If you didn’t know it already, it is Super Bowl Sunday. One would have to live under a rock to not know this, as marketing teams have constantly reminded us of this all-American tradition as soon they finished hyping-up the after Christmas sales.
I will be honest and disclose that I never really “got” football. Even though my husband and sons played the sport. Even though my daughters cheered and pom-pommed. Even though I have leaned on my gal-pals to explain the game in chick-terms. The whole “downs” thing confuses me. As a writer, I think they need to change the term for clarification (and so it isn’t repeated more than once in the same sentence), but, that is just my editorial opinion.
Last year, I helped my youngest daughter host a Super Bowl party here at our house. We had pizza, snacks and make-your-own super bowl sundaes – cool play on words, right? Everything was going along well, until the game started. Well, not the game as much as the commercials, where I had to explain to the young ladies about marketing and sex and advertising. Then half-time came along, where I had to explain that true talent doesn’t need to be sexed-up; for this next generation to not fall into the trap of using their bodies and not their minds and talents. I was horrified that a few blocks away, my son and his pals were watching the same crap – and hoping a parent was there to be a buffer. And then more sleazy commercials aired, so many that the girls felt “awkward” watching – among themselves and me. The girls turned the game off, and watched a movie. I went into my office and wrote a blog about our adventures.
This year, I am blogging ahead of the game, but not so that I can watch the game. My post is explaining why, after all these years, I will no longer participate by watching the Super Bowl games.
Reason number one that I won’t watch the game: the commercials.
As a college student back in the day, I watched the Super Bowl to see the commercials. As a journalism, advertising and marketing student, I studied intently – looking at the psychology, color, placement, music – the whole package. Now, as a parent in the midlife phase, I watch commercials and get disgusted. It is the same old business model. The pharmaceuticals say how wonderful a drug is, then list a boatload of side effects to the point my mind shuts down. Occasionally, there will be a cutesy, clever or funny ad.
But most of the time, we have the classic bare-it-all ads. Apparently, sex sells, because it is used to sell everything from cars, chips, beer, food, clothing, shampoo, websites and anything and everything else. Last year’s Hardees/Carl’s Jr. ads were beyond seductive – they were outright pornographic – using an airbrushed model having an orgasm eating fast food. Seriously – is the food that good or was she just faking it?
I digress. Back to my rant. I find all these sexually provocative commercials boring. Done and done. Madison Avenue, put on your creative thinking caps and come up with something new, something creative, something innovative.
Reason number two that I won’t be watching the Super Bowl: the media hype.
My top will blow if I see one more recipe, one more commercial about the game, one more special interview, one more headline, one more Facebook or Twitter reminder.
Reason number three that I won’t be watching the Super Bowl: the money.
I read a blog post by financial guru Dave Ramsey. The money spent on this game, between tickets, travel, commercials and snack food is beyond obscene. Read about it here. Though I am happy the local economy hosting the game will get a boost, I shudder thinking about the little ones here in our own country who will go to bed hungry tonight.
Reason number four I won’t be watching the Super Bowl: exploiting women.
Yes, I said it. Probably not popular, either. But, with the young ladies selling themselves in the commercials – and on the streets – my mind goes to how are women supposed to be taken seriously when we still have those who confirm we are nothing more than a set of body parts. Not to mention the kids stuck in the human sex-trafficking rings here in our own country – and abroad. For an eye-opener on sex-trafficking, read this article.
Reason number five I won’t be watching the Super Bowl: values.
The values of the promoters and participants of the Super Bowl are not in line with mine. I will continue to support football on the high school and college levels – for the moment – because at the time, there is just a love of sport with the players. There is passion in the game.
I am sure I will be declared an odd-ball in this rebellion, and my not participating won’t change a thing. But for me, I will at least feel that I didn’t give my stamp of approval for what this game has become to me – a bore.
© Lynne Cobb – 2014
What are your thoughts? Have you grown bored with it as well?