Today is the fiftieth time that champions of the American Football Conference (AFC) will play their counterparts from the National Football Conference (NFC). It is a time when a huge number of Americans will sit round their TVs to watch the pre-match show, ads that cost $167,000 per second to air (yep, that’s right), see ColdPlay perform during half-time, and also watch some football.
I was briefly a fan of the game back in the UK in the 1980s when it was first aired on Channel 4 and became trendy for teenagers to beg Dolphins or Raiders shirts from any friends or family who had traveled to the US, but not so anymore.
I could whine on about how the game has become a money obsessed behemoth, obscenely dominated by advertising and revenue generation; how sportsmanship seems to have been lost; how the reliance on technology, trickery, sleight of hand, rule-bending, and non-sporting tactics have spoiled the game. I could even drone on about how society turns its collective blind-eyes to the clear use of performance enhancing drugs and the continued worshipping of women beaters, simply because they can throw or catch a ball, but there’s no real point. I have nothing particularly deep to add to the information that’s already out there. To be honest, I now find the whole NFL shebang quite a disturbing indictment on human behavior.
But, on the other hand, today is a rare day which will also make many people happy. Perhaps it will enable grudges to be forgotten by the attendees at a local Super Bowl Party; maybe it will get people together face to face to talk, cheer and tease each other for a few hours rather than pressing their fingers into their phones all day. That could be a good thing and is one aspect that should be applauded. This year is also touted as “the most giving Super Bowl ever” and the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee has committed to dedicating 25% of all money raised to be used for philanthropic causes in the San Francisco Bay Area through the “50 Fund.”
So, it is with mixed feelings as I consider the day, whilst typing at my keyboard. But whatever way I view it the hackneyed, but increasingly relevant catchphrase, “follow the money” just keeps spinning in my head…