The hours of pointless pregame commentary. Certain players mouthing off on camera at regular intervals. A cheesy and sometimes controversial halftime show. Sunday night parties followed by Monday morning sickness at work. Overpriced tickets. Great commercials. Welcome to Super Bowl 48.
However, this isn’t a negative commentary. I love the Super Bowl, and, judging by the ratings, so do lots of other people around the world. It’s especially popular with men. It’s not just the Super Bowl either. Football at all levels has grown in popularity in recent years.
Why is the Super Bowl so popular? As you prepare for your party and/or the big game, here is a break from game related commentary where I share my reasons for the popularity of the Super Bowl.
First, in a country where cultural cohesion seems to be breaking down (look at politics as one prime example), the Super Bowl is an event that most people of all stripes, politically, racial, religious, and otherwise, can get excited about.
Second, football is, for better or for worse, quite American. It’s big. It’s hard hitting. It’s controversial. It’s violent. It has rough and tumble men hitting hard while beautiful women root for them.
American identity has shifted over the years, but football represents the chest beating bravado that has always played a part of American identity (love it or hate it). A lot of people love it, at least in small doses at a venue like the Super Bowl.
Finally, studies consistently show that Americans are lonely and depressed in very high numbers. The Super Bowl is one of those times when people feel it’s OK to have a good time and let loose.
While every day should be a happy one, not everyone gives himself permission to enjoy life on a regular basis. The Super Bowl is one day where parties, cheering, laughing, and spending time with friends is the expected norm. Lots of men and women take advantage of that.
So, let loose and enjoy the Super Bowl. As a Browns fan, I don’t have a dawg in the fight. But, I still love a great game of football spent with friends and family.