The Super bowl has become an American holiday. Nothing beats its television ratings, as corporations shell out millions just to produce the strangest 30 second commercial that will get the most people talking. Even if you're not a fan of football itself, the extravagance of the Halftime performance and the commercials get people invested. Also who can forget pizza, wings, and beer. The food alone is enough of a pull.
Football does have threats to its longevity though. Continued research of C.T.E, and films like Concussion provide valuable concern over whether putting players in repeated danger is a worthwhile investment. When I played in high school, I broke my neck, coming millimeters away from being paralyzed, and yet two years later I was back on the field. The love of the game didn't stop me personally, and I'm not making millions of dollars, so others aren't going to give this sport up so easily.
Football is the ultimate dream maker. It's a game of perseverance, pain, and family. The NFL has taken that passion and made a multibillion dollar machine, and the Super Bowl is its crown jewel. Winning the Super Bowl for players and fans alike is euphoria.
I've been lucky enough to watch three New York Giant Super Bowls; one loss and two heart pounding victories. I was only a child watching the Giants get decimated by the Ravens, but I fondly recall leaving the area of my screaming father, uncles, and grandpa, for the calm bedroom where my grandma chose to watch. I never understood the concept of yelling at a television, but I did feel the gutwrench.
Seven years later, the Giants faced the undefeated New England Patriots, an impossible task. For many, sports are a relief from life. At the time, the game was all I had. I had no friends and the only thing keeping me from ending my life was ironically breaking my neck the year earlier. The experience of almost being paralyzed and the out pour of family crying over the injury gave me a new perspective on life. People did care, and no matter how much mental pain I was going through, it still didn't account for the damage I would do if I was gone. So the game acted as a temporary band-aid and boy did it pay off.
The elation of David Tyree's helmet catch, the confetti, all the jubilation of victory is an important moment of relief from a painful time. Four years later when they beat the Patriots again, I saw it with friends with flags and props to boot. Football and sports provide help to some. It often gives more moments of disappointment than jubilation, however, the juggernaut of the Super Bowl reminds me of what it brings to others who need the same band-aid of glorious victory from a beloved team.