What did we do before the Super Bowl came along to introduce a bit of excitement into the cold landscape of winter? This single sporting event has grown to gigantic proportions over the years and has become far more than a simple football game. The numbers alone prove that.
Were the St. Louis Rams not in today's final NFL showdown, the local excitement would not be as great. But we all become somewhat territorial when a "local" team is in the big show. What amazes me the most however is the non-football fans who become caught up in the excitement of the Super Bowl. They literally come out of the woodwork.
Unlike many other major sporting events, the Super Bowl is one final showdown for all the marbles. That focus of a one-day event generates a billion dollar extravaganza that is unparalleled. And you most certainly don't have to be an avid fan to join in the excitement.
We Americans take our sports seriously. Yet even that statement doesn't capture the tremendous build-up for today's game. I know of several local folk who have traveled to New Orleans for the game with no hope nor plan of actually watching the game in the stadium. They just want to join in the excitement and flavor of the Super Bowl.
If you wanted to take in the action of the game in detail, you could have spent this past week watching some of the thousands of hours of television programming devoted exclusively to the Super Bowl. Or you could have read the volumes of newsprint devoted to today's game. It would be hard to calculate the millions of words devoted to this one-day event. Or the time or money spent on this annual game. I doubt another sporting event - or any event for that matter - captures so much attention.
Even those who have followed not a single game this year can name player after player on the "local" Rams team. We may well forget those names and faces within a week but today, they are on the top of our list. Just as quickly we'll turn our attention to other matters. But for a few hours today, sports fan become universal.
So sit back and enjoy a true American event. Enjoy the pageantry and the pomp. Enjoy the tributes which will be abundant. Enjoy the array of new television commercials that always provide entertainment. And yes, enjoy a Rams victory over those dastardly guys from New England. Even newspaper publishers are fans today.