The Day After the Super Bowl

I wonder what most Americans, who absolutely love NFL football, do the day after the Super Bowl? I’m sure many of them turn to the off-season and draft day. Maybe some turn to the upcoming baseball season (pitchers and catchers report in 18 days!!). Of course with March on the horizon, college basketball will soon be the non-stop sports story.

Still, football is such an important part of the American lifestyle and experience. One has to actively stay away from the drama because we as a society are bombarded constantly. I’m not against football or the NFL, although I think this past season has exposed some damaging things about the NFL. From the now-infamous Ray Rice video and spiraling domestic violence story to an uncapped concussion settlement for NFL players who sued the league, the NFL looked like a contemptuous corporation constantly in “Spin Mode” and lacking compassion.

Look, I’m probably a below-average sports fan because about the only thing that I care about is University of Illinois basketball and they are not really all that relevant nationally. I don’t even care that much about St. Louis baseball until it gets to the playoffs and past the regular season. As for the NFL, I watched three games: The AFC championship, NFC championship and the Super Bowl.

When the Super Bowl is on, I think the vast majority of Joe Average or Below Joe Americans tune in to watch the game. It’s such a spectacle that you can’t really avoid it. For example, at my house I had three girls watching the game and they don’t care a lick about football. Granted, they didn’t last long and were much more interested in the wings, chips and cookies we had for our “Super Bowl party,” but they were mildly interested.

Personally, I didn’t care about the teams. It was an event… with commercials. The Super Bowl is a manifestation of America—loud, bright, athletic, and brash. It’s such an American institution; I can’t help wondering if other countries view the Super Bowl the same way. I’m sure the Brits find American football to be this crazy weird thing that sort of resembles rugby with pads and helmets. What do “futbol countries” think of this distinctly American sport? Questions and more questions.

Of course, we can’t forget the commercials. Since the 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial, every year the Super Bowl commercial becomes this “thing” that everyone wants to talk about. Sure, there’s been some amazing, creative commercials, but at $4 million dollars per thirty seconds, they’d better bring in some real profit. If you aren’t Coke, Pepsi, Budweiser, Microsoft, Mercedes or some other giant multinational corporation, I can’t see the reason to ever buy a spot on the Super Bowl.

On a side note, I’m sure the advertising firm and the Marketing Director at Nationwide will be fired this week for their atrocious commercial featuring a boy and the adventures he would have gone on had he not died from a preventable accident. They spent millions of dollars just on the space and probably generated so much hate they’ll have to backtrack and disavow the ad. Basically, they were being horribly exploitative. It was, by far, the worst television commercial I’d seen in a long, long time. By the way, the best was the Brady Bunch Snickers ad.

I would make my Super Bowl commercial so bawdy and risqué the NFL would never consider airing it and then I’d use that publicity to push it on YouTube and Vimeo to an audience that would be hyped up and interested to see it and see it again. Companies have already started doing the “Anti-Super Bowl” ads, but I’d push that envelope about as far as I could to generate buzz, good will and sales.

As for the game itself, at least it wasn’t a blowout and exciting until the end. The fight that broke out at the end exemplified the entire season. Also, if you promote Lenny Kravitz is going to be part of the half time show, you better give him something more to do than fake play the guitar and pose.

So what does an NFL fan do now? I’m not much of one so I can’t figure it out. Although, all things considered, I’m glad it’s all over.