Americans’ sports fascination reveals deficiency


With Superbowl Sunday’s arrival, it is clear what channel most TV’s will be tuned to at 6 p.m. on Feb. 7.

Past Superbowls have been recorded as the most watched television events of all time, so it is safe to say that viewer turnout is unlikely to disappoint in 2016.

With names like Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars set to appear, it is also quite clear that the expenses that go along with the Superbowl are in no way small.

With tickets starting at $3000 and only soaring from there, Americans are quite invested in this championship game, for whatever reason it may be.

Even if one’s favored team did not make it into the coveted Superbowl game, it is likely he or she will still watch the game, probably even attending a large party to view the battle accompanied with friends and food.

Even more strangely, those who, like myself, are not very educated on the game of football, will for one day toss their lack of knowledge aside and watch with enthusiasm.

As nearly every American seems to at least know the famous day of Superbowl Sunday, it seems to imply a quite important American value of football fandom, and the implications of this value are somewhat curious.

Although it is easy to only consider the strangely heavy cultural obsession we have with football on days like Superbowl Sunday, the effects of the fascination are more long-term than this.

For example, the spending that both colleges and high schools employ on athletics, especially football, are exceedingly high, almost seeming to outweigh costs of education.

Student athletes receive more funding than regular students and the sport of football, in many high schools and colleges, warrants an entirely separate sport of cheerleading dedicated simply to raise morale among the players and fans.

With this type of dedication put into football by administration at high school and colleges, it can only be the case that football becomes an important value in the minds of students.

While football is certainly a fun, fast-paced, cultural bonding sport, it is also a quite dangerous one, resulting in life-threatening concussions fairly often.

Additionally, while I am the first to admit that players like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning do certainly have their appeal, there are also many players, convicted convicts even, whom I think it is safe to assume that parents would not want their children aspiring to be.

However, incredibly large numbers of people will still tune in to watch the games, despite the presence of these players.

These types of situations, with clearly quite negatively influential players, make the obsession and value put on football even more questionable, or at least seem unwarranted. It begs the question of whether we value football because of this rugged, tough, dangerousness or in spite of it.

As days like Superbowl Sunday continue to become more and more hyped up, containing more spectacular, elaborate Halftime shows and even more lavish spending on the best commercials, the cultural love for football only grows.

As I am sure most of my friends can say they have seen at least one Superbowl on TV, even gone to a viewing party for it, the chances of the same reigning true for a Political debate are quite slim.

It seems that if we were promised Beyonce performing halfway through a debate, perhaps we would have a more educated society on political issues, instead of one that knows the ins and outs of the New England Patriots “Deflate Gate.”

Although I certainly will happily eat wings and watch the game with friends, I cannot help but wonder why myself, and millions of others, so happily participate.



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