(Editor’s Note. Sporting events are in a sense entertainment and marketing vehicles. The business of sports drives much of what goes on during games. Dr. Bogar, a former college athletic director, offers a viewpoint that harkens back to a simpler past).
I have two suggestions for improving the Super Bowl.
The first suggestion refers to the Super Bowl’s half-time show. After watching yet another spectacle in which an entertainer’s behavior (M.I.A’s. display of his middle finger during the performance) was an embarrassment to the NFL and the majority of its audience, it’s time to consider a change in format. Of course, the other embarrassment which people remember was Janet Jackson’s “equipment malfunction” from a few years ago in which her top fell, instantly exposing her breast during the performance.
Judging by the many blogs and posts following the recent Super Bowl, it’s clear that no matter who performs, there will be complaints about either the age of the performer, the type of music, the inability of viewers to understand the lyrics, etc. Here’s the suggestion: Most football fans could care less about half-time entertainment. We want replays and concise analysis regarding the first half, and then let the teams get back on the field. To placate those who desire a half-time performance, go back to the original Super Bowl model and bring a college marching band onto the field at half-time. I don’t know anyone who has a problem with college marching bands; in fact, most people appreciate that style of music. If it’s extra time that the network needs to sell more ads, then invite two college bands!
The other suggestion to improve the Super Bowl is to get rid of the ridiculous naming of Super Bowls with Roman numerals. When sports fans refer to championships, especially great championships, they refer to the year, e.g., the 1975 World Series, the 1958 NFL Championship, the 1998 NBA Finals, etc. Using Roman numerals to identify Super Bowls is pretentious, impractical, and not used by anyone that I know. It does make one wonder what the NFL plans to do with this foolishness as the Roman numerals get longer and more complex. In 50 years, will the NFL really identify the 2052 game as Super Bowl MMLXII? This has to stop at some point; now is as good a time as ever.
Dr. Craig T. Bogar is the Project Coordinator for Pre-Doctoral Training in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of South Alabama. He serves on the Academy’s distance learning faculty and is also on the adjunct faculties of the American Public University System and Southern New Hampshire University.