Super Bowl XLVII – San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens – FootballFriday, February 1, 2013 0:26
The Super Bowl spectacle has grown to such inordinate heights that the football game itself is diminishing to near disinterest.
Spectacle Over Sport
The Super Bowl has been ruined for me.
I haven’t missed the Big Game since I was a very young boy living overseas in the 80s (Tanzania, East Africa–very few people had TV of any sort). Like all true fans of a sport, it has not mattered to me whether my teams were involved or not, I have always followed every playoff game leading up to and including the Super Bowl itself. Life being life and interest in football aside, I have of course missed the televising of Wildcard, Divisional, and Conference Championship games over the years, but never the Super Bowl, no matter who was playing.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, other holidays…I’ve missed those. But not the Super Bowl.
Yet this year, I am sorely tempted not to watch.
‘Tis true, I would like to see both the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens lose. Nothing personal against either team, I simply can’t stand those obnoxious, whiny Harbitch–I mean, Harbaugh–brothers. In fact, all other things being equal, I have no feelings either way about either the Niners or the Ravens. I just don’t want either John or Jim Harbaugh to notch a Super Bowl victory on his belt. Transfer either of them to another team about which I have middle-of-the-road feelings and I’d root against that team as long as the Harbaugh was coaching, too.
But that alone is not enough to dissuade me from watching the game, not by a long shot. I’ve watched countless in Super Bowls in the past where I could have cared less about either team winning a title.
The spectacle the Super Bowl has become, the over-the-top and frankly ridiculous hoopla that has nothing to do with the sport, the commercialization to the point of abstraction of the game itself…none of it has anything to do with football. I could give a rat’s ass about the stupid Super Bowl commercials and even less for the non-fans who have helped degrade the Super Bowl by only watching the game to see them.
It is all very discouraging. Where is my football?
Even during the brief time that football itself is the focus, the game often feels fake. Too flashy. Too big. Too made for TV.
The NFL has grown and marketing its showcase event into the dwindling extinction of the football game. Take the flip side in size and success among the Big Four American sports, the NHL. I think back to how exciting the Los Angeles Kings’s run to the Stanley Cup was this past year–it had everything to do with the sport itself.
Couple that dissatisfaction in spectacle over sport with the aforementioned anti-rooting interest in both San Francisco and Baltimore and suddenly the interest in the game disappears.
And that makes me sad. I love football. I used to love the Super Bowl.
So maybe I’ll watch, maybe I won’t. I don’t know yet. To be sure, I haven’t written off the Super Bowl for all time, but this year the confluence may be just right to send me packing.
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