What is it about the Super Bowl that viewers find so compelling?

The Super Bowl is expected to draw a record audience again this year, meaning that it will have more viewers than any previous broadcast in U.S. history. Today’s Question: What is it about the Super Bowl that viewers find so compelling?

  • Steve the Cynic

    Beats me.

  • Regnar James

    Over paid, wife beating, drug users that rip each other apart… I’ll pass.

  • MplsMom

    There is absolutely nothing compelling about the Super Bowl.

  • Sue de Nim

    Is that supposed to be a rhetorical question?

  • James

    Nothing particularly compelling. But it’s been a month since the last celbration of any sort. It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s a good time to get a group of friends together to drink some adult beverages and eat some unhealthy food. As a bonus, there is a football game between the two best teams in the NFL to watch. There’s about a 50/50 chance that the game will be exciting. There are some outragious commercials to watch. And most of our tribe will be doing the same thing on Sunday, so there will be something to talk about around the water cooler on Monday, besides the weather.

  • georges

    It isn’t the GAME that people find compelling……

    …….the game is usually a dud.

    It’s the drinking and eating and acting like a jackass that so fascinates the immature mind.

    • kennedy

      Leaving snarky, demeaning comments is immature.

  • Dylan Kvasnicka

    it’s got something for most. sports. live entertainment. commercials for once bent on doing something besides sell a product (i mean, come on, some commercials are basically short films revolving around some good/service). all these things then allow for socializing. of course it’s going to draw record numbers. america can party in unison through our microcosmic get-togethers, then have something to discuss for the next few days/weeks.

  • GregX

    Because our culture demands that we have a major national event every 2-5 weeks.

    New Years, MLK, Inauguration, Super Bowl, Presidents Day, Valentines, St. Patricks, Tax Day, Mothers Day-Fishing Opener, Memorial Day, July 4th, (by August we’re a bit burned out), Labor Day, Halloween, Discoverers Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas ….. Loop…

    pundit and talking head George Will describe’s football as the mirror of American culture … committee meetings punctuated by violence.
    the super bowl is just the last “convention” of the project called season. time to name the mostest footbally-estest team – have a end of project party and let everyone go.

  • Ann M

    It seems to mean that television has gotten so bad that there aren’t very many shows to get excited about. My antenna only pulls in a couple stations, not CBS or ABC.So II do other things.I’m not going to pay for cable at this time.I hope I am not the only one that doesn’t watch sports.

    • kevins

      My wife feels the same way you do and prefers her Lucy and Desi DVD’s. I on the other hand, have been around long enough to have seen every super bowl, and like the idea of keeping the streak going.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Titor/100001365194424 John Titor

        You do know that that streak will end eventually, right? 😉

        • kevins

          they all do, but you can enjoy the ride.

  • Emily

    It is the communal aspect of gathering with friends and family, having a good old MN potluck, and some drinks. Who doesn’t like an evening like that? Oh, and there’s a football game on TV.

  • Jim G

    Perhaps it’s a communal bonding activity and the only thing we can comfortably talk to strangers about besides the weather on Monday morning.

  • JasonB

    Ritual and tradition. Most people are creatures of habit, and I suspect that some watch purely out of compulsion.

  • Lawrence

    Pro Football, unlike major league baseball, the national basketball association, the professional golf association, the national hockey league, and NASCAR, is the only sport with a fairly reasonable schedule (16 games compared to 162, 82, 3/4 of the whole year, 82 again, and spring – fall, respectively), a do-or-die playoff structure (no best of 7’s, or points collected, or tours won), and two weeks off leading into the Title Match. The margin of error a Super Bowl team can make is the slimest of margins, and pro football teams don’t have an entire month or year as the other sports teams/athletes do to adjust and improve remarkably better throughout the season and the playoffs.
    That’s really what makes the Super Bowl so compelling. But don’t take my word for it. Just ask Major League Baseball. Their highest rated game last year was the one and done wildcard game the league just instituted. You’d think MLB would learn and reduce these series to heighten the drama. But, they won’t because they love the money! Game 163, Twins vs Tigers and Twins vs Sox were probably the best games the Twins have ever played, and they have won two World Series Titles. Longer playoffs doesn’t make a better veiwable product. If anything, it weakens the moment.

  • CarlS

    It’s a great excuse to sit around with one’s “buddies”, eat a lot of junk food and drink beer.
    If someone loved football and company so much how about getting off the
    couch and toss a football around instead? At least they
    could do it during breaks in the game, particularly during those insipid

  • Wally

    Forget the game. But what about the sleazy half time shows? Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” was nothing compared to last year, with Madonna’s imagery of sex and satanic symbolism. Anybody get an FCC fine for that? Of course not. How about we just have three hours of commercials, and not charge $4 million each, so we can see more of these mini-movies, with something beyond Clydesdales and Doritos? I actually feel compelled NOT to watch.

  • Ann M

    I just came across an article with stats.It says that out of an average game coverage of 174 minutes, the ball is in play only 11 minutes. Commercials take up about an hour. Most of the rest includes replays and shots of players huddling, standing, or milling about, as well as close-ups of head coaches and referees.I do wonder why this is the most popular thing on TV.

  • kay smith

    I find nothing about it compelling so if I watch anything it will be the Puppy Bowl.

  • Dan

    I’d bet that at least one third of the people gathered at Super Bowl parties watch only the ads, and that among that third some view only one or two commercials. Lot of eyeballs aren’t on the screens,

  • Adam


  • Christian McGuire

    The game itself. As of late we’ve had some pretty intense Super Bowl competitions. The commercials distract the rhythm of the game. Football is a beautiful game / art work full of strategy and improvisation. Many people can’t get over their own prejudices and can only see the superficial physicality of the game. Then again those same people usually think all classical music sounds boring, or that Schoenberg and Jazz are just “random noise.”

    • Steve the Cynic

      The physicality is not superficial. If the art work, strategy and improvisation were the main thing people watched American football for, it would be less popular to watch than baseball, which has more of those things by far. Clearly, the physicality and violence are essential to football’s popularity. It’s ritualized combat, pure and simple.

  • krisbrowne42

    In most cases, there’s little worth noting of the Superbowl other than the commercials and the halftime show (which in this case wasn’t that compelling), but in today’s game there really was some amazing football (of note, the 11 seconds after halftime)

  • Annie

    what was the show Kerri mentioned that’s on Netflix? A little boy who makes short videos about his family. Kerri mentioned the mother dating.