It’s that time of year again, folks. Yes, we’re talking about the Super Bowl. And while many are gearing up to cheer for their favorite team, many are content to just watch some of the creative commercials airing during the big sporting event.
Most ads won’t air ahead of the February 11 event, unlike the Paramount + Super Bowl 2024 commercial which uses humor and pop culture references in an aim to highlight the streaming platform’s diverse content.
In the Super Bowl 2024 commercial, a small gathering stands in the snow on Paramount Mountain, pondering a giant cliff wall blocking their path. This unlikely group is made up of the distinguished Patrick Stewart, Drew Barrymore, Arnold from Hey Arnold, Knuckles, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Reno 911’s flamboyant Lieutenant Dangle, the stoic Master Chief, Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer, and the seasoned host of Survivor, Jeff Probst. On a nearby outcrop of rocks, stand Creed’s Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti, performing their 1999 hit, Higher. Creed? Huh. We thought they broke up years ago.
Tagovailoa, in an effort to get them past the massive obstruction, tries to toss a rope with an anchor to the top of the cliff wall. Failing to reach the top, he states that if the rope were a football, it wouldn’t have been an issue. In response, Patrick Stewart suggests throwing “the child” Arnold, who happens to have a football-shaped head. Drew Barrymore interjects stating “You can’t throw a child,” resulting in Stewart yelling “Shut your face!” at the actor and talk show host.
Because no one else volunteers, Stewart decided to take matters into his own hands, and tosses off his coat to reveal an antiquated football uniform. He takes Arnold by the head, utters a string of sports idioms, throws the cartoon child, and starts singing along with Creed. Of course, Arnold doesn’t cover the distance, so Stewart suggests trying again with “someone made of pigskin,” causing Peppa Pig to become quite nervous.
While commercials like this are deserving of being part of the big show, the Super Bowl is the main event and would be considered a national holiday in the US if it took place on a Monday instead of Sunday.
The second Sunday in February is when football really takes center stage across America and other parts of the world that enjoy watching large, padded, helmet-clad men run around a stadium field trying to tackle the fella who’s holding a ball.
For many, the Super Bowl is a sacred gridiron clash, a testament to athletic prowess and impressive strategy, and football fans can be grouped into four categories: stadium goers, tailgaters, party hosts, and voyeurs. There are outliners, of course, those who prefer to watch the main event at their local pub or gather at a sports bar. Then, there are the folks who aren’t football fans and ignore all the fuss.
The first camp is unquestionably the rowdiest. Once the seats are filled, they turn the stadium into a kaleidoscope of face paint, jerseys straining against beer bellies, and foam fingers held aloft like ceremonial battleaxes.
You have the second camp in the parking lot: a camouflage-clad militia of Grill Masters, whose tailgate smoke signals rival the pre-game pyrotechnics. Here, you will also find the Statisticians, analyzing dip ratios while their dates sport bewildered smiles. Always in this group, is the lone hipster hanging about, ironically wearing the opposing team’s jersey. Hoping to be edgy, they instead come off as the equivalent of someone who wears socks with sandals.
Those in the category of fans who choose to stay at home, usually due to the exorbitant ticket price and the logistics of getting there, tend to gather at a friend’s home to watch the battle for glory rage on a big-screen TV while enjoying libations and eating from a smorgasbord of chips, dips, sliders, and sweets before enjoying the main course: a six-foot hoagie. As the game rages, emotions run the gambit of sweet with cheers, fiery with frustration, and occasionally sour.
At these parties, from our experience, there is always one or more particularly enthusiastic guest convinced their hollering influences the game, and one draped in a sequined jersey staggering around pie-eyed with the grace of a drunken flamingo. It’s a glorious, messy, occasionally dip-stained rug full of human passion known as football fandom.
Finally, there’s the fourth group, the antithesis of Chatty Cathy’s, snack-slingers, and stadium diehards. This is the “commercial and halftime show” crowd, the silent majority of which use the Super Bowl as a chance to witness million-dollar ad campaigns and celebrity-studded musical extravaganzas. During the game, their attention drifts as they flit between social media, Puppy Bowl and Kitten Bowl, occasionally switching back to see if a Super Bowl commercial is airing. But, because the Hallmark Channel apparently hates cats and canceled Kitten Bowl, the Great American Rescue Bowl will take it’s place in the channel flipping linep.
While channel flipping between commercials and cute animals has its merits, come halftime, they’re glued to the screen, dissecting every costume change with the zeal of fashion critics judging the Met Gala. For them, the Super Bowl is a pop culture buffet, with the halftime show as the main course. The game? A mere afterthought. And hey, who can blame them? In a world saturated with sports, sometimes a little glitz, glam, and the possibility of a “wardrobe malfunction” is all you need to be entertained.
Poking fun at everyone aside, and we do it with love, no matter which camp you fall into (we fall into three and four), aside from football, the Super Bowl is really about having fun and enjoying interactions with your fellow human beings by coming once a year to revel in rare comradery, share some laughs, eat loads of junk food, drink plenty of beer, and this year, maybe get a glimpse of Taylor Swift.