Putting the “Super” in Super Bowl

There are a multitude of days throughout the year when people come together to celebrate. Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, or New Years, these are times when people gather to celebrate. There is one day, however, that seems to be growing in importance every year, and it is time to analyze why.

On Super Bowl Sunday, over 112 million Americans, whether football fans or not, stop what they are doing and gather around the television for a football game. This year, the Carolina Panthers took on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7. Some of the main stories of this year’s game involved one of the rising stars of the NFL and quarterback of the Panthers, Cam Newton, taking on one of the NFL’s all-time greatest quarterbacks, Peyton Manning, in what many think was his last game before he retires. Not only is Newton the most likely player to win this year’s MVP award, but he also has one of the most outgoing personalities in the league.

Cam Newton "dabbing."

Cam Newton “dabbing.”  Photo credit: AP Photo/Mark Zaleski.

The Panthers were considered by many to be a superior team, but this misconception was soon put to rest. The Broncos came out with a field goal on their first drive, which was followed later in the first quarter by a fumble recovered for a touchdown by the Broncos’ defense. The Panthers would answer in the second quarter with a touchdown of their own by running back Jonathan Stewart, making the score 10-7 in favor of the Broncos. From here on out, the Broncos took control, with another field goal and a late touchdown, giving them a 24-10 victory. For most games, this would be a pretty typical recap, but for the Super Bowl, there are multiple layers that we have yet to tap into.

Handshake between the two quarterbacks following the game

Handshake between the two quarterbacks following the game. Photo credit: USATSI.

One of the things about the Super Bowl that people love most is the betting. For some reason, people love to bet on the Super Bowl, as shown by the $132 million dollars bet in Las Vegas this year solely on the outcome of the game. It is estimated, however, that the amount of money bet in Vegas is only about 2.5% of what is actually bet across America each year. If that estimate is correct, over $5.28 trillion is bet on Super Bowl Sunday. In addition to this gaudy number, non-football fans also have plenty of opportunities to emerge onto the betting scene. Some of the other bets in relation to Super Bowl 50 included the coin toss, the amount of times Cam Newton would dab, whether or not there would be an earthquake during the game, length of the national anthem, final song of the halftime show, and many more. When you add all of these bets up, it is scary to think about how much money is wagered on just one day. Betting, however, is not the only way that people spend money on Super Bowl Sunday. It is estimated that 1.3 billion chicken wings were consumed during Super Bowl 50, which costs so much that the winner of the PowerBall could only pay for 75%.

The next thing that everyone loves about the Super Bowl is the halftime show. Many people watch the Super Bowl only for the halftime show, as it can make or break the event. It is always a highly touted performer who plays at halftime, and this year, Coldplay was joined by Bruno Mars and Beyoncé. While it was overall deemed a successful show, the highest ranked, as far as ratings go, was Katy Perry in 2015.

Coldplay, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars performing at the halftime show

Coldplay, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars performing at the halftime show. Photo credit: CBS.

The last thing that people love about the Super Bowl are the commercials. During the Super Bowl, companies often choose to air their best commercials, whether that means they show an attempt at humor or an attempt to connect to the audience with sentimentality, which can often be more effective. One of the more notable commercials in the past few years belonged to Budweiser, in which a horse remembers its owner after being separated for a number of years. Everyone loves watching the commercials, and companies clearly recognize this, as the average cost for a thirty second commercial during the Super Bowl is $5 million. For many companies, the attempt at humor is lost on the audience, the commercial is forgotten, and this large amount of money spent is not worth it. Some of the more notable commercials from this year include “Puppy, Monkey, Baby” and “Super Bowl Babies” which have caused some discussion regarding whether they were funny or crossing the line of being just too weird.

[Read Madison Stewart’s more detailed coverage of this year’s Super Bowl commercials.]

People love to watch the Super Bowl; not necessarily because they love football, but rather because they love all the game entails. The elaborate Super Bowl parties bring huge sums of people together to view the game, the halftime show, and the commercials. Many Americans are football fans, but even if they are not, they are bound to like the music of the halftime show, the humor and sentimentality of the commercials, or the intrigue of obscure wagers. Because of this, the Super Bowl is not just a game, it is truly one of this country’s most important events.

About the author

I am a senior at Collegiate, and I play basketball and baseball. Passionate sports fan who loves cheering for the worst teams.