Superbowl Sunday: Our New National Holiday?

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It’s here! Superbowl Sunday!!   The excitement has been building for weeks; can you feel it? Who will be crowned winner of the XLVII Superbowl this time? Can you stand the suspense?

While the Superbowl has been played just a little more than 47 years old, Americans work themselves up in the few days prior to the actual game. There are not many events that are surrounded by as much bustling excitement or activity, commotion, and anticipation as Superbowl Sunday.

The Superbowl used to be played on the last Sunday in January or the first Sunday in February after all the regular season games had been played.  I remember Superbowl being played soon after New Year’s Eve. I suppose the addition of all those expansion teams and the additional games scheduled has made the regular play schedule longer.

Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just a sporting event; it’s an opportunity for millions of Americans to celebrate their favorite sporting game. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a fan of a team that didn’t make it to the Superbowl. Americans still feel compelled to participate in the “holiday” type atmosphere of the Superbowl game.

There are “pools” and sideline bets being drawn up and placed that might be for the overall game score, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th quarter score, or first half score or second half score, who scores first, who will win…certainly some will make a lot of money today on those bets as well as some will lose a lot too.

Considering the millions who watch the Superbowl game as well as an unseemly large amount of money exchanging hands—multimillions in advertising revenue—as of 2012, a 30-second ad cost $3.5 million I suppose it isn’t surprising that there is so much attention given to a GAME. Many people don’t care about the game but watch it just the same to see the commercials. The Superbowl of today, is game which is one of the most SUPER sporting events ever to register on American’s radar or consciousness.

There must be very few who haven’t found themselves attending at least one Superbowl party in their lifetime.

To actually be at the game is the dream of thousands of Americans; maybe even millions. But it is limited seating after all given that it’s played in a stadium. Ticket prices for the Superbowl game are cost prohibitive to many.   If one would be able to have the time to attend the game, out of town, they would have to come up with travel expenses, food, hotel, travel, etc.  Tickets to the game in 1970 cost $15.00, today a ticket starts at about $1200.

The Super Bowl is the most watched American TV show. Today’s game will be broadcast to 185 countries around the world in 35 different languages.

That’s where the Superbowl Sunday Game day party comes into play for the millions of Americans that are not the lucky few to actually attend the game, like me!

There are parties that occur on a tailgate outside the arena where the game is played, with hot dogs and hamburgers, or a Superbowl bar party with beer and pretzels, or a full-fledged soiree with a house full of friends and acquaintances that mill around in the home, the kitchen, inside, outside and all eventually find themselves sitting, standing in front of that new big-screen TV just purchased a few days ago to watch THE GAME of the year.

My dad was a sport nut; he watched everything from baseball to football, basketball, soccer, even golf. If he happened to be driving and saw a high school team playing football he’d pull over and watch them play. He simply couldn’t get enough! I grew up watching football and baseball with him.  The other sports were too boring for me. I remember the anticipation of the Superbowl somewhat when I was a kid but it did not compare to today’s frenzy.

My mother didn’t do a Superbowl party; none of my relatives did either.  Perhaps when I was a kid these huge parties hadn’t occurred to anyone then.

Now? Its madness! Local restaurants, bars grocery stores, appliance stores, etc., all have banners are flying, sales on merchandise, specially packaged goods all advertising the Superbowl. One must be living in a cave or under a rock to not know the Superbowl is coming!

It’s possible that the Superbowl game has surpassed all holidays known to man. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, St. Patrick’s Day, even Independence Day or Veteran’s Day, Easter, President’s day, etc., don’t garner much attention. Those are important holidays to be sure BUT there just seems to be less build up for those days then for the Superbowl.

Superbowl Sunday is solely a United States celebration. It isn’t an official holiday though it probably should be considering the event is treated as one. Just like in the old days when the old king was dethroned and a new king crowned at the start of the New Year, the Super Bowl determines who wears the crown in football after a long season of regular play or one can look at these games as “elimination games”. Lose too many of them you’re not going to the Superbowl this year! That is the target for each team after all. This year we saw many coaches, head coaches and general managers simply fired the day after their last game. Why? Because they did not lead their team to the Superbowl! There can only be one winner though.

Everyone wins at the Super Bowl. This year’s Super Bowl XLVI (46 – 2012), of the winning team each receive $88,000 EACH. But, the losing team also gets paid as well, receiving $44,000.

This is of course in addition to their millions of dollars in salary for playing a game!  A GAME!  Sure its a game that millions watch but seriously…the pay scales of these athletes are ridiculous! 598765_10151370460982870_469785306_n

Of course they get a super shiny gold ring if they win, along with the coveted Vince Lombardi trophyPackers Driver Football

The Superbowl game transcends everything….race, religion, politics, rich or poor…it simply doesn’t matter during the Superbowl game. EVERYONE tables those daily issues for the sake of the Superbowl game.

I admit that I acknowledge the Superbowl and watch it every year. I do anticipate the game day…admittedly not with as much excitement if my  team isn’t playing.  This year they aren’t.  But they did last year! And they will next year! Lol

Since my kids were born I always prepared a huge amount of food, mostly foods that are appetizer type of food or goodies that can be eaten with your fingers. Thinking about the menu of the day today it occurs to me that I cook and/or prepare food for Superbowl Sunday that equals the amount of dishes I prepare for Thanksgiving! I wonder if this whole Superbowl thing has gotten out of control.

