The Super Bowl is All Grown Up

Paul Morrone |

By Thomas Morrone CFP®, CPA

Being a football fan my entire life, I can say with certainty that I have watched every Super Bowl. Maybe I have not watched every single play of every single game but for sure I have watched some, if not all, of every one of the “big games”. My fanatic attachment to the big game started when I was a kid and sat in front of my parent’s television in their living room. On January 15, 1967, the first AFL-NFL World Championship, later called Super Bowl 1, featured the Green Bay Packers with quarterback Bart Starr and the Kansas City Chiefs with Len Dawson. The Packers won the championship by a score of 35-10. I have attended many super bowl parties at flashy venues, house parties, bellied up to the bar and watched many in the comfort of my own home. All have been memorable but still on my bucket list is to attend a Super Bowl.

Just as the game has evolved in so many ways, so have many other aspects of the event itself besides trying to score touchdowns and win the game. The half time show is a now major performance. We are not talking about marching bands and tumbling cheerleaders of an era gone by.  Now there are full-blown concert level performances by the biggest names in the musical and entertainment industry. There have been skydivers, concerts, and wardrobe malfunctions. More and more people seem to be drawn to watching the Super Bowl for reasons other than to see who wins the game. The television networks have capitalized on this attention draw and focus by the public at large. A 30 second television commercial during Super Bowl 1 cost about $40,000. The cost for that same length of a commercial in Super Bowl LIII (53) will be approximately $5,000,000. How do you like them apples? I do have to admit, the creativity of some of the contemporary ads have been incredible. I was at one party when at the end of the game we all voted on the favorite commercial, not the favorite play or most valuable player or which team deserved to win.

The media hype building up to game day is staggering. Countless shirts, hats and all different types of apparel and merchandise will be sold surrounding the event. There will interviews with coaches and players about their journey to the Super Bowl, their strategy for game day and of course there seems to be some trash talking as well. All in all, it is a media frenzy and we the fans have created it, fostered it and thrive with it. I will watch whatever the media throws at me regarding statistics, predictions and pregame information, whatever it may be or how trivial it truly is. Once the outcome is known, then another marketing frenzy occurs with Super Bowl Champion merchandise. I do admit I have spent my fair share of hard-earned dollars on Super Bowl merchandise over the years.

If your favorite team is representing their league in the big game, then there is more of a reason to be fully engaged. If your team is not playing, then hoping for a well-played game, where no one gets injured, is a win in my books. If you are a New England Patriots fan, you have had an unbelievable run. Good luck to the Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams in the battle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

I am a New York Giants fan, so my run has been more of a crawl, at least lately. There is always next year.

Until the Next Tom’s Take…

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