The Day After the Super Bowl
A distinctly American institution.
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 just a few 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 the recent past 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.
Additionally, we have the Black Lives Matter protests and the political situation that has been brewing for years. When I first heard about the from Roger Goodell back in June, I was floored. Here was a man on the wrong side of history and was seemingly doubling and tripling down on that belief. You could say this move is too little, too late. At the very least, Colin Kaepernick deserves better. I think this is progress.
Look, I’m probably a below-average sports fan because the only thing that I care about is University of Illinois athletics. 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, the 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, everyone was more interested in the wings we made for our “Super Bowl Party” than anything happening on the television.
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 have been some amazing, creative commercials, but millions of dollars per thirty seconds, they’d better bring in some real profit. If you aren’t a giant multinational corporation, I can’t see the reason ever to buy a spot on the Super Bowl.
I would make my Super Bowl commercial so bawdy and risqué the NFL would never consider airing it. 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, goodwill, and sales.
As for the game itself, at least it wasn’t a blowout. Still, Tom Brady’s dominating presence for so many years is… annoying? Bothersome? Tiresome? I don’t know.
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..