When the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers line up across from each other tomorrow evening for Super Bowl 50, a number of records will be broken. CBS expects 189 million people will watch the game in the U.S. and around the world and increased the average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl to a record high of $5 million (that’s $166,666 per second). Tickets to the game started at $850, but the average secondary market price — if you can get them — is running fans more than $5,000.
I love football.
I’m a lover of a good story, so I love the stories, both big and small, that come out of the game each year. Who will win: power, speed, or the one who’s best able to outsmart the other? Or will it be the one who’s best at keeping their composure in the most stressful of circumstances?
This year the story lines are no different: Will Peyton Manning retire and walk away from the game at the end of the year? Will Cam Newton find a way to get past Denver’s number one ranked defense?
The media seems to go on-and-on with stories. Will Coldplay and Beyoncé live up to past Super Bowl halftime shows? Will the Left Shark from Katy Perry’s halftime show last year make another appearance?
But I’ve found lately that I’ve been thinking about the stories not covered. What if 189 million people were focused on something other than just a little brown pigskin? What amazing things could we accomplish? Think about it.
If we were able to focus those resources on something else, we could:
- Focus people’s time and energies to curing cancer, AIDS, diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, etc., etc., etc.
- Work together to end poverty and bring about world peace.
- Get everyone in the U.S. involved in the electoral process and elect people of honor and courage instead of the foolish and contemptible presidential candidates from both parties that we have today.
- Build enough homes through Habitat for Humanity in every large city in the country to take a big swipe out the homeless and low cost housing problem that grips so many cities.
- Find a way to invent a wand and a spell straight from the book series Harry Potter that will clean my kitchen, make my bed, and complete my project at work with the mere flip of my wrist.
- Find a way to invent a beer that tastes like a German beer or better yet a Guinness, but is good for you and has next to no calories compared to the limp tasting light beer that floods the market today.
I know, I know there’s plenty of things we could focus all that brainpower, but it’s a start. And yes, I know that I am dreaming, but I do take heart in the knowledge that the Super Bowl is one of the few events throughout the year that brings people together, no matter your race, religious background, sexual preference, both avid fan and nonfan more interested in watching just the commercials, and even rooting tastes.
The Super Bowl in many respects is very much a national holiday because even with all the hype and craziness, it brings families and friends together. Take away the turkey and the stuff and the Super Bowl is a miniature winter version of Thanksgiving.
So when the game starts on Sunday 6:30 ET on CBS, I’ll be glad that the New England Patriots are home (just like me) and I’ll be thinking of new ways to bring everyone together for “good.”
I’ll also be counting the days until the next Super Bowl, when hopefully the Philadelphia Eagles get their act together and win their first championship since 1960.