Americans and the Super Bowl

Gregory Gagliardi – Special to the Southern News

The majority of Americans will turn on their televisions Sunday night to watch the biggest football game of the year, and arguably the biggest sporting event of the year, the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl has long since been a staple of American culture. With its intense action, the Super Bowl is able to captivate all people and not just football fans.

According to, last year’s Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots brought in the largest audience to date. Numbers that totaled a massive 114.4 million viewers, and peaked to 120.8 million during the final minutes.

The 2014 Super Bowl between the Seahawks and Denver Broncos had the previous viewer record with 111.5 million. These massive numbers drive an obvious point; everyone watches the Super Bowl.  

The NFL has done a masterful job capturing the excitement of the regular season, and climaxing it into the Super Bowl for everyone to watch.  

What the NFL has done is simple. They have made their product more than just a sporting event.  They have turned it into “the event,” that is able to capture everyone’s attention. But how does the NFL capture everyone’s attention for one specific game?

Freshman Meagan McAdams, a self-proclaimed “non-football fan” points to outside elements that draw her in.  

“I watch the Super Bowl obviously for the commercials,” McAdams said.  “I think most people are more excited for the commercials than the actual football.”

McAdams may have a point about commercials being responsible for the added audience. Companies will splash out huge amounts of money just for a 30 second ad. McDonald’s and Budweiser paid 4.5 million for every 30-second ad in last year’s Super Bowl.   

The other element the NFL will use to attract viewers is food. Everyone might not like football, but everyone likes to eat.  

Freshman Clark Herring described the Super Bowl as “sort of like another Thanksgiving.”

“The Super Bowl is just another excuse for people who aren’t interested in the game to drink up and eat unhealthy,” said Ben Arne.

Eating unhealthy is basically a must according to a poll from CBS Chicken wings and pizza are the most popular food with 27 percent, followed by chips and salsa at 13 percent. Pretzels, potato chips, hamburgers and pigs-in-a-blanket make up the rest of the most popular Super Bowl snacks.

The biggest truth in the Super Bowl is its ability to give you “FOMO” or “fear of missing out.” The game creates a holiday-like atmosphere.

“The Super Bowl is pretty much an American holiday, and you know that everyone is going to be talking about it for the next month. If I don’t watch it then I’m just out of the loop,” said McAdams.  

Herring also used the phrase “out of the loop,” and called the sporting event “the next big movie that everyone will be talking about.”

Even with concerns over safety and numerous off the field issues, the NFL and football as a whole, have turned a game into a holiday. And by doing so, have given people something that brings the community together.  

Whether your favorite team is playing or not, for one day only on Feb. 7—everyone is a football fan.  

Photo Credit: Brad Gibson


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