I’ve suddenly realized that I’ve missed the hype. I had to look up who was playing in the Super Bowl today.
Not that it matters. I’m not likely to stay up for most of the night to watch the American football championship. I don’t care enough about the game, and I suspect most Americans would agree with me.
Lack of interest in the outcome won’t stop people from watching though. The Super Bowl has very little to do with sport; it is a cultural juggernaut.
Some people tune in for the half-time show from some of music’s top talents. More though tune in to watch the commercials. On every other show people complain about the interruptions. On this one, the game is the interruption.
Canadians may be tuning in to watch an example of how things are different in this country. NFL players play college ball before becoming professional, and for years the joke has been that scholarship athletes in the USA don’t attend classes and graduate with degrees in basket weaving. Much more athlete than student.
Canada’s university sports environment is different. Scholarships are given for academic achievement, not for sporting prowess.
Which explains why the lone Canadian player in this years Super Bowl is the first medical doctor to play in the game. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a lineman with Kansas City, earned his medical degree at Montreal’s prestigious McGill University. football was a part-time thing for him. Obviously talented enough to play at the highest level, he was more student than athlete.
Canadians expect football players to have brains and to know how to use them. After all, they are university graduates. And in Canada anyway, those degrees are earned.
I don’t care about the commercials – none of them will be for products I can buy in Germany. And I don’t identify with either of the two teams playing the game. I have no idea who is performing at the half-time show.
Monday morning though I will probably read an article or two to see how the football playing doctor did in his Super Bowl debut. Given the nature of the game, it might be another 50 years before the next MD suits up for the national championship.