Monday, January 26, 2009

With Super Bowl XLIII coming up on Sunday and the unfortunate end of football for seven months, I felt obliged to talk about the upcoming game. The game will feature a clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals. Although a sports game is not a typical form of reality show it is completely unscripted and provides great drama even without dialogue between the participants. Actually, the Super Bowl may be the most watched TV event of the year and last year’s Super Bowl was the second most watched program ever after the series finale of M.A.S.H. .Commercials for the super bowl sold for $3 million per 30 seconds and the price for the few remaining ads barely declined even though we are in a recession. It is amazing how so many casual football followers end up watching the game when they had watched few or none all season.
The Steelers were the #2 seed in the AFC and along with the Titans were one of the favorites to reach the Super Bowl. The franchise has a long tradition of winning and is tied for the record Super Bowl victories with 5 and will be going for their sixth. They also won Super Bowl XL, just a few years ago with the same core of players. Their coach Mike Tomlin and Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have been praised in the media all year.
On the other hand, the Arizona Cardinals are a team that no one would have expected to be in the Super Bowl only a few weeks ago. They won their division, which was perhaps the least competitive division in NFL history and limped into the playoffs with a 9-7 record and horrendous play in the games right before their wild card game. In their wild card game they beat Atlanta in a game that was considered a tossup. Then out of nowhere in their next game they routed the Carolina Panthers in a complete shock to the sports world. They then dominated the first half against the Eagles in the NFC championship, almost blew the game and then came back to win. Now they are in the Super Bowl with a 37 year old quarterback in Kurt Warner and a coach in Ken Whisenhunt who was not awarded the head coaching job with the Steelers which he sought just 2 years ago. The Cardinals are going for their sixth playoff win ever, while the Steelers are going after their sixth Super Bowl win. Even with all these stats that seem to support the Steelers, anything can happen on super Sunday.
So, even if you are not a huge football fan, there are so many storylines and entertaining features that there is more to watch besides the football. Bruce Springsteen is performing at half time and the event has become a staple of American culture.  

Brett Buchalter

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