I remember to this day how I found out about the Super Bowl. I was on my first Transatlantic flight from Europe, on January 19, 1998. The guy next, to me, Sari, and I struck up a conversation and he was introducing me to American culture, as he, as an Indian immigrant, had learned it. So, he told me: “In a couple of weeks, there is a big American celebration. It’s called the Super Bowl Sunday. And they show on tv the final game of the NFL (that’s American football) game. People get together, have food, and it’s a big party. You’ll like it”. I have no clue what I did for my first Super Bowl. In fact, I have no clue what I did for the first four of them or so … After those years, I have always tried to do something: get together with friends, or strangers, go out on my own at a Sports bar and just enjoy the atmosphere and the food and just watch it, what have you.
I still don’t agree with Sari that it’s a “big American celebration”, certainly not like Fourth of July and Thanksgiving are! But it is something, I tell ya, definitely a reason to get together over snacks and cheap beer, a time where all the living rooms of America feel like a live stadium!
It’s a day where even people that have no clue about football (like yours truly) or never watch it for a minute during the year (same yours truly) become a fan of some team, for some reason. All of a sudden, things make sense to me on the field, and I know what going on. Most of anything: I know who should win! Usually, “my team” never wins!
This year, there was not get together and no going out to feel the adrenaline rush of others at the sports bars of Greensboro for me. I watched it from my couch. Alone. Well, with the cats. And when you’re alone, your mind works, and comes up with totally useless things to ponder on. I have three notes to make about The Super Bowl.
1.0 What in the world are they ever going to do when Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen all the Rolling Stones and The Who and all the other old bands of Europe and America are going to all die?!?! Who is going to play the half time show? Pray tell me? Since “the Janet” incident (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl_XXXVIII_halftime_show_controversy) I have been watching this show for new stuff and nothing. Same thing goes for the Grammys, really: if U2, Dave Matthews, Bon Jovi, can’t or won’t play anymore, we’re in trouble, people!
So, bring up all your advanced tech, 21st century special effects commercials during the Super Bowl, we’re still stuck in the 60’s at half time! I am all for variety, and I really love the 60’s, but it does say something about the current music status – if you can’t “trust” a decent music (not exhibitionistic, cheap and mediocre and nothing but noise) band to do the job. What are the kids supposed to relate to at half time? Oh, that’s right, they’re texting during that time. I forgot! *eyeroll*.
2.0 And speaking of commercials. And of America. For the life of me, I cannot understand why overall, the entire American population (regardless of sex, age, background etc) flips through commercials all year round, and tunes in by millions to watch them at the Super Bowl. They even invented tv systems where you can fast forward through them, during the year. You folks realize that the advertiser is after the same thing both times, right? Folks tell me “oh, the Super Bowl ones are good!”. Really? Maybe I have worked in marketing and I am jaded, but to me a commercial is a commercial. I see good, even outstanding, commercials during the year, too, that are clever, and deliver the message with clarity, while they are fun and creative. Take the e-trade commercials, for instance. Not sure if they premiered on a Super Bowl night, but they have played for years, and they are awesome. Same thing with CreditReport.com. In my opinion. For years, I fail to see the humor, the (extra) brains or the attraction in Super Bowl commercials at all. I did have a favorite this year, and as all the feeds in the nation proved it today, I was not the only one. It was, of course, the Doritos commercial with the little boy! But it didn’t kick it out of the ball park for me. It was just a clever (and cute) commercial. Period. And yes, I knew that was another sport!
As for the others, I never understand why year after year, we have the same sponsors, too, at The Super Bowl: Coke, Monster.com, Budweiser, and GoDaddy.com! If this is such an “American celebration”, what does this say about America?! We love sugary drinks, we’re constantly looking for jobs, we love cheap beer, and we would like our website to be hosted by a hooker! After a thorough consideration, that is not such a crooked picture after all, I guess.
3.0 The third note I had was more of a personal nature! I am thinking looking for a party on Super Bowl might not be such a good idea after all. Not that I am a snack hog or anything, but when you watch it alone, there is plenty of double dipping allowed in the salsa! Oh, yeah!
Oh, and “my team” won this year, too! That’s double pleasure, I guess.
Anyway, I am glad it’s over, so now people can close the “Holidays” chapter and start buying homes, as they say, and another American myth I am testing. It’s what I am waiting for next, anyway.
And the Super Bowl 2010 commercial that made me chuckle