Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What does the Super Bowl say about culture?

Bill Gnade thinks the excesses of the Super Bowl "would have outsiders think America's sports holiday is mere permission to display our staggering emptiness":
As a sporting event, this Super Bowl, and many of its predecessors, was empty. It is as if middle America runs the NFL perfectly well until the playoffs, and then Madison Avenue takes over the party and it all becomes a gratuitous pomp-fest on a Hampton's summer evening. Unlike Jesus' miracle at Cana, where the best wine comes out last, the Super Bowl is the dessert that makes one wish for appetizers.
To what degree does the Super Bowl, as the sacramental apex of American sports culture, really reflect the emptiness of North American consumer culture?

4 Comments:

Blogger Gaddabout said...

I've covered sports professionally and grew up a zealous football fan, and yet I can barely push myself into watching the Super Bowl. I find it hard to believe people care about the vapid halftime show, and it's even harder to believe that any semi-concious person is not fully aware of (and not offended by) what a low opinion network execs and marketers have of its audience.

I don't know. Maybe I'm too proud to be pandered to like a drooling idiot for four hours.

3:26 PM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I know what you mean, Matt. You know, popular media have become very niche-driven, but the Super Bowl is still a mass-oriented event. It does say something about what Madison Avenue thinks of the masses (and with the dollars at stake, I suspect they know better than the average person what that is).

3:33 PM, February 08, 2006  
Anonymous Cyle Clayton said...

Several years ago we tried to use the Super Bowl as an evangelistic outreach. We made a big deal out of it, and at first it did well. Then we had to deal with the raunchy commercials. Finally, the last two or three years, it really has been an empty thing. It's not worth fighting and it's not worth watching.

4:14 PM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I understand your sentiments, Cyle. Thanks for your thoughts..

4:41 PM, February 08, 2006  

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