The Superbowl is the one time of the year that American Football – or perhaps any American sport for that matter – garners as much of a cultural importance as international football does. So important, in fact, that I can get away with talking about sports on this blog which focuses on nerdy content.
And the Superbowl arguably has something for everyone. There is of course, y’know, the game, but there’s also the halftime show, which always provides for some memorable performances. Some are remembered for how great they are (U2), some are remembered for how odd they are (Katy Perry and Left Shark), some are remembered for what happens during them (Janet Jackson, which I can’t provide a link to). During the commercial breaks, there are humorous, bizarre, and sometimes inflammatory advertisements. (I’ll probably have more to say about that in the coming days.) And of course, it’s an excellent platform to debut a trailer for Hollywood’s upcoming summer blockbusters. These commercials often are a story of their own.
But at the heart of it, this is really about the game. This year’s matchup is youth versus experience; Peyton Manning leading the Denver Broncos, and Cam Newton with the Carolina Panthers. Manning and the Broncos have both been to and won a Superbowl (separately), but after the poor showing they had in Superbowl XLVIII (48) this seems to be the organization’s chance for redemption. Many speculate that this is Manning’s last season, so the pressure to win is on. Then there’s Cam Newton; the new guy. Coming off his fourth NFL season, this will be his franchise’s first time in the Superbowl since 2003. Newton himself has had an excellent season, being the first player to throw for more than 30 touchdowns and rush for 10 touchdowns. He did so well that he encountered some weirdly-placed racism. (Allegedly.)
These two quarterbacks, one at his career’s end, one at his career’s beginning. The stage is set for some drama. And there’s always some memorable drama in the game. Last year: Russel Wilson’s red zone interception that lost the game; Joe Montana’s game winning TD pass in Superbowl XXIII; Joe Namath predicting he would win Superbowl III; David Tyree’s helmet catch.
Football is climactic. Each game means so much. There are no dull moments. The Superbowl is the largest stage in American sports. This Sunday, I don’t doubt we’ll see an amazing story unfold.