It is undeniable that many Americans have a football obsession. While baseball may get the cute title of “America’s pastime,” almost twice as many Americans rank football as their favorite sport to watch. This Sunday, Feb. 5, marks a major day in American culture. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the 51st annual Super Bowl.
This year the New England Patriots will be taking on the Atlanta Falcons for the chance to be the best team in the nation. About 115 million Americans will tune in on Sunday, all with different motivations. While the majority of these views are actually fairly invested in the outcome, there are more reasons to watch the Super Bowl than just football. Many people will tune in to see what company has the funniest commercials and which companies’ commercials can bring us to tears. And with Lady Gaga singing at the halftime show, I am sure that we are all just a little hopeful to hear “Bad Romance” sung live to about 70,000 football fans.
For many Texas fans, this Super Bowl may hold less significance than others. Since neither teams are in-state, loyalties may not be as strong this year, although many have still picked a side.
“I have never actually followed either team super strongly,” said first-year Christian Cottrell. “But I do hate the Patriots, so I’ll be rooting for the Falcons for sure this round.”
Another major aspect to every Super Bowl weekend is food. Everyone knows that the main reason Super Bowl parties exist is because people feel less guilty consuming loads of junk food in groups. According to the National Chicken Council, about 1.3 billion wings are consumed during the Super Bowl, along with 11.2 million pound of potato chips, 139 million pounds of avocado and 14 billion hamburgers. For many, food may actually be a major, if not the sole reason, for being excited for the Super Bowl.
“Wings are obviously the best part of the super bowl,” said sophomore Ben Matthews. “Wings are the best part of the Super Bowl, and possibly the only reason worth going to a Super Bowl watch party.”
This Super Bowl will also be a big one for Texas. Sadly not because of our beloved Dallas Cowboys (R.I.P.), but rather because the game itself will take place at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. While for many this fact may sound exciting, plenty have expressed skepticism over how the weekend will actually go.
“I’m personally not a huge Super Bowl fan, but I can say I think it’s kinda funny that it is being held in Houston,” said junior Melissa Whiteman. “I mean Houston is kinda just not a great city. It’s really hot and muggy and already really overcrowded. I feel like this is just a bad weekend to be in Houston.”
Ignoring the fact that the Super Bowl will bring in a lot of undesirable things, such as even more traffic and around 70,000 football fanatics, about 35,000 of which will leave the stadium very, very upset, the game is highly anticipated for monetary stimulus. Overall, Super Bowl LI is expected to bring in an upwards of $500 million for the city, which would be a much welcome economic boost, as well as a little bit of fame.
Regardless of opinion, the Super Bowl is a major cultural event in America. While the different teams can lead to arguments over who is really the best, at the end of the day, nothing brings us together like the enjoyment of watching a group of huge men fight to see who will be the most successful at getting an oval ball into the end zone.