15 Reasons Why the Super Bowl Stinks
Super Bowl XLV and the overhyped halftime show
In the football novel 'Semi-Tough', author Dan Jenkins calls the Super Bowl 'The Big Extravaganza.' 'Semi-Tough' was published in 1972 when the Super Bowl was only six years old.
Jenkins knew then where the game was headed. It has become so much of an extravaganza that it is easy to come up with 15 reasons why the Super Bowl stinks.
The NFL wants everyone to genuflect at the shield's alter on Super Sunday. They want corporate America, fans and the media to say how great Super Bowl week is. Well, it isn't. Super Bowl week is annoying and Super Sunday may be the worst day on the football calendar next to the draft.
How can any red blooded American who calls themselves a football fan say that Super Bowl week stinks and find reasons why?
This is an easy question to answer. A football fan doesn’t need parties, press conferences, over hyped commercials and a halftime concert to enjoy the Super Bowl, because the game can stand on its own. It is for the world's championship of professional football. What more could a fan want?
In all honesty, this started out as 10 reasons why the Super Bowl stinks, but quickly went to 15. This should tell you something about how bad things have gotten. However, we are sheep led to believe that nothing is greater than our NFL championship event. It is considered to be an unofficial holiday that is shared by millions and brings great joy to everyone but the fans of the losing team. If 100 million viewers watch, than the NFL must be doing something right.
Well P.T. Barnum used to pack them in too. The only difference was that he admitted his show was a circus.
The NFL championship has become a circus as well.
And here are 15 reasons why the Super Bowl stinks.
15. The elite quarterback debate
The reason this stinks is because it comes up every year for no reason. Everyone has an opinion on who is a so called elite quarterback. Who cares? The only job that a quarterback has is to lead his team to the Super Bowl and win it. Once he has done this, then world champion has to be placed in his biography forever and that's all that matters.
14. Four hour games
No game should take four hours to play, but the Super Bowl is fast approaching that mark. With extended commercial breaks, a half hour halftime show and instant replay reviews how can a team find its rhythm and play its best? And how can fans in attendance or at home enjoy it?
13. The National Anthem
The Anthem itself is fine. If it were up to me, we would still see and hear it before every televised sporting event. It's the production that stinks. Do we really need a celebrity to sing it? I would feel like the NFL was more sincere if they brought out the Glee Club from Public School Number 7 to sing. Nike has the slogan, 'Just Do It'. When it comes to the National Anthem, the NFL needs to 'Do it Just.'
12. The casual fan
Sure the game belongs to everyone. However, there is nothing like the fan that hasn't followed football all season showing up and acting like they care. Even worse is when they root for one team or the other and act like it's their team. Stop it. Watch the game. Cheer. Ask questions if you don't know what's going on, but don't pretend that you have a vested interest other than the office pool.
11. 'We're Number 1!'
As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I have had the privilege of seeing them win six Super Bowls. Not once have I said 'We're number 1!' after any of them. Until they send me a check with my name on it or a Super Bowl ring, I never will. Last time I checked my bank account and fingers, I had neither. The same fans who chant 'We're number 1!' are the ones the owners sucker into thinking the team is theirs. Then they put all of the team's belongings in Mayflower vans and leave under the cover of darkness.
10. The team introductions
It used to be cool when teams were first introduced as a group. Then the TV networks decided that we still needed to know who the players are and put together a video introduction shown at the stadium and over the air. After we hear who they are (like we didn't already know) then we get more fireworks and smoke than the Fourth of July. Maybe it's time to go back to introducing the players individually and doing away with the fireworks show.
Where have all of the great teams gone?
For the fifth time in six years, the Super Bowl will have at least one team with only 10 wins participating, with three of the previous four winning. Last season, the New York Giants won it all after winning nine regular season games. There has not been a great NFL team since the 2004 New England Patriots. What good is crowning a champion if you can't compare them to legendary teams of the past?
8. Media Day
The biggest waste of time in the world is media day. It is an all day creation of the league where star players get their own podium to speak and everyone waits for someone to give them a juicy quote. Even media outlets that don't cover football attend. Here is the truth. No news is good news during Super Bowl week. Let the game speak for itself.
7. Brand NFL
Media day leads us to number seven. Super Bowl week and Super Sunday is nothing more than a promotion of brand NFL. The Commissioner does a 'State of the League' address for crying out loud. There are media events and parties from Monday through Sunday. All to promote the NFL shield. Didn't the Romans actually work from Monday to Saturday before they went to the Coliseum on Sunday?
6. The neutral sight
The neutral sight just drains the life out of the game, because corporate America gets so many of the seats. The Super Bowl should be like a college football rivalry game. It should be like Texas-Oklahoma where each team gets their side of the 50 yard line. With the stadium split down the middle, there would be more tickets for the participants, everyone could see who is rooting for whom and the fans would have a great time.
5. The pre game show
The pre game show used to be a half hour. Then it went to an hour. Then it became two hours. Now it is a six hour affair full of absolutely nothing. The NFL Network does 24 hours. Why? Everything has already been talked about by Saturday night. Most true football fans just want to get on with the game. The best thing about the pre game show is when it ends.
4. The excitement over commercials
The blowouts of the 1980's and early 90's caused this. The NFC was beating the AFC so bad annually that something had to be done in order to keep the Super Bowl party crowd in front of the TV. Now, the commercials are hyped as much as the game and last longer causing four hour games. There is even a 'best of' Super Bowl commercials show aired a few days after the game. What's the big deal? If you want a laugh, turn to Comedy Central during the breaks.
3. Super Bowl parties
Okay, I get it. The Super Bowl is a happening and everyone wants to be involved. Americans will look for any reason to party. However, the Super Bowl is for watching. There are 19 weeks during the season when people can get together and party. The Super Bowl is about finding out who the champion of the world is going to be, not about chips and dip. And it shouldn't be a national holiday. Take Monday off like some of us began to do as far back as Super Bowl XXV.
2. The halftime show
This is the one thing that has gotten out of hand. Like commercials, it was the blowout games of yesteryear which caused such an emphasis to be put on halftime shows. The NFL feels it needs to keep fans interested if the game turns into a one-sided affair. Well if they were true fans and understood the game, then they wouldn’t need a halftime show to keep them interested. If people want to see a concert, then let them turn to MTV. The Super Bowl should be about football. The only thing the halftime show is good for is a nice 20 minute nap before the second half begins.
1. The game is secondary to the event
Everything previously mentioned leads up to number one. The game has become secondary to the event.
People used to tune in for the game, now they watch for everything surrounding it. Pre game hoopla, commercials, halftime shows, celebrity sightings. When it is all said and done, no one remembers anything about the game. One can go out on the street and find that most of the people who watched the Super Bowl last season have no idea who won.
The bottom line is that the Super Bowl is about the performances of the men who play in it, the crowning of a world's champion of professional football and the joy it brings to their organization, city and fans. That's it. Nothing else matters.
Until people figure this out, the Super Bowl will always stink.