Generally it’s important to plan food that can fit on one plate that is sturdy. Why is that? Because people drink at Superbowl parties! They have a drink, soda, beer, cocktail, or wine in one hand and have to hold the plate with just one hand. Remember the house is full of people usually not enough seating so you have to practice holding a plate in one hand, eating and holding your drink in another. Unless you just sit on the floor. I have sat on the floor for more Superbowl games than I can remember! But its ok, its part of the festive-like atmosphere.

Before the game, men generally linger around the TV while the women linger in the kitchen. Every Superbowl game party I have been to in my life that is not in my home are always loud! Some people have had the game on every TV set in the home, you can go to any room you want to watch it. Sometimes there’s just the one big screen TV that sits in the middle of the room. Whether it is one or five TV’s the volume is set to eardrum splitting levels, people try to talk over the TV and if you have kids around they like to compete for attention by screeching at their parent for some more juice ,candy, food, Jimmy took my toy, Suzy is looking at me!!!…. whatever.

I was invited to a couple of Superbowl parties at different people’s homes but I envisioned the above paragraph playing out in real life, the police are out in full force looking for drunken revelers and the homes are literally on the other side of town; needless to say I opted out.

I am sure that for some “football widows” the game probably seems like it goes on forever! Children probably think the game has been playing for days…not everyone enjoys the chaos of Superbowl Sunday.  But, it actually all began on January 15, 1967 in the Los Angeles Coliseum with the Green Bay Packers beating the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. I was living in Los Angeles at the time but don’t have much recollection of huge anticipation or celebration of the Superbowl. Certainly nothing compares to the way it is today. Maybe because it wasn’t broadcasted on TV until 1976 for Super Bowl X. and there wasn’t really any pre-game show for a few years after that.

By the time the game starts, the average fan has been partying for hours, chatting with friends about the upcoming game, downing lots of snacks, and watching the extensive Superbowl pre-game shows on TV.

Today the pre-game shows began at 7:00 a.m. I don’t ever remember Superbowl game day starting that early. But maybe it always has and I was attending church or just didn’t turn on the TV until an hour before the game was scheduled to start. Or maybe the hoopla is so great that the network just wants to start as early as possible.

The game is being played in New Orleans so we were offered many interviews and stories from people who lived there during the Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans has rebuilt since then…somewhat…but not entirely. Though that the Superbowl is being played there this year is testimony to how far that state has come since the destruction of Katrina in 2005.

Any other Sunday throughout the year is not nearly as popular as Superbowl Sunday. In fact, the genteel character of most Sundays goes out the window as fans arrive at their favorite bars, or to the “game day hosting” private home, or just staying at home. Even the church leaders mention the Superbowl during their sermons. Norman Vincent Peale is quoted as saying, “If Jesus were alive today, He would be at the Super Bowl.”   Even some of the US Presidents get involved in the game, recommending plays beforehand, and sending congratulations to the winning team by telephone.  We saw Obama earlier talking about…..I don’t know because I didn’t listen…but he was on the screen for a while.

I read somewhere that even criminals take Super Bowl Sunday off.   Apparently, back in 1985, when the San Francisco 49ers played the Super Bowl in Palo Alto, CA, the crime rate in San Francisco dropped 75%. The 49ers are playing again today so I guess there will be a dip in the crime rate again today!

Superbowl is on everyone’s minds today.

Also what everyone is wondering…well many anyway….who will sing the “Star Spangled Banner”?  It is important!  This national anthem and everyone watching the Superbowl game will have an opinion, good/bad/indifferent about the person who sang the anthem and their performance. Sometimes that is one topic that is discussed for days after the game is over.

Every Super Bowl has had the national anthem performed at it, except Super Bowl XI, when “America The Beautiful” was sung by Vicki Carr. The person(s) who performs the national anthem will create a reputation, good or bad. Whitney Houston’s version in 1991 at Super Bowl XXV is considered the best (or one of the best) ever done. However, a few days after her performance it was said that she lip-synched. Apparently her mic was dead and so they broadcast a prerecorded version. This still didn’t diminish her version heard by millions. All performers are required to have a back-up take since 1993. (Before that no tape was required.) The reason is due to Garth Brooks having a fight with NBC prior to the game and walking out. They almost got Jon Bon Jovi to perform (who was in the audience.) But then NBC agreed to air “We Shall Be Free” video by Garth Brooks during the game and so he came back and performed.   Information by Ocean Media, Inc.

As of this writing, the game hasn’t started so there are just rumors and speculation about who the singer will be this year.

But there’s less than 30 minutes to kick off so I have to post this and go grab a cold beer!

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One thought on “Superbowl Sunday: Our New National Holiday?

  1. I appreciate it for writing “Superbowl Sunday: Our
    New National Holiday? Rose Chimera”. I actuallywill certainly wind up being back
    for more reading through and writing comments shortly.
    Many thanks, Gloria

    Like

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