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The Northerner

Is game really Super?

Kyle Burch

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As everyone gears up for the most celebrated non-holiday of the year, Super Bowl Sunday, I have to ask, when did this game become such an event?

Our generation has never experienced anything quite like this. This single sporting event has turned into a pop-culture phenomenon.

It is expected that football fans would gather around to celebrate the championship of the sport they love. But what other sport would have the nation enthralled in a single, decisive game at its season end.

The Super Bowl is an advertising haven. No other sporting event, let alone television event, has near as much selling power as the Super Bowl. Why is this? Is the NFL just that good at marketing its product?

When the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots take the field in Houston this Sunday, it will be the 38th season that the National Football League will crown a champion.

It started in 1967 when Green Bay’s Bart Starr threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Packers over the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 35-10. It has continued into last season’s surprise victory by the Bucanneers over the Raiders.

It has grown from that single game in Los Angeles 37 years ago into the biggest media spectacle of our time.

Super Bowl Sunday is a day when even the most reclusive people tune into the event just to see what everyone is talking about. The ratings of the Super Bowl since its inception in 1967 have jumped from 22.6 percent and a 43 share, to last season’s 43.8 percent rating and a 62 share.

That means that 62 percent of the televisions in use in the country were tuned in to watch the Super Bowl. What will this year have in store?

It is one of the only days throughout the year where the nation is connected through their television sets. Why do so many people watch this game?

How many people watching the Super Bowl actually knew the name of Panthers’ quarterback Jake Delhomme before this Sunday? Also, who else knew that a guy by the name of Teddy Bruschi could very well be the key to the defense of the New England Patriots? Who knows where Foxboro, Massacusetts is anyway? Only the avid football fan.

The Super Bowl is only a big game to those who follow the NFL closely. To others it is no more than a conversation topic. “Did you see the game?” one might ask on Monday. Instead of saying, “Yeah, what about that catch.” The more appropriate response has become, “Yeah, can you believe how funny that commercial was?”

Who remembers in 1998 when Denver running back Terrell Davis ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Broncos to a 31-24 victory over Green Bay? Not too many of you? Now, who remembers the Pepsi commercial with the polar bears walking through a snow-filled Alaska town, only to stop and start performing the YMCA dance in front of a store?

This week Tom Brady could throw for four touchdowns and the Patriots could win their second championship in three years. But the more popular topic may be what new Budweiser commercial is the most humorous.

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Is game really Super?