Commercialism usurping games

With Superbowl XL just around the corner, people all over the nation are gearing up for one of America’s most accepted and adored cultural pastimes – commercial watching.No joke. When it comes to television, nothing is more inundated with advertisements and selling points than the Big Game. It has gotten to the point that people are loading couches and drinking beers not to watch football, but manipulative attempts by advertisers at brainwashing Americans into buying junk like a Half-Pounder Fatty McCheese or UltraMega Light Super Beer.

Critics complain that professional athletes receive too much daily media attention, and that sports news turns once ordinary lives into that of celebrity chic overnight. But the one time the nation might be universally riveted to the stories and tales of a football player, Super Bowl weekend has instead turned into a knee-slapping, guess-the-ditty commercial affair.

Worse yet, the advertising takeover is a plague that isn’t limited to professional football. Watch the Rose Bowl this year? Superbowl Jr. was so saturated with plugs for soda and automobiles that the game (from the beginning of ABC’s coverage to the end) took almost four and a half hours.

The NBA Finals have become much the same, especially at the end of games, when teams take frequent time outs that advertisers use to pack with catch phrases and one-liners.

Does this mean that the commercials aren’t funny? Of course not. They’re hilarious. What this does mean is that the original intent behind the weekend – football’s pinnacle – has been lost in the smoke effects of the halftime shows and the sales pitch of the mass media.

Maybe this isn’t such a travesty for everyone; not everyone likes sports. For the easily entertained and amused, that’s perfectly alright.

But for that matter, what will those Budweiser horses be up to?

Sports editor Travis Stewart for the editorial board.