SPORT AND SOCIETY FOR ARETE

by Richard C. Crepeau

FEBRUARY 3, 2012       archive

We all know what Sunday is: (a) A National Holiday, (b) a Midwinter Extravaganza, (c) Thorstein Veblen Day, or (d) all of the above. It could be called any of these or any number of other "Days." This annual celebration of Excess and Football should have as its motto, "Too Much is Never Enough."

Each new Super Bowl brings with it some new wrinkle, some further step into the obscene, or some new theme from contemporary commercial or popular culture. This tendency was there from the beginning when the moniker "Super" became the prefix for this Bowl Game. At Super Bowl XV in New Orleans writers described the city as "throbbing" with excitement, inadvertently alluding to the close association of this event with the sex trade. The prostitutes of America consider the Super Bowl a gift from God.

Each year there are comments on the vast amounts of money being spent in the host city and the huge sums being bet, both legally and illegally, on the game and nearly every moving part within it. Each year those numbers move higher.

Each year something new manages to catch the eye. At Super Bowl XVIII the practice of corporations entertaining clients or employees with weeklong trips and cruises was established. The Corporate Tent adjacent to the stadium became an institution at the Super Bowl. By the '90s there was a raft of corporate parties on offer, hosted by a range of big spenders from Car Dealers to Skin Magazines. These were all an outgrowth of The Commissioner's Party that goes back to the early history of the game.

In the last couple of decades the jock religious movements have become a fixture at the Super Bowl. "If Jesus were alive today, he would be at the Super Bowl," intoned some holy man. Various charities have come to see this day as a time to advertise their good deeds.

In the last twenty years with the rise of the Internet Super Sunday has had a heavy presence on the World Wide Web. First came the Super Bowl Web Site, followed by web sites for the Super Bowl sponsors. Reggie White's Guide to a Christian Super Bowl Party offered the possibility of conversions more numerous than first downs. With the advent of Facebook and then Twitter, the Super Bowl and the players have found a Super presence there.

This year once again something new has been added to the Super Mix. Super Bowl XLVI marks the Year of the App, or perhaps the Super App. And it comes none too soon.

We know that for years now Super Sunday has been anticipated more for the commercials than for the game itself. Large segments of the Super Bowl viewing public don't actually view the game. One suspects that for some of this group of viewers the novelty of this activity is wearing off, or perhaps they are no longer willing to invest so much time sitting in front of a television set watching a game with so little action as football can offer without replays. They need more commercials, other diversions, a second screen to watch, and multiple ways to incorporate all those new electronic toys into Super Sunday festivities.

For openers the NFL, always at the front end of the excess curve, is offering a number of apps. There is "NFL Mobile" being offered exclusively through Verizon where live game video, audio, highlights, news, and more are delivered to your device. NFL Mobile can be downloaded free from iTunes and is available for Android handsets and tablets. There is also a Super Bowl LXVI Guide with 30 interactive maps of downtown Indy and Lucas Oil Stadium, guides to nightlife and restaurants, parking, seat locators, and an event schedule.

If the Super Bowl is not your thing and you need diversion during the Super Bowl Party until the commercials pop up, then download NFL Flick Kicker, NFL Flick Quarterback, NFL Rivals, or Madden NFL 12 from EA Sports. These electronic NFL games will allow you to hide inside your app-loaded handset or pad, never revealing to those in the app community around you that you don't give a flip about the Super Bowl or football.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl Party then you will most certainly need a range of apps to pull it off properly. Better Homes and Gardens is offering a recipe app, as is Allrecipies.com. Want chili on your menu? Go to The Chili Chef app. For a shortcut around the recipes procure the Dominoes app which will allow you to order pizza for the party without ever leaving your electronic cocoon.

ESPN will offer you all the stats you care to eat with the ESPN ScoreCenter app, or, if you are an aficionado of the game and are sure you can outcoach Belichick or Coughlin, then you can first-guess them with something called Football Dilemmas that lets you call the plays.

If all you really want out of Super Sunday are the commercials then there are several apps that will deliver them all. Then you can watch them over and over again throughout the game. In what now seems a trend, the commercials are being released in the week before the game, and in some cases there are trailers for the commercials available prior to the actual release date.

There are no more skilled manipulators of human behavior than the advertising geniuses of America, and clearly they have, to mix a metaphor, hit another home run at this Super Bowl. And of all these geniuses the ones working for Chevrolet at Super Bowl LXVI are the best.

Chevy Game Time will allow the user to win prizes in a "real time" trivia contest and by responding to polls. Twenty Chevy vehicles will be given away during the game. You must download the app, and register with a Facebook or Twitter account to play. In addition to the cars there will be discounts to Papa John's Pizza, Sirius XM Radio, Motorola, and Bridgestone.

If you are a winner it could be the Appiest Day of your life.

On Sport and Society this is Dick Crepeau reminding you that you don't have to be a good sport to be a bad loser.

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