Super Bowl XLVII brawn, brains and soul
What a game! Super Bowl XLVII delivered the thrills and spills millions of NFL fans dreamt of. And then some. At 4 hours, 14 minutes, it was the longest Super Bowl ever and packed with new records.
Battling it out for America’s other most famous cup, the confident San Francisco 49ers were beaten narrowly by the young Baltimore Ravens team in a nail-biting 34 – 31 final score at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana,. Young, because the brawny Ravens originated in 1996 while the Niners who were founded in 1946.
But there’s more to the Super Bowl that just history. American football thrives on the frenzy of the players, fans and sponsors feeding off each other. 71% of US television sets were tuned to the game, the gawking viewers grasping millions of packets of advertised crisps and consuming millions of litres of branded beer while recession-weary sponsors clamored for their attention in between the moments that players, as truth-out.org points out, give it their all in this Alzheimer’s lottery.
“This Sunday, citizens across these United States will indulge in the country’s most cherished pastime: watching large men give each other life-threatening concussions. For about twenty weeks, millions of us sit riveted as players in the NFL collide into one another at breakneck speeds, delivering bone-crushing hits that thrill and excite, and it all concludes on our favorite holiday, Super Bowl Sunday. Buckets of chicken and kegs of beer will be consumed in raucous atmospheres at homes and bars across the land, as we all watch the next generation of Alzheimer’s patients and suicide victims ride on to national glory.”
Modern-day gladiator games
CBS charged $4 million for a 30-second commercial during the XLVII championship game, the highest rate for any Super Bowl. With good reason; to air NFL games and secure the broadcasting rights to the Super Bowl they had to fork out billions. Which, in turn, eventually found its way into the pockets of the selected players – after the franchisors, the brains behind the whole operation, took their healthy cut.
As it was for the Roman gladiator games, attending a Super Bowl game is not for the faint-of-wallet. The 70 000 fortunate stadium goers paid an average of $2 500 per ticket. And they paid $6 for a packet of peanuts, $9 for a hot dog, $12 for a 20 oz. draft and $14 for nanchos. Vendors obviously cherished the 34-minute power outage during Super Bowl XLVII.
Non-withstanding possible brain damage by the players, loaded prices and only a 50% chance that your team will win, the Super Bowl delivers in buckets. Super Bowl XLVII treated fans with the longest ever Super Bowl scoring play – 108 yard kickoff return, the longest kickoff return for touchdown, most safeties, a host of other Super Bowl records, a star-featured half-time show and, of course, some memorable TV commercials, such as the soulful RAM Trucks “So God made a farmer.”