Super Bowl more about events, less about the game
Could there possibly be any more headlines “frozen” into one football game? Let’s start with the temperature. Of course, the National Football League decides to pick basically the coldest winter on record to experiment with a cold-weather Super Bowl — a winter where more people are familiar with the term “polar vortex” than with who is actually playing in the biggest football game of the year.
Which leads me to the next point: ticket prices. SeatGeek, a ticket reseller, noted that tickets for the Super Bowl would most likely be the least expensive since the 2002 game. It is believed that most of the people who travel annually to the big game are now scared off by the near-freezing temperatures. As of now, the forecast looks promising, but that will be sure to change about 30 times by the time Sunday rolls around.
There’s so much talk about security too, including everything from audio commercials on Pandora to notify authorities of suspicious activity to Gov. Chris Christie tweeting about the increase of sex trafficking during the Super Bowl. Some sources are reporting that there will be over 700 troopers in and around the complex, as well as 3,000 private security guards on site.
Tailgating? Don’t even try it. There are only 12,000 parking spots available for upwards of 80,000 fans. Oh, and you can’t leave your parking space, so have fun grilling cheeseburgers in the third row of your Mercedes SUV — which may be more enjoyable than paying top-dollar for crowded NJ Transit buses to the beautiful Meadowlands.
Speaking of the Meadowlands, let’s mention the fact that three quarters of the world doesn’t even know that the game is not being played in New York City? I can’t blame the NFL for promoting the game as the “NY/NJ Super Bowl,” but how about a couple of shout-outs for the Garden State?
I think everyone is also a little curious about what this year’s halftime extravaganza will be like. Pairing the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Bruno Mars seems more like a desperate last-ditch attempt by the NFL to appeal to a wider audience than anything else — but hey, I have been wrong once or twice before.
Lastly, these have to be everyone’s favorite: the commercials. I think it’s safe to say that more people are glued to the TV during timeouts than during the actual event. The NFL and the networks are certainly not ready to complain about this, however, with a 30-second commercial costing companies a grand total of more than $4 million this year — or more than $133,333 per second.
What’s fascinating about all of these storylines? Not one is actually about the football game itself.
Over the years, the Super Bowl has turned into a media frenzy rather than a competitive sporting event, and it’s a shame because the game is sure to be entertaining.
Louis Petrella is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies and exercise science and sports studies.