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Super Bowl: more than a sport, an American rite of passage

Super Bowl XLVI will be held on February 5, 2012

The match will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and oppose the “Patriots” of New England to the “Giants” of New York. The same bill in 2008.

The show held during half-time will be provided by Madonna and acrobats from Cirque du Soleil. An artist “world class”, as the communique of the National Football League, producer of the event.

The most important thing is that the Super Bowl has become constitutive of American identity. An integral part of popular culture such as rock and roll, hamburger or westerns. Watch the game with friends at a “super bowl party” is an American ritual, just like the Thanksgiving dinner or barbecue National Day (July 4).

In the U.S., sports are a gateway to Americanness. The nation recognizes the value of sport. Sport and competition dominate in education and in universities. The political vocabulary is full of sports metaphors. All professional sports cultivate patriotism. The meetings are always preceded by the American anthem. That we listen standing, hand on heart. And nobody, ever, whistle!
American football is not a sport, it’s a game

In this context, the Super Bowl has become a unifying culture, a moment of communion in which the nation soda in celebration of core values: among them, the spirit of competition and game, because football is not a “sport” as a runner, it’s a game, “a game” self-transcendence and the cult of individual achievement but an achievement driven by a collective effort for the benefit of
the team and finally the rules and the opponent. American football, which may appear as a confused the layman is in fact a careful ballet graph rules and these rules are constantly reminded the public by a sign code that allows referees to justify each of their decisions, accompanying the same now gestures of explanation aloud.

“Playing by the rules of the game” is a pillar of the “American social contract.” When President Obama criticizes those who, in economic terms, do not play “according to the rules,” everyone knows what that means. For the recent U.S. economic and social machine has seized up. Hard work is no longer a guarantee of success, those that do do sometimes contentious ways … Thus the success of football can also be explained because it has become a refuge. The last place where honesty, creativity and talent prevails, and where cheating is flushed out and punished.
An American rite of passage

But the Super Bowl is popular because it is above all a show panting. Show that the rise is linked to that of television. The first Super Bowl in 1967. The two football leagues have to compete, the “AFL” (American Football League) and NFL (National Football League) decided to organize a “super final” between teams from each league. The name “Super Bowl” is needed in the media since 1970 and has entered the vocabulary. Bowl means “pool” or “bowl” is the form generally have in the big stadiums. To designate a football final is used today inevitably the word “bowl.”

American football is ideally suited to television format. The action is constantly stopped, allowing the instant dissemination of “slow” to relive an important moment. It’s a rough game but clean. The contacts are systematic, violent, dangerous, but not unbridled. Unlike rugby, with bleeding injuries are rare. Thanks to the protection worn by players and give them an air of modern gladiators, helmets and equipped with extra wide shoulders. Finally, the actions are spectacular, long throws the ball, acrobatic receptions, crazy races …

From its earliest years the Super Bowl has become the most watched event in American television. Each year breaking the record of the previous year. In 2011 he collected 111 million viewers. And probably more because the assessment does not include the hearing of bars and restaurants.

The fact was not lost on advertisers who have made an appointment to marketing choice. The ads aired during the game, besides their high price, about $ 3 million for thirty seconds, have the distinction of being followed with interest. The communication specialists stand in the charts. The best are repeated (for free) on YouTube. The spot from Apple for its Mackintosh, 1984 based on the book, and just released in 1984, remained in the memories. In 2002 Budweiser advertising conceived as a tribute to the victims of September 11 …

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