Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spectacle Or Sport? Super Bowl XLVI

By Madison Pollard
Youth Journalism International
LONDON -- I will be the first to admit that I have only seen one previous Super Bowl, and that was XLV. As a Steelers fan in London, I stayed up faithfully until 4 a.m. with my sister, a Packers fan, only to have my hopes dashed.
So, this year, we have decided to make it a tradition. I’m rooting for the Giants while Caroline roots for the Patriots.
But why? To be honest, we only partly watch it all for the sport.
Don’t get me wrong, I love American football, but that isn’t the reason I stay up until the early hours of the morning when I have to face school.
For us, the Super Bowl is an amazing representation of America. Everything is big, over-the-top and showy. The Super Bowl is a spectacle of patriotism, with most of America tuning in to watch. It’s a chance to hang out with friends, party, and perhaps even watch the football.
While I’m not a particular sports fan, I do love to watch the teams, with dedication, at the end of a long season, giving it their all in the hopes of winning.
Admittedly, for me, there is a secondary reason for watching: I want to go into advertising, and the Super Bowl is the perfect opportunity to see what the world’s biggest brands are doing. A 30-second advertisement during the Super Bowl costs an average of $3.5 million.
So is the Super Bowl truly a sports event?
I believe it is.
Yes, there is the spectacle, with celebrities singing the National Anthem and the half-time performances of people such as Madonna and U2.
But it all boils down to the fact that there are two teams that have worked unbelievably hard to get to where they are.
So, yes, we could focus on the great expense that goes into the Super Bowl. Each player and staff member of the winning team – 150 people in total - receives a diamond-encrusted ring, estimated to be worth $5,000. You could focus on the materialism and the showy displays.
But, you could, and this is just a suggestion, focus instead on the amazing sport that takes place. Just an idea.

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