[30 January 2009]
Like it or not, the Super Bowl has become an event of major cultural significance in America.
According to this author, it is the “the most watched event in American sports, except for the Daytona 500” (proving that there is no accounting for taste) . . . and according to this data, it is the only major sporting championship that boasts consistently increasing television ratings since 1995. According to Wiki the Super Bowl has been dubbed a “de facto . . . national holiday” in the U.S. (although, falling as it does on Sunday, don’t U.S. citizens feel somehow cheated?). Underscoring its festive nature, food features highly in Super Bowl Sunday: the United States Department of Agriculture informing us that SBS is second only to Thanksgiving as America’s biggest day of culinary consumption. And, we all are surely aware that the halftime show has become storied (though, save for the random wardrobe malfunction, deflatingly disappointing) for its showcase rock acts—from Prince to U2 to the Stones to Paul McCartney to Sting to Aerosmith to Tom Petty to this year’s offering: Bruce Springsteen. (For the record, The Boss promises to “inspire” in his 12 minute spotlight gig).
Throw in the advertisements—which may only air but once (as in the case of the Apple’s [in]famous “1984” ad) and/or seek to otherwise generate buzz for a corporation, its product or service, are always expensive, generally high concept, and slickly-produce fare—and you have multiple reasons why those interested in popular culture should be tuning into the game. (As an aside, among the multiple sites devoted to past Super Bowl ads, such as this one or this one, check out this MSNBC page from 2007, which features their all-time top ten Super Bowl ads).
Anyway, a long-winded preamble to announce that I plan to proceed as I did with another of America’s key cultural events in the recent past—the Obama/McCain Presidential debate. I will be Pop-Blogging Sunday’s Super Bowl right here at PM. That is . . . if I can get the technology to cooperate, half-way around the globe. So, here’s the invitation: In the off-chance that you, like me, like to spend time commenting on-line while you are processing the narrative streaming from another medium, why don’t you drop by. Anything that strikes your fancy germane to the show: football, fandom, commercials, commercialization, consumption, food, drink, capitalism, rock and roll, sexism, racism, globalization . . . I’m sure I am omitting about 75 other possible topics.
If you want to help be a guide, a contributor, a connoisseur, a raconteur, a ranter, facilitator, debater, appreciator—whatever—just click on the “Pop-Blogging the Super Bowl II” line that should be up on PM’s front page on Sunday (U.S. time), or click directly into my Peripatetic Postcards space. Read whatever is posted there and, if you have something to say by way of response, tap into the comment box at the bottom of the blog.
Oh . . . and be sure to hit refresh every few minutes. I’ll be adding text to the same thread throughout the course of the game.
Hope to meet up with you in about 56 hours.