Yet, I love football I played in high school and still follow the sport closely. I have viewed almost every Detroit Lions game since 1958. The NFL playoffs are cant-miss TV viewing for me, as with other hard-core fans.
As you can see, I am dripping with credibility in the football-fan community so hear me out. Instead of just complaining about the Super Bowl, these are my solutions to its problems cited below.
The Super Bowl is financially out of reach for the average person. I know it was 40 years ago, but many of us have memories of buying tickets at Tiger Stadium for 75 cents and pro basketball tickets at Cobo Arena in Detroit for $1. Fans of meager means could usually afford to buy the cheap seats in order to see the best athletes in the world.
The 2008 Super Bowl nosebleed tickets begin at about $3000. You will pay much, much more if you waited until recently to seek tickets. Expect to pay at least $100,000 (gulp) for executive suites for one lousy game the Super Bowl. No one expects tickets to be a bargain, but these prices are obscene.
Of course, we live in an era where a football players can earn millions for sitting on the bench in a handful of games and NFL owners rake in billions during each football season. Ill bet you are curious about the going rate for a 30-second TV ad during the Super Bowl this year. Ha, expect to cough up $3 million each for that privilege. No doubt about it, the Super Bowl has become the ultimate arena for the rich and famous.
Solution: why not give most of the Super Bowl tickets to underprivileged persons in the community hosting the game? Pro football is already earning hundreds of millions more than it needs outside of the Super Bowl. Such an act would be akin to Bill Gates donating some copies of his new MS Office software to the local library. Giving the tickets to charities would be a relatively low cost for providing immeasurable goodwill to the sport, if not our country.
The half-time show is easily the most obnoxious part of the Super Bowl. They are okay, but is anyone really looking forward to seeing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at halftime of the Super Bowl? If I hear Free Fallin one more time, Im going to punch someone. And I Wont Back Down. The fact that Janet Jacksons wardrobe malfunction is the only interesting thing to happen in over 40 years of loud and glitzy halftime shows says it all.
A better way would be to televise the finals of the national Punt Pass and Kick competition at halftime. It would be tremendous thrill for the kids competing and more compelling viewing than one more recycled group of over-the-hill musicians.
Lastly, lets change the damned name. The phrase Super Bowl even has an obnoxious, over-the-top ring to it. I hate it.
How about renaming it the Pat Tillman Memorial Game? As you may know, Pat Tillman is a former NFL star player who turned his back on millions in future earnings and a chance to play in the Super Bowl to enlist in the U.S. military. Killed in Afghanistan in 2004, Tillman is one of many who in recent years made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Commemorating Pat Tillman would help us place a completely different spin on what constitutes a hero. Then, in truth, maybe we could begin to claim pro footballs championship game to be super.