, won with a score of 24-10 over the Carolina Panthers led by quarterback Cam Newton. From what I could tell, Peyton didn’t do anything particularly brilliant. But neither did he make very many mistakes. This was his second Super Bowl win, but not with the Broncos. His first Super Bowl win was with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006. Another one for the record books.
The Broncos were celebratory, but not over the top. Nothing like the celebration that look place when the Panthers won a short while ago in the NFC Championship game. That was a hot mess. And somewhat rude, to do that much celebrating before the game was even over. Newton did jumping jacks, did chest bumps, and generally ran around like a man possessed. Of course, this time the Panthers had no cause to celebrate. Just a little bit of karma kicking in if you ask me.
This time Cam Newton acted like a spoiled child, unaccustomed to losing a game. If it had been a chess board, one might have expected him to scatter the pieces all over the floor and stomp out. As it was, he gave single word answers to the reporters’ questions, and left just as soon as he could. He probably would not have shown up at all, but it’s probably in his contract that he needs to grant interviews after a game. His poor sportsmanship will be the topic of conversation for weeks to come.
The Puppy Bowl Alternative
For my money, I would rather have been watching The Puppy Bowl. For the 12th year in a row, viewers have the option of watching adorable puppies frolic around a miniature football field, complete with a deflated football (oh yes, it was just a little subtle fun). At the end, the puppies get to be adopted. A much more “feel good” way to spend a Sunday afternoon. But that’s just my opinion. Considering the amount of money, time, and effort spent on the Super Bowl each year, I’m probably in the minority.