The Super Bowl — A Phenomenon

Nicholas Johnson


Eagles win. Tom Brady loses. Tide ads are more innovative than most major studio movies, and Danny DeVito bathing in chocolate is something I never knew I’d see and now something I know I wish I’d never seen, anyway. Philadelphia, as per expectations, is on fire, my friends told me the story of Nick Foles, who almost retired from football and is now worth tens of millions of dollars, potentially. I still feel crappy from the Cane’s, but mostly I feel crappy from all the Miller Lite, if I’m being honest

It was pretty cool how they marketed The Cloverfield Paradox, but the movie was just alright (which I’ll talk about in another article, if you’re interested). Justin Timberlake was there, and his show was fine, but certainly not Gaga-esque, spectacle wise, though there was the much-anticipated Prince hologram, which wasn’t, as it turned out, a hologram at all, but a projection on a sheet, which my buddy can do in his basement. I thought the way Minneapolis turned purple was pretty cool. Apparently, Prince didn’t like holograms, but he was a Jehovah’s Witness, so he didn’t like blood transfusions, either, so what did he know, but I suppose it is unsettling that his likeness was used against his will, sort of like how they CGI’d in Grand Moff Tarkin into Rogue One. Anyway, I was mostly disappointed that Justin Timberlake made no allusion to his infamous nip-slip (egads!) incident of Super Bowl past. I told my friends that it would’ve been funny if Timberlake had ripped off the shirt of a male dancer and mugged at the camera in faux modesty, like, “Oh my goodness, can you believe I’ve done it again?” He didn’t, but I wish he had. 

And I was hoping that Foles would be given his MVP trophy and take off his helmet to reveal David Harbour (from Stranger Things) who would say, “No, this is a Tide ad.” I think my head would’ve exploded, had that happened, but the other surprise Tide Ads, like that one that was going to be an Old Spice commercial but then wasn’t, were good enough.

I was cheering for the Patriots, alright? You drug it out of me. I’m a Vikings fan, I hate Tom Brady too, believe me, but I didn’t want to cheer for the Eagles, and my friends hate the Patriots a lot and I cheered for them last year as well. Sometimes it’s just fun to irk people, stir up the pot a little.

It was an exciting Super Bowl, which even my beer and food induced coma couldn’t mitigate, try though it may. My heart rate was mad jacked up at the end. I sort of wish the game had gone into overtime.

I always watch the Super Bowl, regardless of who is playing. It’s not the best thing humans have done– That distinction, I would argue, should go to curing polio, or maybe the Magna Carta, I don’t know. The Super Bowl, however, is the biggest, brashest, and ballsiest thing people have ever done, and for that reason alone, I feel the urge to cuff the head of anyone who says they didn’t watch it.

“I don’t like football,” they’ll say, while drinking a Chai Tea, probably. It’s not about football, you jagaloons! It’s about humanity. You know how animals kill each other, like, kind of a lot? Well humans invented football to pretend to do that without actually doing it though, to be fair, we still kill each other a fair amount, but I think, were you to chart out human on human violence alongside football’s popularity, a decrease in the former would correlate with an uptake in the latter, with the probably exceptions of World Wars I and II, which, admittedly, were bad.

I’ve got this friend (let’s call him Cam, because that’s his name) who would probably stop me right now to point out that more people watch the least watched World Cup game than watch the Super Bowl, or something annoying like that, and my response would probably be something like, “Shut up, Cam,” because he doesn’t get it. The hubris necessary to pull of the Super Bowl is astounding. Nobody should care about these million-dollar behemoths trying to score some arbitrary sum of point to why we should care about some arbitrary title, but people do. And nobody should care about how the billion-dollar Tide company tries to sell their stupid dumb detergent, but we do, and we riff bits with our buddies about how it’d be hilarious if The Cloverfield Paradox (a review of which, as previously established, will appear in this very issue of the Minnesota Republic) ended up being another Tide ad.

We know it’s fake. It’s all fake. We know it’s fake because we all vomited in our mouths when Ram tried to sell their cars using samplings from a Martin Luther King Jr. speech. F*** you, Ram, and I wish I could actually say f*** in this article, as you are the absolute and genuine worst Ram, mostly because you’re tone deaf and classless, but also because you don’t get it. That this isn’t real. That this is a celebration of excess, like every holiday has become, really, but the Super Bowl is different, because there isn’t any tradition or other such malarkey cluttering up the works. The Super Bowl is fundamentally human. And raw. The Super Bowl is a five-hour voice screaming, “Up your, sabre-tooth tigers! We won! You’ve got sharp teeth and you’re fast, or whatever, but we’ve got these big mutha-truckin’ brains and we did this! We took our strongest fighters and had them attack each other for a ball made from the skin of your animal cousin and when these dudes take a break we watch multi-millions collar meta commercials starring Chief Hopper from Stranger Things for some stupid juice that makes our clothes (which are like fur, only way nicer) look pretty! That’s all Tide does! Have fun in the dirt with your ibex carcass, sabre-tooth tiger, because we’ve got the Super Bowl.

On Saturday, my roommate and I watched this dude name Levi do a backflip on a snowmobile. Why’d he do the backflip? That’s dangerous! Here’s a better question- Why’d I watch? Don’t ask me. I just did. And it was cool. So there.