The Super Bowl is no longer a sporting event. It is an event that happens to include a sport.
The World Series in baseball and NBA finals are big events. But they are sporting events. People may watch those events who aren’t fans during the regular season. But the Super Bowl is more than the most popular football game of the year. It transcends football.
The Super Bowl has a gravitational pull unlike almost any other cultural phenomenon. Menus are planned for weeks. The television commercials become news stories. People on continents who believe football is played by guys who kick round balls into nets care about who wins this game.
But the best way to quantify how popular the game is involves watching how the contrarians react to it. You know the contrarians. Whatever becomes popular, they are a notch too sophisticated or busy with “real” endeavors to pay attention to the past times of the plebeians.
How many people claimed with pride that they didn’t know who was playing in yesterday’s game? They never saw any of the news reports about the two brothers coaching against each other. They never heard about Ray Lewis snorting powdered deer antlers to recover from a torn muscle.
Come on, now. Even NPR was covering those stories.
How many of these folks went on social media to tell you they were doing the exact opposite of watching the Super Bowl and eating chicken wings? (Is it wrong that every time I think of someone doing the exact opposite of something, that I imagine the Friends episode where Joey wore all of Chandler’s clothes at once? I know. I know. All of the contrarians never watched Friends because they were busy reading books about scientific discoveries in Gondwanaland or something.)
I’m sure as they read their thick, dusty books and only listened to music that they wrote themselves and recorded live as they played an acoustic guitar with a harmonica strapped around their neck while rhythmically tapping bongos with their bare feet, they had almost as much fun as the rest of us who tried to entertain ourselves during the first power outage in the history of the Super Bowl.
One of my favorite lines about the outage on Twitter was that this time it was rich people stuck in the Superdome when the power went out. You don’t get that kind of humor in dusty books because the breeding habits of penguins just aren’t that funny.
The Facebook pictures imagining Clark Griswold in a Christmas Vacation moment finally plugging in the right cords to restore power to the Superdome was also pretty funny.
Page 2 of 2 - I enjoy events. News is basically telling people what they need to know and what they want to know.
So intermingled with conflicts in Syria, City Council actions and drought conditions, we get to report on imaginary girlfriends, hot wings and which Super Bowl commercials were the best.
You don’t have to isolate yourself from society to be intelligent. Obviously, if you get your news from Kourtney and Kim Take Miami, you might have a problem.
But there is nothing wrong with joining the crowd a few days a year and having a good time.