The Super Bowl ad phenomenon

Are you one among the millions who will be glued to your television screen on Sunday watching the Super Bowl? It's become almost a rite of passage among Americans, something one must do. However, iconoclast that I am and non-football-fan that I am, I don't plan to be watching the game. I'd be more likely to watch the Puppy Bowl.

I say that even though I do admit to a rooting interest in the game. Archie Manning was a football star at the University of Mississippi when I was at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Coming from Mississippi myself, Archie was, of course, a hero to me and when his team played my college's team, I had very torn loyalties. Later, I followed his career with the Saints, and later still, I was interested when his sons, Peyton and Eli, started playing for the pros. I have continued to follow their careers, not avidly, but with some interest, and, in fact, I will be pulling for Eli and his Giants to win the big game on Sunday. Even if I don't care enough to watch.

But, in thinking about the Super Bowl today, I was pondering the question of when the ads became almost as big a deal as the game itself. Back in the days when I did have an interest in football and watched the games - mostly in the early '70s - I don't remember the ads having the overwhelming importance that they seem to have attained today. Many people seem to watch the game as much to see the ads as the game itself!

I find it especially interesting that this year the ad-makers are intent on giving the women something to watch. So it's not going to be all beer and pick-up truck commercials. They are dishing up a slice of beefcake for the ladies. The most prominent such ad apparently features David Beckham. Hmmm...maybe I will just take a peek at the "game" after all!  


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