Superbowl Time

February 5, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More

Today is that time again when about 1.5% of the world will be watching a particular ball game in America, The Superbowl. Although Superbowl madness has been addressed on this forum, I’d like to put forward a couple of observations.

The Superbowl is the culmination of the 20th century adaptation of sports to mass media. The packaging, production, and marketing of this one game is a major profit center based on what is essentially a sedentary activity. There are 22 players on the field, and 100,000,000 people watching, most in comfy chairs via television.The game play is nominally an hour long, but the coverage lasts many hours. This includes pre-game and post-game coverage, plus the three hours needed to watch the sixty-minute game.

Worse than just sedentary, a predictable large fraction of the audience will be eating badly and drinking immoderately during the event. The advertising in all the media up to and during the event panders to and fosters this market segment. The message is clear: If you are not eating fried things and washing them down with booze, you are a weenie. If you are not buying these things for the family, you are not a good provider.

So let’s take a look at the activity itself. You have nearly two dozen buff young men in shiny tights periodically thrusting their bodies together to accomplish the explicit task of firmly holding a tapered cylinder with the goal of placing it repeatedly into the opponents end zone.
The result of this “scoring” is brief solo dancing and many a manly fanny patted. It is different than ballet in that the women on the field don’t interact with the men.

What do I do on Superbowl Sunday evening? I usually go to a contradance. I spend the evening with a couple of dozen women in my arms, moving in rhythm and breathing hard. And the jocks in school called me gay.


Category: advertising, American Culture, Athletics, Communication, Consumerism, Entertainment, Humor

About the Author ()

A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Dan: I can imagine the responses of those who find the Superbowl experience to be religious. Perhaps you ought to bring a pigskin to your dance session and start knocking down those women by running into them with your shoulders, then doing a victory dance at one end of the dance floor.

    I don’t follow sports much. I’ve watched about an hour or two of football over the past 12 months. I’ll likely sit on my comfy chair with friends and family and watch part of today’s game. I suspect we won’t have fried food. I’ll claim that I’m watching because of my self-appointed job as an armchair anthropologist.

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    I watched about two minutes when the Giants were up 9-3. Family friends had a big party again. We went last year and my son, Ben was “bored.” I stayed home and we played video games, I watched Ben play video games and we watched shows I had taped for him from the Syfy channel. My wife and daughter went to our friends’ party and had fun. When they came home, I asked who won. The game wasn’t over and we all watched a Syfy movie. I finished some work and went to bed and awoke to find the Giants had won.

Leave a Reply