Super Bowl is an impressive feat of entertainment

By John Zawawi

(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS)
(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

By now the spectacle has faded and we’ve collectively moved on, but I would like to take a moment to spread my love for the frenzy of pop culture that is known as the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is American exceptionalism personified. We are cultural gluttons, which I am using as a term of endearment. We don’t just like to have one nice thing – we want all of the nice things all at the same time. We like our hamburgers in between donuts, all our superheroes in the same movie and our concerts with pyrotechnics. I love all of these things, but the Super Bowl is a different level of brilliance.

Before the game even started, Lady Gaga, one of the world’s biggest pop stars, sang the national anthem while the Blue Angels, fighter pilots for the world’s biggest military, flew overhead. The only way that could have been cooler would be if President Barack Obama parachuted out of the planes and landed on a replica of Mt. Rushmore on the 50-yardline.

Either way, this was the pre-game event, as the game itself was a showcase of the greatest athletes in the world playing a game for our amusement. When they need a break from the biggest moment in their careers, only three more preeminent recording artists in Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars come out to sing for the third largest audience in television history. As if this wasn’t enough, corporate America spends an abhorrent amount of money to try and amuse the millions of fans at home during entertaining commercial breaks.

Despite the incredible amount of entertainment squeezed into one event, I understand the annual backlash. It’s easy to forget that we’re essentially watching grown men inflict brain damage on each other, all while the host city’s taxpayers usually get the worst side of the financial bargain (Santa Clara taxpayers paid for a $12,000 dinner this year for the owners of NFL teams), and the only reason we get fun commercials is because it’s an easy way for the American consumer to get swindled into buying something.

But none of these issues are Super Bowl-specific. Any spectacle such as this event is a reminder that most of the time, our priorities are a little skewed. But irresponsible spending, consumerism and the growing public health concern of modern athletics aren’t the fault of the Super Bowl.

If anything, we need to recognize the event for what it is: entertainment. It’s okay to be entertained for a little while. We can take a night to indulge in one of our favorite escapes. At the very least, we can be thankful that it was the Super Bowl and not a natural disaster benefit concert that brought Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars together.

John Zawawi is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]