What’s Really Disappointing About the Super Bowl

So…every first weekend of February, we Americans like to come together and sort of have a little pow wow, an unofficial holiday, if you will. That fateful Sunday, we all sit down in front of our boob tubes, cook and devour gratuitous amounts of food, most of it deleterious to prolonged longevity, and watch a sport that only we as a nation are truly passionate about. And in between brief bouts of our finest athletes waging war against themselves, we are inundated by multimillion dollar ad campaigns that tug on our comedic or sympathetic heartstrings, all vying to be remembered after the mass media maelstrom upon which they manifest. 

Enter the Super Bowl: American opulence and spectacle on steroids — another thing many of us can’t get enough of. Did I also mention we are eating and drinking ourselves closer to death, for no other reason other than we can, throughout the whole affair?

I’m actually fine with all that. I’m American after all. Rampant commercialism and capitalism in bombastic neon 100-point font is what we do best. It’s a dirty little secret that we revolted from England not so much for humanitarian ideals but because those prim and proper Redcoats got in the way of us Yanks making enough money to be debaucherous in all the ways we desired. I digress…

Anywho, this year’s festivities apparently were lacking, especially in the gladiatorial department. The Seattle Seahawks and their formidable defense made short work of the Denver Broncos’ vaunted offense, which resulted in a 43-8 rout. It made quite a few of us very cross.

Well, here is where I become cross and the tirade begins.

Has Western American society become so fat, greedy and spoiled that what originally was the diversion now bores us? Have we culturally regressed so much that a football game where one team obliterates the other is disappointing? We’re Americans; we’re supposed to love winners. Now, we even find this dull even when it’s gussied up in our favorite mass media dressings.

The football championship game, whether it is a Super Bowl or not, owes us nothing. It existed long before Coke commercials and halftime shows. It, on its own terms, was supposed to be sufficient to entertain us. Football, like every sporting event, will have its nail biters and its routs. Super Bowls are not an exception. Then why are we whining, especially now when we have the superfluous Coke commercials and halftime shows to accompany it?

I get it. Many of us aren’t lovers of football. They instead watch for the commercials. Then don’t complain about a good ole 43-8 rout in a sport you could care less about for the other 364 days of the year.

Gosh, we are insatiable. The spectacle of the Super Bowl is no longer enough to curb our ravenous appetite. It is truly disturbing that our own grandiose brand of hedonism is not exciting enough that we deem it “disappointing” when it doesn’t instantly gratify us.

Consider this: Starting in the second half, my Super Bowl devolved into people reading aloud trending Twitter topics about how disappointing the Super Bowl was. It’s hypocritical. Many weren’t even interested in the game but in everything else Super Bowl-related, and when the game became “boring,” they still had the audacity to declare they weren’t satisfied. That is what’s wrong with my Millennial generation: We can’t see or even be bothered to perceive the world beyond the LED lights of our smartphones and all their garish stimulations. 

Happy Super Bowl Monday,

Modus Pownens


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