Sunday, January 30, 2011

SuperBowl or SuperFicial?

There once was a time when television programming sought out advertisers to compensate them for their efforts in bringing remote happenings to one’s living room. Political events, moon landings and general news items were felt to be important enough to warrant the expense of filming, production and broadcasting.

However, (in the pre CNN era) there were not that many newsworthy events to support 24x7 analysis, and television conglomerates quickly realized that they would need to “create” news. Not necessarily would it be newsworthy, but skits, comedies and other routines were created for the sole purpose of selling advertising .

This continues to our time where the bulk of television broadcasting is created for the sole purpose to sell advertising time.

Which brings us to the Super Bowl. In an ironic twist of fate, this most Super of all the Bowl games is watched by many people who have no interest in sports whatsoever. Companies vie for the honor to spend several million dollars on advertisements, and it is the ingenuity, cleverness and not wanting to miss the latest and greatest commercials that drive many to watch the contest.

Over one hundred million people watched the game last year. Yet my faith in humanity is restored as I noted that over one billion people watched the Chilean mine rescue. As we move closer and closer to the era when everyone will wear a Dick Tracy screen on their wrist, as we move closer and closer to Day of all Days, as we move closer and closer to most super event of all time, let us all pause to realize what has true meaning in life and what is merely a pastime.


  1. I remember one official claiming that the town water pressure dropped considerably during Superbowl breaks. That must have been in the olden days before marketing created the ultimate commercial time of the year. Nice post.

  2. True. It is the networks who try to create shows that attract viewers, so they can attract advertisers, so they can make money. I wonder if more people watch the game for the advertisements, or more watch for the sport.

  3. "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity."
    -- Henry Thoreau

    pastimes are mini-suicides wherein the perpetrator/victim retains some modicum of life.

    Never before in human history has there been so much שפיכת דמים. Per Rav Dessler this is why contemporary man is informed by a sense of alienation, unsettledness and rootlessness. It is the current version of golus to be mekhaper on retzeekha

  4. Bray,

    Thanks for your profound comment. Please come by more often. A blogger need not maintain a blog to be considered a blogger...


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