The five reasons I will not participate in Super Bowl Sunday


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?

12 Replies to “The five reasons I will not participate in Super Bowl Sunday”

  1. Great article, Lynne. I have thought of most of the items you have touched on. One or two were new to me, that I hadn’t given much thought to. That link to the documentary “Tricked” was really enlightening. My vote on your 5 reasons: agree, agree, agree, agree & agree! We will not watching the Super Bowl today!

  2. We don’t watch much TV because of the commercials! I don’t get football either but geez those commercials sure can ruin a good show.

  3. Full disclosure: I attended an annual Super Bowl party last night, but only watched about 10 minutes of the game … So I missed most of the ads. I do recall seeing what you’re addressing here in last year’s ads. Maybe they toned it down this year?

    1. From what I have heard, things were toned down this year, and the half-time show was better. But, I watched Downton Abbey – commercial free 😉

  4. Thanks for this thought provoking piece, Lynne. First, gotta laugh and totally understand that “downs” thing–never considered that maybe it would help to simply rename them! We skipped a party this year, but did watch the first half (plus some) with the kids (I’m sure you’ve heard by now the game itself was awful one-sided.) I thought the entertainment choices were well-done this year; Bruno Mars impressed me at half-time (he was also good on SNL) and I thought it was great that they had Renee Fleming for the national anthem. But I was actually reading my kindle and only half watching the ads. I still don’t know what to make of a Voltswagon Ad about engineers getting their wings. Why all male engineers…except a women in the elevator…was it subtly sexist?…or tongue in cheek?…not sure, but I know those ads cost a lot, and they are supposed to be selling their cars, right? Whatever. We’re a Ford family.

    1. LOL – thanks, Debbie, so glad I am not alone! Not sure if I will ever understand the downs!! I heard Bruno Mars did a great job. Maybe after all the flack from the 2013 Super Bowl the producers made some changes. Needless to say, I didn’t see the Volkswagen ad… 🙂

  5. During the half time show when Bruno Mars started to perform the song “Just The Way You Are”, I almost changed the channel because some of the lyrics to the song (full version) strike me as inappropriate to put it mildly. Fortunately he performed an abbreviated version of the song that omitted some of these lyrics during the half time show.

    1. I am glad to hear that he was a class act on stage. My daughter was texting me, saying, “I know you and dad are boycotting, but the half-time show is better than last year.” Was happy to hear that, as I felt the need to leap in front of the TV last year and not let my daughter and her friends see that nonsense. Thanks for commenting!

      1. I should point out that when I posted the first comment above in February, I had only seen the performance of the song I referred to in that comment. I had missed the first few minutes of the halftime show when I was watching the event live, so I had missed the first song by Bruno Mars.

        There are some articles online (referenced below) that criticize his first song for including inappropriate lyrics, and because of the fact that the song was preceded by a children’s choir. After recently watching the entire halftime performance online, I have to say that I think the criticism is warranted. It was definitely inappropriate to say the least.

        Ms. Cobb- Your blog post is one of the best-written I have read on the topic of concerns about the Super Bowl.



        1. Wow – thank you very much! I really appreciate you stopping by and adding the extra comment. Thank you for the links – I will be sure to check them out.

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