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The Super Bowl is everything that’s wrong with the USA, wrapped up into a four hour package.
I like my country. I really do. I’m grateful to live here. I’m not going to say I love it or even that I’m proud to be an American, as pride assumes that you actually accomplished or earned something. I didn’t earn the privilege of being American; I just happened to be born here. But I digress from the point of this post. What I’m trying to say is that the USA has both good and bad things about it, just like all countries. But all the bad things seem to all culminate once a year in one ridiculous celebration called the “Super Bowl.” Let’s list out just a few.
- American football. I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on this, but if you’re subscribed to my channel on YouTube, you have probably seen my video on why I hate this sport. I generally dislike all spectator sports, but football is the worst. Again, I’m not going to go into every detail of why, but one of the main reasons is…
- Glorification of violence and competition. I lumped violence and competition into one category here for the sake of brevity. I know they aren’t always synonymous with each other (although Alfie Kohn* might disagree with me), but I think that they do go hand in hand more often than they should. Violence is almost always the result of a competitive situation. Football is one of the most violent sports in this country, next to boxing. Worst of all, the team that wins the Super Bowl by winning this barbaric competition are for some reason seen as heroes, even though they saved no one and contributed practically nothing to our society. Which brings me to my next point.
- Celebrity worship. What do OJ Simpson, Justin Bieber, Ray Lewis, George W. Bush, and Lindsay Lohan have in common? They all got away with crimes because they’re rich and famous. Their socioeconomic status somehow makes them “above the law.” That’s America for you. A famous football player can get away with murder with virtually no consequences, but a peaceful American citizen can be thrown into jail for years for smoking marijuana. But my point isn’t about the American justice system. Not only can these people get away with crimes, but the sheeple of our country continue to idolize these people and see them as role models even after their crimes are exposed. And it’s not just athletes either, which is why I mentioned Lohan, Bush, and Bieber. The Super Bowl is an entire festival of celebrity worship. Worship of the quarterbacks of the teams, worship of the coaches, and worship of the performers at the halftime show. Which brings me to point #4.
- The halftime show. I like music. Actually, let me rephrase that. I LOVE music. Music of practically every genre. I love singing, dancing, and just about everything to do with music. So naturally, you would think I would at least enjoy the halftime show, right? Not so fast. This ties back into point #3. They always bring in some huge celebrity, and the said celebrity almost always exploits the fact that they can get away with everything. I can just imagine what the musician thinks when they get invited to perform at the Super Bowl. Yes, I can finally exploit my social power and do something stupid on stage to get even more mindless American sheep to give me attention and talk about me all year! In 2004 (I believe that was XXXVIII?), Justin Timberlake ripped off Janet Jackson’s shirt. Last year (XLVII? Why are we even using Roman numerals anyway?), Miley Cyrus “twerked” on Robin Thicke and started a huge controversy. Worst of all, we give these celebrities just what they were seeking: Attention. They don’t care if it’s positive or negative, as long as they get it. If the Super Bowl halftime show was actually about music, maybe I’d like it, but it’s far from it. It’s a chance for celebrities to get the attention they seek, and worst of all, we blindly hand it over to them without thinking twice.
- B-B-But…I don’t even watch the actual Super Bowl. I just like the commercials! Seriously? I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t mind advertisement, unlike many people. I think advertising is a great way to provide free goods and services in a capitalist economy. I am far from anti-advertising, but if you actually watch the entire Super Bowl solely for the commercials, then you’re an idiot. First of all, those commercials will be played later. Second of all, have you ever heard of YouTube? All you have to do is type “Super Bowl Commercials 2014” in the search box, and you can watch them at your own leisure, and best of all, you don’t have to be interrupted by a football game every five minutes. And lastly, they really aren’t that great. Sure, they’re better than your ordinary commercials that you see on a typical day, but they’re not worth the millions of dollars that they spend just to air a single 30 second commercial. Most of them are just sappy, cheesy, emotional appeals. I actually ran across a Super Bowl commercial that a Facebook friend posted yesterday (apparently they’re airing the commercials BEFORE the actual Super Bowl now, which is odd, yet it gives me just another reason not to watch the actual Super Bowl), and he seems to share the same sentiment. Check out this screenshot of our conversation. My friend is the original poster, and I am the commenter.
- The Super Bowl parties themselves are a celebration of America’s favorite pastime: extreme gluttony. The next most used excuse I hear for non-football fans like myself watching the Super Bowl is that they’re just going for the party itself, not the actual game. And other than the game, what are these parties about? Overconsumption of beer, nachos, and chicken wings. And what’s more American than drunk, fat people? Those are two of our country’s biggest vices. Overeating and getting wasted. That’s one of the reasons so many countries hate us. Our obesity rate is out of control, and alcohol is seen as a substance to binge on rather than to simply enjoy. I’ve heard many people defend spectator sports by saying that they’re healthy and encourage people to exercise, but in all honesty, the only people exercising are the millionaire athletes. The Super Bowl does not encourage people to exercise. It encourages them to sit on their fat butts while guzzling beer and stuffing their face with deep fried fat battered in fat topped with fat.
- Some church services are actually canceled. I don’t want to impose my faith onto any of my non-Christian readers, but as a Christian, I can’t help but see how ludicrous and downright satanic this is. I hate to sound judge-y, but if you’re a Christian and prioritize watching grown men battle over a piece of pigskin over worshiping God, I think you seriously need to reconsider your priorities. Prioritizing this ridiculous celebration (or anything for that matter) over God is a violation of the first of the Ten Commandments. Again, I really hope nobody feels judged here, as that’s just as sinful, but I’m calling out the act, not any individual people. It absolutely sickens me that some people would choose the Super Bowl over church and that there actually are churches that would bend to the will of man over the will of God.
- The Super Bowl is ultimately just about greed and consumerism. That’s all it is when you think about it. That’s America’s other vice. Gluttony and greed. Two of the seven deadly sins. I’m not saying greed is exclusively American, but we certainly are the most consumerist country in the world. Don’t believe me? Do the research. I can’t give you the exact statistics, but the ratio of consumption over production here is insane. All the greedy celebrities, athletes, coaches, and corporations exploit our brainwashed, consumerist minds by making sappy commercials about soldiers, selling literally tons of artery-clogging food and liver-eroding beer. And what do the viewers and partiers gain from this disgusting American celebration?
I rest my case. You may think I’m being too harsh or cynical. I probably am, but I’d rather be harsh and cynical than be a mindless, crowd-following sheep.
I’d like to close with the elegant words of Mr. Andy Milonakis.
*If you saw my asterisk up in Point #1 and made it down to the bottom, congratulations! Click here for a bonus video from Alfie Kohn, the man I referenced in my point about competition. If you’d like more details about his philosophy on the problems with competition, at least watch some of his video. It’s long, but worth it.
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