Creating The Super Bowl

By: Maddie Turner

With over 110 million people watching the Super Bowl year after year, I have seen how little the actual game of football itself means to the majority of viewers tuned in. Personally, I am an avid sports fan; having been raised in Baltimore, I have had an undying love for the Ravens since 1996, coincidentally also when the team was established.  Being a fan means much more than jumping on the bandwagon when a team is doing well, but also supporting them when they are having an off year– although this is much beside the point!  While there are some die-hard fans who watched last night, millions used the game as an excuse for a social gathering.  The commercials are always a big draw for many as well as the half time show.  While I understand that the Super Bowl is a nice way to bring people together, I sometimes feel that the game gets made into a bigger production than it should be.  Commercials are an obvious necessity to spreading the word about movies.  During this prime time, commercials  cost over $5 million for just 30 seconds on air, explaining why some of the best ones of the year come out during this time.  This year more than  most, the number of movie and TV show related commercials where higher. Also, as expected, many commercials had jabs at President Trump.  Over the years, the Budweiser Clydesdale horses have become a staple, but this year the company decided to look back on its history, highlighting that their founder was an immigrant.

budweiser 1.GIF

Still from “Born the Hard Way” Budweiser commercial. YouTube (2017).

This trend to comment on the current political issues extended to the halftime show.  Lady Gaga has publicly bashed the president many times so it was no surprise when she slid in a reference during her performance.  Her appearance in and of itself was  over the top.  She started singing on the roof of the stadium and then zip-lined down onto her stage.  The field was transformed into a mosh pit, the lights and effects were concert-quality, (all set up in under ten minutes) and Gaga was surrounded by a crew of dancers.  All of this effort for a quick, sub-par performance.

I do appreciate all that goes into the Super Bowl but oftentimes I feel as though the true love for the game is masked beneath the production created.

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6 Responses to Creating The Super Bowl

  1. I second that! It really is disturbing how much money is put into the production of a football game, especially when you think about other ways that money could be spent (perhaps giving it to destitute families?) I do think it is a part of the American tradition and I enjoy watching it too, but you’re right–it’s less football and more spectacle.

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I agree that sometimes true love for the game of football is masked beneath the production created. but I only think this is the case because it is the most watched event each and every year and getting that kind of exposure would only boost their publicity to an higher level. I mean the super bowl is surrounded by thousands of celebrities in one place. but I completely understand where you are coming from.

    – John Armstrong

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I completely understand where you’re coming from. Although I am not a sports fan myself, I struggle with the grandiose nature of professional sports in today’s society. Each year the halftime show grows increasingly more outrageous, so I can only imagine what will happen in five years. Sometimes it seems like the industry is trying to outdo themselves, and the audience continues to raise expectations. It seems like it would be better off being a little more simpler and spending the excess money elsewhere. -Caitlin Herlihy

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I agree 100%. It has become so much of a production that it can almost be compared to a play. I understand that it is not only the biggest NFL game of the year but also one of the top-5 most-watched programs of the year on television, however I think it has definitely become way too much of a production and that isn’t necessary to maintain high viewership. After halftime and the opening of the stadium roof, and Lady Gaga’s performance, etc. The Falcons’ offense came back onto the field and the commentators mentioned that this was the first time in over an hour and 10 minutes since the Falcons offense had taken the field. That was partly due to the Patriots holding the ball for a long time at the end of the half and the pick-six by Atlanta, however the halftime show definitely added half an hour onto that time. Given that their offense was on the bench and in the locker room for over 70 minutes between their last drive and the first drive of the second half, it is no wonder they played much worse on offense in the second half-including going 3 and out on that first drive. All of the production takes away from the actual game and in this case it may have actually hurt the Falcons by leaving their offense rusty from sitting for so long.


  5. mediaphiles says:

    I agree that the Super Bowl has become way too much of a production. It is often said that actual fans can’t go to the game because ticket prices make it so only celebrities and the ultra rich can attend the game. Each year it gets bigger and bigger and less focus is paid to the game and the players involved. A lot of the aspects of the production make it accessible to non sports fans, which is good because it makes it a social event, but I feel that not enough attention is paid to the actual game now.

    -Walker Rise

  6. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with you that the spectacle and idea of the super bowl is overshadowing the game beneath. I would say that football as a sport in whole looks to be overshadowed by advertisements and “entertainment.” You can never go to a football game and just watch the game. You gotta listens through countless ads, buy food, sing songs, chant, get on the big screen, etc. The NFL has brought so much more baggage into the sport and the super bowl is just the most extreme version.

    -Jake Fallin

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