As we trundle toward Sunday's Super Bowl game -- Super Bowl XLVIII for those keeping score at home, in Roman numerals no less -- I can tell you three things with certainty. I can no longer handle the hype and hoopla surrounding this event. Bigger is not always better. And I already miss the big game's usual heat.
Kids, you may recall, or your grandparents may have told you, that this hugely hyped game actually has rough and humble roots. In 1967 (Ancient History Alert), the established National Football League merged with the fledgling American Football League and the new league's championship was born.
For the first two years it wasn't even called the Super Bowl. Rather, unimaginatively enough, the Championship Game. Apparently the guys running the league at the time were real literal sorts and had to be restrained from calling it The Championship Game Of Football Played On A Football Field In a Stadium Somewhere. OK, I'm kidding. Granted, Pete Rozelle, the NFL Commissioner at the time, was actually in favour of calling the game...The Big One. Seriously. The Big One. A term nowadays reserved for heart attacks, natural disasters, and the ego of Kanye West.
In retrospect we should be thankful the game was christened the Super Bowl, a punny take on the Super Ball, the synthetic-rubber ball that was hugely popular back in the swinging (and apparently very bouncy) 1960s. Although I personally could do without the Roman numerals that the NFL began using in the Super Bowl's fifth year, the league's deep thinkers are convinced that the 2,000-year-old symbols that no one can decipher add a certain drama and gravitas to the entire event. All I know is that we have a clock at home adorned with Roman numerals and no one in the house has ever been on time for anything.
"What time is it, hon?"
"It's IV o'clock... whatever the hell that is."
Regardless, tickets for those early games went for as low as six dollars. Today, $600 might get you an obstructed view of a vendor's backside somewhere up in the nose-bleed section of the stadium. More mind-boggling is the fact that even with tickets priced that low, some of those games were not sold out. Oh, how things were about to change.
The tide began to turn in 1969 when quarterback Joe Namath, the epitome of cocky and cool, brashly guaranteed his New York Jets would upset the Baltimore Colts. And then Broadway Joe went out and delivered, giving the upstart AFL instant credibility and giving the Super Bowl an injection of much-needed chutzpa, cachet, and that aforementioned cool.
And every year since '69, the game grew. Which was not a bad thing -- I mean, who's averse to growth, progress and prosperity? However, in recent years, I've begun to fear that bigger and bigger may not always be better and better, and that The Big One may well have outgrown itself. To the point where nowadays the actual game has scant hope of living up to the hype and hoopla. To the point where it is in danger of being eclipsed by all this infernal flash, by extravagant commercials and bloated halftime shows.
Did you know that the pre-game for Sunday's titanic tilt between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks starts... on Saturday? Indeed, if you masochistically subject yourself to the entire pre-game preamble, by the time the kickoff eventually rolls around you'll have watched an estimated 140 hours of coverage. And you'll probably know just how many nose hairs each quarterback has. In each nostril. Lucky you.
Meanwhile, television commercials for the game have been sold for upwards of $4-million. For 30 whole seconds. Celebrities were secured to star in these ads: B-Listers for at least $250,000; A-Listers for more than a million. And all ads will assuredly be replayed on YouTube and analyzed to death, much like the game itself.
Historically the NFL has rationally refrained from awarding its annual showcase event to a city in which the climate around Super Bowl Sunday categorically sucks. Ironically, this year -- a year in which everyone north of Mexico has been Polar Vortex-ed and Ice-Stormed and Freezing Fogged (yeah that's a thing) half to death; the one year when we could have all used those therapeutic panoramic shots of palm trees swaying in the breeze under azure skies -- the Super Bowl will be contested in the frozen, snow-covered swamp of New Jersey. Did I mention how I already miss the Super Bowl's traditional heat?
Ah, but I doth protest too much. Don't get me wrong. I love football. And I love The Big One. But at the conclusion of the last few Super Bowl games I found myself contemplating all this crazy coverage overkill for a game that takes around three hours to play and has, according to assorted studies, about 11 minutes of actual action.
And, honestly, I'm already dreading the water cooler conversation come Monday. Hey, did you see the Super Bowl? Oh yeah, I loved the Doritos and Pepsi ads, and Bruno Mars was out of this world.
Ah yeah, but what about the game?
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
Madonna, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, M.I.A. and Cee Lo Green teamed up.
