America loves the Super Bowl. If that’s not clear enough, check the statistics. For the past three years it has been the most watched event of each year. An estimated 111.3 million watched the New York Giants scrape a win from the New England Patriots, making it the most watched program in television history. The Super Bowl also set a social media record, clocking in 12.2 million comments on either Twitter or Facebook surrounding the tense Sunday rivalry.
For those who aren’t athletes it’s the time to experience the blood curdling release of competition: the triumph of a win and the disappointment of the defeat. For those who do already play in the wonderful world of sports, it’s the time to sit back and watch the pro’s do their work. For all fans, it’s an opportunity for emotional release.
The competition, the camaraderie, the tradition. It’s what we Americans thrive off of. Since day one those three things have been our country’s life-fuel, and it continues to be present today, even in the Super Bowl. This game has become so important to people because it embodies some of the easiest traits that we have acquired.
We love competition. Every day people are edging out their opposition in the business world, amateur sports, school, and many other facets of what we do. Americans strive to be the best, and the Super Bowl is another outlet for that competition amongst each other. Die-hard fans put their faith in the team and hope for them to come out victorious. It’s a sense of identification within them. It’s a passion or a hunger for a goal, which is something that can translate into almost any component of life.
The Super Bowl illuminates the competition between two teams. This competition isn’t restricted merely to the players in the game. More often than not, it is more prevalent in the fans.
Whether someone is sitting in the front row seats of the Lucas Oil Stadium or parked on the couch in the comfort of their own home, the spirit is the same. Enthusiasts yell at the screen or yell at a player, relentlessly curse the referees or thank the good Lord for the successful 100-yard drive. Most importantly, people around the United States tune into this game; whether or not they care about the actual competition.
This one is self-explanatory. All fans of a team are a united front. Sports bring us together, so the biggest single game in American culture is bound to have a positive effect on sticking together as well. Fans celebrate wins and losses like brothers and sisters. When you mix that kind of emotion into a game and a team, only those who are like you will understand you. Though two fans crossing paths may never be life long friends, there’s a respect amongst them that translates into companionship.
We have traditions within our families, our group of friends, our nation, and ourselves. Holidays, The World Series, Friday night taco night, and secret handshakes, these are all examples of small traditions that people have trained themselves to remember. It’s a part of our lives, which is why the Super Bowl has become so important to many people.
Baseball has been dubbed as America’s 20th century favorite pastime, and there are believers that football has or will surpass that. What’s the difference? The underlying reasons why people love these sports are the same. Whether you’re looking at a baseball diamond or a football field, it’s the friendships you find among your supporters and the competition that fuels your counterparts that brings people again and again to watch these monumental games.
Who knows, in 100 years we could be focusing our efforts on a different playing field. It’s not the sport you’re watching; it’s the feeling you get from it.
The Super Bowl, well it’s the Super Bowl. The high profile, the commercials, and amount of money that goes into it may have turned a simple game into a fancy, industrious, money-hungry machine. But not all that glitters is gold. The game is still the game. Football is gritty, sweaty, painful, and requires more hard work and talent than most of us could ever imagine. Just because we’ve branded the Super Bowl with a thousand different connotations doesn’t mean we have changed the original game: the game of football.