The Super Bowl: More than a game

The Super Bowl is more than just America’s most watched sporting event. Super Bowl Sunday is a landmark of American culture and has become more important than the game itself, for good reason.

100.7 million people watched Super Bowl LIII. While this number is down from recent years, it towers over all other American sports finals; the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball fluctuate between 6 and 9 million average viewers.

The Super Bowl has become more than just a game and straddles the line between public celebration and federal holiday.

This public celebration is good for America and is a strong force of positive unity in the nation. This might seem counter-intuitive, as the Super Bowl competitive by nature. Certainly, there are some fans who get heated when their team begins to lose, or when the referees make a bad call. However, most viewers don’t have a team in the game; they come together to root for whoever is playing against the Patriots, and to watch good football.

Reasons to enjoy the Super Bowl extend beyond just watching the game itself. The entire day is a celebration. Super Bowl Sunday sees events and parties unfold everywhere. People who would normally never care about football, or sports in general, get into the celebratory mood and join the festivities. Sports bars, restaurants and any other venue with a television, fill to capacity with football fans and game day initiates alike. Merging social circles and forging friendships. For just one day, the things that divide citizens are forgotten as everyone comes together to watch two teams battle for the most prestigious, American sports trophy.

The Super Bowl extends its celebration beyond those who are at a party. Everyone watching the Super Bowl can be brought into the excitement. One of the most important concerts of the year, The Super Bowl Halftime Show, gives viewers who don’t care about the game a chance to enjoy themselves.

The Halftime Show is planned months in advance and is a grand performance put on by a group of famous musical artists. Artists and groups such as Prince, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Michael Jackson have made the short list of those who have performed live in front of the largest audience America has to offer. For the viewers, it is a fantastic way to stay enthusiastic while the players get a much needed rest.

The best halftime shows have gone on to eclipse the Super Bowl itself, while the worst have stained the day with a foul taste when remembered.

The Super Bowl Halftime Show is just as important as the game itself; the music and theatrics lend a helping hand to bringing in those viewers who might not care about any other Sunday.

Normally, commercials are a chance to change the channel and see what else is on. However, commercials during the Super Bowl are a large part of why people tune in.

The Super Bowl commercials can be funny, poignant, educational or even downright abstract. They are as varied as they are unique and entrancing. The commercials can use a popular product as a vessel to spread a message of love, like Coke’s “Together is Beautiful.” They can also just be a fun and memorable way to advertise, as with most of the beer and snack commercials that are shown. The commercials couldn’t exist without the huge audience of the Super Bowl, but they have since grown to attract their own fans as well.

There are football purists who wish the Super Bowl was only about the game. Fortunately for the rest of us, Super Bowl Sunday has become a celebration inclusive of everyone. The fanfare, thrill and celebration have made the game what it is today, and thankfully, it looks like the Super Bowl is going to be an annual party for years to come.