This Sunday, sports fanatics and average folk across the country will spend their afternoon watching the most tuned-into TV event of the year - the Superbowl. Although it's only one professional sports game of the seemingly hundreds throughout the year, the Superbowl has become an icon of American culture, and like all other iconic sports events, a ludicrous mountain of spending. From the tickets themselves, to advertisement time, Superbowl Sunday is an outrageously expensive event - for what? What is it that has has businesses pouring $2.5 million into 30 seconds of advertisement time? And how does one reconcile these businesses spending millions of mere seconds of televisions, when this country is in an economic crisis and unemployment rates are shockingly high?
For starters, I think the primary draw of the Superbowl is the rivalry. People are never so united as they are united against a common enemy. The Superbowl brings people together, to turn against each other, and creates such passion that for many crazed fans is worth causing riots over.
Secondly, the Superbowl capitalizes on the sheer Patriotism of it all (yes that capitalization was intentional). As Americans, this day is one of the many unique to our country that we celebrate eating too much food and drinking lots of beer.
Finally, as far as the consumerism of it all, I think the Superbowl is just that- it is a consumers holiday. Although these companies spend millions to advertise and (I assume) millions are put into the production of the game itself - how much does it cost for us? The "average" American? Well, for starters, all those millions spent on advertising are usually to sell us a product that's often within the majority's budget (Bud Light, Doritos, etc.). And although some in the 1% spend thousands to see the game in person, for the rest of us all you need is access to a TV, which I'm going to assume is within the majority's budget. Therefore on the whole, its an event accessible to the 99%.
So, is it worth it? Millions spent on a football game and a whole lot of advertisements? While I do not argue that there are far superior ways to spend a billion dollars, I cannot deny that this is what the public wants. If the Superbowl wasn't so hugely popular it would not be the phenomenon that it is today.
But, alas, if the people of America want to eat nachos, drink beer, and watch the Pats win the Superbowl, than that is what they shall get.