As per usual, expectations of Super Bowl XLVI were high. Onlookers not only anxiously awaited and scrutinized the play-by-play for a highly anticipated outcome, but they critically viewed the half-time show and commercials as well, no doubt with high expectations of the standards that the Super Bowl has set for having infamous, new, genius commercials, and a live, “all-out” half-time performance. As I sat and watched the Super Bowl with a group of friends I heard assessment coming from all angles; assessment of the plays and players in the game, “Why did he do that?!” or “He should have….”, assessment of nearly every commercial that was aired and how many times it was aired, from “That commercial was funny/clever/awesome/etc.” to “That didn’t make any sense, what was that for?”, and assessment of the half-time show, which was perhaps under the most scrutiny with comments like “Madonna cannot pull this off anymore” and “What is he/she wearing?!”.
Yes, the public watches with nothing but a critical eye. If you aren’t watching the game to cheer for the teams that are playing, you are watching the game for the commercials that come on in between, in which case the game is your commercial break. The amount of criticism and feedback given in the media assessing all the aspects of the Super Bowl is enormous, but in the way our culture and society works, I don’t envision it halting or ceasing any time soon. Everyone has their own opinion and makes their own assessment of what they watch, and it doesn’t take longer than 5 seconds for it to reach the internet or broadcasters mouths. So while the Super Bowl is a day of fun, intensity, sport, and calories, it is also a day of major assessment in the sport of football, commercial media, and entertainment performance.