In its nearly 40 years on the American scene, the Super Bowl has become a societal constant. And arguably there’s a place – and a need – for that in a culture that too often venerates fashionable change.
For example, each Super Bowl we can expect – with total assurance – the following:
Across America it will be treated as a de facto holiday.
The Roman-numeraled event will be seen as the quintessential VIP event – the permanent successor to heavyweight championship fights. One need only observe the actual attendees, a largely glitterati group that is, on average, clueless about what they’re watching. But not about being watched.
There will always be controversy. From microphones too close to “F-Note”-dropping players during introductions to half-time “wardrobe malfunctions” to appropriateness of commercials.
And there will be too many media covering too little “news” for too long. As a result, much copy will be aimed at the home town and what’s wrong with it. Which means if you’re not New Orleans, which is where all the free-loading, sycophantic sports scribes want to be, be prepared for incoming harpoons.
To wit: “Putting a Super Bowl in Jacksonville makes about as much sense as having the Olympics in Havana or the World’s Fair in Tikrit,” sniffed Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy. How did he miss the World Cup in Kabul?
And then there’s the “two-fer” putdown, exemplified by the comparison comments of Washington Post columnist and ESPN commentator Tony Kornheiser. “Jacksonville makes Tampa look like Paris,” observed Kornheiser, who needs to get out of the District of Columbia more often.
And so it goes.
But here’s the good news. After The Game and its interminable run-up, all the fault-finding, dyspeptic, expense account-abusing, lard-ass, carping critics do leave town.
And better yet. No city gets consecutive Super Bowls. They won’t be back for a while.