Corporate America alters pastime

I bet even Vince Lombardi would be amazed. Amazed at the speed and agility of today’s offenses. Amazed at the brunt force trauma inflicted by today’s defenses. Amazed at how today’s Super Bowl  has transformed into a multimillion dollar game of not just athletic, but cultural significance.

Initially known as the “First AFL-NFL World Championship Game,” it was between two different football leagues. The American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) completed their merge in 1970 and is now known simply as the NFL.

The championship game of the first Super Bowl was such an afterthought that the two broadcast networks that televised the game, NBC and CBS, did not retain copies of the videotape.

Now, the Super Bowl is easily one of the most-watched television programs. It makes up the majority of the top 10 most watched television programs of all time.

How did the Super Bowl become what it is today? No one knows for sure. We sure can trace the origins of some notable aspects of this pop culture behemoth.

A 30-second Super Bowl ad spot this year costs a record $4 million. Thirty seconds of the sultry, humorous Budweiser and uplifting Chrysler advertisements will cost more than most of us will ever make in our lives, let alone in a minute and a half. The first famous ad can be traced to that of Noxzema in 1973, a skin cleanser that featured Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett. This may have set the bar for those scintillating ads we now see today.

Super Bowls used to invite college marching bands to perform. When did the likes of Madonna, the Rolling Stones and U2 go to perform? The trend began with Michael Jackson in 1993 in an attempt to increase viewership for the Super Bowl.

As bags of chips and guacamole are consumed, entertaining commercials are watched, and the halftime show performers are rocked out to, just remember that there is an actual football going on, and you can watch it too.


Raymond La is a sophomore majoring in microbiology.