Carlos Soto

Staff Writer

The Super Bowl is a huge event that celebrates the clash of two teams who fought it out during football season in a quest to procure the prestigious Vince Lombardi trophy, to hold it high, and to let everyone know they were victorious.
This year the crushing defeat of the Carolina Panthers came at the hands of the Denver Broncos with a (24-10) score.
People came from far and wide to attend this spectacular event, crowding the SFO airport and making their way to the beautiful lands of Santa Clara, California’s Levi’s Stadium.
The stadium came complete with S.A.F.E. security managed by contract, your friends at the TSA, bomb-sniffing dogs in every doorway, metal detectors, Homeland Security vehicles, round-the-clock bag checks, and, to top it all off, F-15 fighter jets. In fact, it would be “S.A.F.E.” to say, pun intended, that it was the safest place to be in the world that day. It is clear no expense was spared on making this corporate event safe from all evildoers who would dare challenge it by land, air, or sea.
The fans identify with this corporate sponsored event that plays on the tribalism of human nature and fulfills the needs of being part of a collective group by giving them a manufactured outlet for this aggressive nature.
It taps into your human need to socialize, while giving the impression of war. By picking a team, you are directly linked in the outcome of this war. These are the same techniques the military uses to manipulate college-aged students who are undergoing the recruiting process.
Most people think it also makes sense that NFL supports the troops because it’s pro-American to do so. But this is actually just another paid advertisement brought to you in part by the U.S. Government.
CBS reports, “According to a report from Christopher Baxter and Jonathan Salant of, the Department of Defense has paid 14 different NFL teams a total of $5.4 million over the last four years in exchange for patriotic displays at games.”
And the rest of this war is all brought to you in part by Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo, Hyundai, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, and other colossal corporate entities slamming their massive budgets for marketing against the turf in hopes of drawing in more of the dedicated viewership that grows larger every year.
Homeland security designated this as a Level 1 event, and why shouldn’t it be, being a huge percentage of the population is either in attendance or drawn in by the TV as if they were staring into the very eyes of Medusa.
While the wars explode by proxy over seas, our constitutional rights become eroded in the name of security, and our next presidential elects campaign, people gear all their energy and focus to an event that has no consequence to their actual lives.
This kind technique of distracting the populous is not new, as a poet named Juvenal, who wrote in a satirical piece in regards to what he called “bread and circus.” It was a term he used to describe the implementation of the gladiatorial games Julius Caesar put in place to gain him political favoritism.
However it worked two-fold as it was also meant to be a distraction from those who wished not to engage in the political atmosphere and assured him votes as being favored for the entertainment he was supplying.
This parallels a great deal with the modern “bread and circus” which are The Super Bowl, Nascar, and other events worldwide which people summon their most innate energy, compassion and other human emotions by frivolously channeling them into something which makes no amount of significant impact on their daily life other then conversing about it later.
Meanwhile, this artificially created event of importance is circled by F-15’s and multitude of security to which the masses hold in high regards. In some cases, cars have been flipped, fires have been started and fights break out all in the name of feeling this empathy for a team that lost. But the team that loses the most is humanity, because this very displaced empathy substitutes for actual atrocities in which people feel little regard for.
There are reports of people traveling from all over the country just to see the super bowl, but how many people traveled in proportion to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, give water to people in Flint, Michigan, or travel to D.C. over fighting for teacher budget cuts. How many people traveled in comparison for something that actually impacted the lives of many and not for their own selfish needs.
What about focusing this energy and effort on something more fulfilling, and more important? If we were to focus on the afflictions that are occurring all over today with the same or even a fraction of this energy, this great civilization would accomplish many amazing things.
It’s easy for someone to say they don’t have the time for something and granted some people actually do not. But by that same logic, I find that when a person wants to do something they actually enjoy doing, they tend to find that ever-fleeting, sparse amount of time.
A lot of money goes into making this event the glorified spectacle it is, because by doing so, you can create values and marketing strategists know by associating something of value with their product is a win-win in the final equation. But once again, how valuable is something that makes no difference in your life?
Sports are valuable in their purest form, because they teach teamwork, confidence, success and many other great things needed for life and possibly survival. When you mix money and marketing into the mix, you lose the quintessential meaning behind the values they might instill.
When anything is brought to you by an unrelated product that can be sold you must be skeptical, but the fanaticism this event has created stretches beyond the wildest dreams of those behind it and leads to which I am disillusioned.