Super Bowl (And Why I'm not Attending)

Well, looks like another year I will most definitely NOT be attending the Super Bowl, again.  Now, for every single one of the 300 million people in the United States, save the 75,000 that actually do get tickets, the privilege of actually attending a Super Bowl game might well be a life long pursuit.

Of course, not every one in the US wants to go to the game.  Only about 100 million actually sit down to watch the game.  But, seeing as the NFL is the second most lucrative sporting event in the history of mankind, and that billions of dollars are spent each and every year on games and merchandise alone, it stands to reason that at least half of those 100 million would like to, at least once in their lives, actually watch the game in person.

Okay, so we’ll be conservative, and say that at least 30 million people every single year at least want to see the game in person.  Now, let’s say that most of them, a damn lot of them, are raving fans that would pay the cost of the trip even though they definitely don’t have the money to do it.  Okay, a huge chunk can afford it, no problem, but a bunch would spend their child’s’ college fund for even the opportunity to be in a lottery and maybe have a fleeting chance at getting tickets to see the Super Bowl.  And would sleep in a van in the parking lot for three days if they couldn’t book a hotel room.

Now, you may or may not know for whom I work but, I have a pretty damn special opportunity.  Now, for a guy that is watching Good Will Hunting, for like the fourth time, instead of watching Monday Night Football, it sometimes gets under people’s skin when I tell them that I work for the NFL and then, tell them that I don’t watch football.

Two years ago, it was all set.  It was before the current recession.  Car companies were still spending millions on advertising instead of bleeding money.  I was set to work my first Super Bowl.  Not a glamorous job.  Long hours, away from my girlfriend for 3 weeks, no car, living in a hotel.  But then again, I was going to be a part of an event that only me and 75,000 other people are able to be a part of.  One that I would remember for a very long time.  Sure, it’s not the same as watching my team hoist the Stanley Cup, but it’s sure more culturally significant.

Things didn’t quite line up.  Back then, my company was going to pay me to work 7 days a week, with a per diem, and overtime, for three weeks.  They’d pay for my food, and my hotel, and even for entertainment.  They’d fly my girlfriend and another friend down to Florida for free, and put them up in my hotel.  Oh, and they’d give them both complimentary Super Bowl tickets.  In addition to my own, which would be on the field.  Sure, I’d be working, but working on the field of the god damned Super Bowl.

Well, that fell through.  And then things were lined up again, maybe for a minute, this year.  No free tickets for the wife, and no free transportation, but good money and still something I had hope for.  Well, that fell through again.

I offered a few people the pair of tickets I’m privileged to buy each year.  Every year, I’m allowed to buy a pair of tickets to the greatest American sports game of the year.  Not many people are afforded that opportunity.  No, it’s not a lottery, it’s not a contest.  If I want them, all I have to do is pay face value for them.  This year, they didn’t raise prices…$800 a piece, not including a flight to Miami and a hotel for a few days.  I didn’t buy them, again, this year.  None of my friends had the money this year either.

Next year, hopefully I can go.  Hopefully the economy is better, and instead of stripping more perks from the menu, they’ll reinstate some.  And I’ll get to go, with my wife.  I don’t care who’s playing since I don’t follow football.  But I do follow American culture, and I look forward to someday be able to  look back, and remember the time my wife and I attended a Super Bowl.  It’s like being in the Coliseum, watching the gladiators, not really caring who wins or loses, but sensing that you’ve been a part of something that’s historic, and will always be remembered by at least 75,000 people…plus 2.

–~r

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