The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, and Slash
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Prince and the Florida A&M University Marching 100 Band
The Rolling Stones
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
Shania Twain, No Doubt, and Sting
Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly
Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, and Toni Braxton
Chaka Khan, Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Savion Glover, and Kiss
The Blues Brothers, ZZ Top, and James Brown
New Kids on the Block, Disney characters, Warren Moon, and 2,000 local children
WOW how Super Bowl Entertainment has changed!
Although this isn't the actual halftime performance, Bob Costas' introduction to Elvis Presto is not to be missed.
It's A Full House Reunion In Dannon Oikos Super Bowl Commercial
Too Much Puppy Love In Budweiser Super Bowl Ad
Laurence Fishburne Reprises Morpheus Role In Kia Super Bowl Ad
Sarah McLachlan Mock Own PSA In Super Bowl Audi Ad
Terry Crews Stars In Toyota Super Bowl Ad With The Muppets
Bob Dylan Appears In Chrysler Super Bowl Ad
GoDaddy Super Bowl Ad Is Full Of Bodybuilders
Bruce Willis And Fred Armisen Hug It Out In Honda Super Bowl Ad
Kingsley, Strong and Hiddleston Play British Villains Jaguar Ad
Michael Phelps And Apolo Ohno Featured in Subway Superbowl Ad
Sonos Super Bowl Ad
RadioShack Takes Us Back To The 80s In Superbowl Ad
Stephen Colbert 's Pistachios Commercial Is Hilarious, Features An Eagle
David Beckham Being David Beckham In H&M Superbowl Ad
Adorable Cheerios A Gets A Superbowl Sequel
M&M's Super Bowl Ad
GEICO Super Bowl Ad
Emma Stone Keeps Falling Off Things In Superbowl Spiderman Teaser
America the Beautiful Gets Multilingual Treatment In Coca-Cola Ad
Size Matters In Volkswagen's Angelic Superbowl Ad
CarMax Pays Tribute To 'Rudy' In Super Bowl Ad
Stephen Colbert Really Knows How To Sell Pistachios In Superbowl Ad
Tim Tebow Mocks Contracts In T-Mobile's Superbowl Ad
GoDaddy's 'An Epic I Quit' Superbowl Ad Features John Turturro
Bank Of America Partners With U2 For Superbowl Ad
Chevy Partners With American Cancer Society In Superbowl Ad
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Teases Post Superbowl Show
Hyundai Genesis Pays Ode to Dads In Superbowl Ad
Ellen DeGeneres Dances With Anthropomorphic Animals In Beats Superbowl Ad
Bud Light Superbowl Ad Features Don Cheadle, Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Need For Speed Superbowl Ad Features Lots Of Smashing Cars
Turbo Tax Superbowl Ad Compares The Game To Terrible Prom Night
Chevy Silverado Superbowl Ad Features Sexy Cows
Adorable Doritos Superbowl Ad Takes On Time Travel
Maserati Superbowl Commercial Features Quvenzhané Wallis
Bud Light Superbowl Ad Features An Unsuspecting Man On Hidden Camera
Ford Fusion Superbowl Commercial Features James Franco And Tiger
Ford Fusion Superbowl Commercial Features Rob Riggle
New Girl Superbowl Preview Features Prince
T-Mobile Superbowl Commercial
McDonalds Superbowl Commercial
Noah Superbowl Trailer
Volkswagen is making its return to the Super Bowl for the fifth straight year in a new advertisement entitled "Wings." Vinay Shahani, vice president of marketing at Volkswagen, explains the plot of the commercial and what message the automaker hopes to get across to the millions of viewers who will be tuning in.
Audi is releasing the full version of its 'Doberhuahua' Super Bowl ad. It will keep your attention, to say the least. Lindsey Granger explains what a 2015 Audi A3 has to do with a crazy, and kind of scary looking, dog.
Met Life Commercial Features Charlie Brown
Mountain Dew Superbowl Commercial
Johnny Galecki's pickup lines don't seem to work, in this Super Bowl ad for Hyundai.
Advertising expert Cheril Hendry shares which Super Bowl ads already have people talking.
Check out why Scarlett Johansson's super hot SodaStream commercial is banned from airing during the Super Bowl.
Don't lie: you like the commercials better than the game. Join us as we count down our picks for the top 10 Super Bowl commercials of all time.
Jaguar posted its “Rendezvous” TV spot online on Tuesday, which features Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong in the Tom Hooper-directed commercial set to air during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII.
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