Why Is The Super Bowl Still A Thing?

I suppose that when you put up numbers like almost 112 million viewers, it’s hard to say that the Super Bowl is over as a thing. But there is a certain stink coming off this one that will be hard to ignore.

It was nearly impossible to find anyone -- among the scores of people who analyzed them -- who liked the commercials. I thought that on the whole they were sophomoric and ineffective.

For a couple of spots, I said to my wife after I’d watched, "I am not even sure who the brand was on that one." And there were far too many where you couldn't help but wonder who at what level green-lit that creative to fill that $5 million slot.

I am quite certain prices will go even higher next year, and that marketers will line up to pay them -- but unless they can come up with creative that is worthy of such a spend, it seems a waste of money and a risk that poor audience reaction will hurt brands more than help them.

The game itself was deadly dull, although it was an extraordinary performance by Von Miller and the rest of the Denver defense. It was painful to watch Manning wince around the field. You couldn’t help but be preoccupied by the notion that the 39-year-old ought to have been home with his kids rather than risking CTE. Especially when Bennet Omalu, the doctor portrayed in the film “Concussion,” says, "I think over 90% of American football players suffer from this disease."



Although this is not specific to the Super Bowl, it's kind of pathetic to see the NFL hosting football-related events for moms to try and convince them it's OK to send their kids out onto football fields. NFL execs see the numbers for youth football tumbling, and think it's these evil moms making the entirely prudent and correct decision to redirect kids to soccer or almost any other sport -- except football.

Then there was Cam. When you get paid the big bucks, it's not just for the days when you throw five TD passes and rush for two. You're also paid to react politely to softball questions after you have gotten your ass handed to you. Even before the game, he managed to step in it with his vague references to black quarterbacks. Yes he is young, yes he will learn from this -- but the last thing the League needs is another Belichick. That, and all of the spousal abuse and arrests only reinforce the conviction that the league is full of overpaid, irresponsible overgrown children.

With coverage of the Super Bowl starting in late December and unrelenting until mid-February, the whole thing has become tedious and overblown. Yet, I will tune in with the rest of you next year.

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