It is the time of year again where everyone decides between one of two ways to celebrate the Super Bowl: partying or actually watching the game.
Based solely on viewer numbers, the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in America. Every year the game comes around, it is impossible to ignore. It is like someone is screaming and shooting off fireworks 10 feet in front of your house.
To many, it is more than just another sporting event. The Super Bowl is a nationwide cultural celebration of everything pop culture that only has the shell of a football game.
Nick Gutzmer, a senior biomedical science major, says enjoying the game every year with friends is a big part of the celebration. For him, everything about this time of year is worth excitement.
“I usually get everyone I can together, whether they are fans of my favorite team or not, and just enjoy watching the game,” Gutzmer said. “We always watch the commercials and halftime performance, which is something I rarely do for a regular game.”
This year, he’ll be taking a step back from gathering everyone he knows for a party, and instead will be only watching game 52 with just his roommates and a couple of close friends. His favorite team is the Green Bay Packers, and though they didn’t make it this year, Gutzmer says he will always watch the game no matter what.
Watching the Packers make their way to earning national recognition has been a family tradition since Gutzmer was young, and he has fond memories of watching games with his dad.
“If the Packers are in the Super Bowl, then I am focusing all of my attention on the game because I have been a life-long fan, and I can't wait until the day I get to see them win another one.” Gutzmer said. “I still remember watching their last one in 2011 with my dad. It was an awesome moment.”
Gutzmer’s roommate, Dimitric Edwards, a senior education major, said the NFL is not just a sporting event, it is a lifestyle. He does whatever it takes to make sure he is always informed, and keeping up with the latest news in the sports world.
“Unless my team, the Colts, is in the Super Bowl, I don’t wear any of my NFL gear,” Edwards said. “I also don’t do any homework or school related thing as I am just focused on the game. For a regular season game, I try to follow Twitter, so I can get some insight on the game that I wouldn’t notice on my own. For the Super Bowl, I put that stuff away and just sit and enjoy what’s going on without trying to dive deeper in the X’s and O’s.”
Additionally, he says everything about the game makes it one of his favorite times of the year. From the friends and family to the halftime shows, Edwards lives for the game week atmosphere. Edwards even has one tradition where if the Colts are playing, he has to make sure he is wearing the quarterback's jersey while watching with his brother. For both Edwards and Gutzmer, family has been an important aspect to some of their most important moments in football.
“Before YouTube got big, I remember not even leaving for the commercials because I didn’t want to miss out,” Edwards said. “Now, I know that they’ll be on YouTube immediately following the game, so it has kind of lost its luster. I still try to watch them all live though. The halftime show has not been something that I’ve cared about since I got into football. I’ve always used it as the time to grab more snacks and stuff.”
Advertisements are something that, on a regular day, are something most have trained themselves to ignore subconsciously. They are, at best, a break in between TV shows. Yet, somehow on Super Bowl Sunday, they aren’t just part of the show, they are the reason millions make sure to tune in for every second.
According to a 2016 poll from the Huffington Post, 35 percent of viewers said the best part of the Super Bowl is the game itself. On the other hand, 26 percent preferred the commercials and 25 percent said they weren’t going to watch the game at all. This is a huge chunk of viewership sticking around to watch something that is, for the most part, completely unrelated to football.
Shelby Simpson, public relations major and co-president of Adink, says advertising is a huge part of the economy for a reason. The Super Bowl is the biggest day of the year for advertisers, and some have even started putting out teasers for their commercials before the gameday. Simpson says having a captive audience the size of the nation is a great chance for advertisers to play around and convey a message, especially when so many people tune in just for the ads.
“People will tune in just for the commercials, some don’t even care about the game,” Simpson said. “It has made the game have another aspect. The commercials are almost their own game.”
Super Bowl 52 is approaching fast, and Bearcats are sure to be celebrating in one way or another. Today, there are more options than ever when it comes to how football fans can enjoy the big event. Whether it be with commercials, the halftime show or just watching the game, there is no doubt everyone will be on the edge of their seats.