The Super Bowl is the most watched game of the year. Super Bowl Sunday holds more meaning to some people than Easter Sunday. It’s a celebration, a chance to show off American sporting excess, a perfect excuse for a party, and something just about everyone is at least aware of. It’s the home of astronomical ad prices, lukewarm halftime performances, and the originator of the all-day pregame show. I could go on and on here, so it’s a wonder to me with all of this out there to choose from why people insist on making it out to be something it is not.
The Super isn’t the biggest or best game of the year. There is a distinction to be made there between most-watched and biggest. When I say it is the biggest I mean it has the most eyes on it, and it is the culmination. There is a difference though between a culmination and a pinnacle. The peak of the football season probably came a few weeks back when there was a full weekend of games. This is all or nothing. Too many fan bases have no attachment to what happens Sunday. It’s a showcase, but in 30/32 NFL cities the actual outcome doesn’t really matter.
The Super Bowl isn’t a feather in the host city’s hat. There was some press from the mayor of Arlington who is upset his city isn’t getting any recognition. The new Cowboys Stadium is in Arlington, not Dallas. What he doesn’t know is that no one else cares where the game technically is being held. In my experience the only time you hear about the host city is when it is being ripped by spoiled reporters who want to complain about their expensed trip. I couldn’t find a cab! The horror. You want to go to Miami because it is Miami, not because it hosts the occasional Super Bowl. No one is going to be sitting around planning a vacation this summer and say, “Let’s go to Arlington.” Only to have someone cut them off with, “No, let’s go to Dallas. That’s where the Super Bowl was.”. Enjoy the week of sold out hotels and move on.
The Super Bowl cannot redeem a city. Not this year, and probably not ever. I mentioned it in the comments yesterday, but Rick Reilly wrote a horrendous piece for ESPN yesterday detailing why Green Bay needs this Super Bowl. The reasoning was an insult to the word asinine. I suppose there are towns that could use something good happening and maybe there have been cases of a team uniting a city, but Green Bay is about as far from that as I can imagine. If there is one fan base and city that will go on win or lose, it has to be Green Bay. And to think that Green Bay has it harder than Pittsburgh right now, or any other city, or that their fans somehow need it more is just a slap in the face of every casual fan out there. A Super Bowl win leads to a parade, not to eradicating unemployment. Let’s not be idiotic.
Finally, the Super Bowl will not offer redemption for Ben Roethlisberger. Win or lose. A sporting event cannot clean a slate, it just gives people something else to talk about. Something much more comfortable and familiar to talk about. Anyone who has forgiven Big Ben for his transgressions, or never cared in the first place has already made that decision. The people that think he’s a complete dirt bag and will become maybe the most overrated QB of all-time if he wins this game (waving hands wildly), have also made up their minds. Roethlisberger isn’t overcoming adversity, or showing anyone how to live after making a mistake, he’s just out there playing quarterback. Let’s not get too excited if he goes 8 months without being involved in a police investigation.
So, that’s my rant about people putting too much emphasis on the Super Bowl. The time should be spent breaking down more important things like beer and menu selections.