"SUPER BOWL COMMENTS"
HELMET HUT NEWS/REFLECTIONS March 2013:
SUPER BOWL COMMENTS AFTER A STIRRING S.B.
By Dr. Ken
For many football fans, the Super Bowl is “just another game” and one that comes with the annoying hoopla that accompanies any major sporting event. From a less than auspicious beginning where the championship game between the rival American Football League and National Football League could not approach a sell out in the Los Angeles Coliseum to the up-to-$6000.00-per-ticket-on-Ebay offerings for the Ravens vs. Forty Niners contest that just concluded, the game and the event have changed drastically. It’s an “occasion” that encompasses the general public and has been incorporated into the culture so that it is now part of an international consciousness, even for non-fans. Super Bowl parties and gatherings and the unofficial “no work the next day” label are accepted as the new norm. For the true fans, for the students of the game, for those of us who played and view every game with the perspective and understanding that it truly is “about the game,” there is a certain level of annoyance and perhaps disgust when Super Bowl Sunday rolls around. Having had personal ties to one of the participating teams in the 1980’s, I attended a Super Bowl and did so while staying in the team hotel, having access to and sharing meals with the players, while watching one of my sons fulfill his “job responsibility” of shagging and chasing punts for the team punters, and having seats that placed me immediately behind the wife of the head coach on the forty-five yard line. In short, I have seen it up close and personal and admittedly, it is an exciting sporting spectacle that is fueled by energy and enthusiasm. However, for many, it’s not truly “about the game” as that aspect of what could be an entire week or weekend, has been overwhelmed by “all of the other things.” Of course and unfortunately, the 2013 version was no different.
For me, its always about the game and any game from high school level to the Super Bowl holds excitement, intrigue, and an opportunity to view it from the perspective of a former high school coach who enjoys tinkering with X’s and O’s. The games, the essence of the games more accurately, are the memorable part of the experience. In truth, the excitement level of the Super Bowl, even with a “good match up” between competing teams, is usually no more and no less than a game I might purposely pursue that involves two competitive local high school squads. This of course dictates that not only will I have no interest in the half time entertainment, but that I will have not a clue as to who is involved nor will I view it. I won’t know the primary game sponsors and I won’t recognize the many celebrities on hand to garner their own publicity and exposure. That the entire experience has become a series of tightly structured and controlled corporate events has kept me home, not only for this game following the 2012 pro season, but for a number of other Super Bowls for which I was offered tickets and lodging by coaches or players I have worked with or known. Certainly every fan should attend one Super Bowl game if possible, in order to have the experience but a fan of the game can extract as much enjoyment watching from the privacy of their home, especially with the high tech, large screen televisions now available. For me, any memories of Super Bowl games have come from the play of the participants and in giving consideration to “the most meaningful” or “most enjoyable,” I have to return not to the “best games” or even the ones in which a favorite team participated in but to the early versions of the games.