So, hold onto your hard hats, I’m going to be totally honest here—I’m not sure I get the Super Bowl.
Sure the ads are fun to watch and allegedly there’s some sports in there, but is it really all that great to warrant over 108.3 million tuning in last year and having to wait about an hour for my pizza to arrive? While the shocking stat in there is the pizza wait (I mean, I could just walk the two blocks from my house to Cottage Inn, but, y’know, effort…), 108.3 million is over a third of the American population. For perspective, only 28.5 million showed up to watch this year’s Grammy Awards. That means a good chunk of the population missed Beyoncé’s performance of “Drunk in Love.”
A moment of silence for their loss.
Seriously though, the Super Bowl has somehow become the end all be all of TV events. In terms of viewers, the four most-watched broadcasts in all U.S. television history were the past four Super Bowls. So it makes sense that this is also advertisers’ most competitive (and most expensive) commercial slot of the year. In 2013, the cost for 30 seconds of airtime was $4 million dollars, which is a little depressing considering how bad some of the commercials were (GoDaddy.com I’m looking at you). There are even teaser trailers being released in advance for commercials now, a few of which have started to float around Facebook (that said, Budwesier’s “Puppy Love” is so cute it hurts).
So I get that some people tune in to watch footbawl, and others like the commercials, but why does everyone seem to watch it? Is it just for the cultural spectacle? Or is it something more?
What I think it comes down to is the fact that the Super Bowl, as a cultural event, is just plain fun. It’s a reason to meet up with friends and binge on snack food, even when there’s a wind chill of -30 outside (FYI the Super Bowl is also the second- largest day for U.S. food consumption of the year, with the crown of course going to Thanksgiving).
And really, at the end of the day, what do we love more than an excuse to get together? Hard core fans and ironic viewers alike can enjoy the game, the food and above all, each other. So while I still don’t get the Super Bowl, I do love it. You can find me in front of the Doritos, orange fingers of shame be damned.
Tune in to watch the Seahawks and the Broncos duke it out this Sunday at 6:30pm…Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are doing halftime too, so you’re not gonna not.
Bonus fun fact: apparently because the NFL has copyrighted the crap out of the title “Super Bowl,” none of the commercials can actually say the name of the game! Keep an eye out for their replacement terms, some of which you might find on this list.