Superbowl fans enjoy more than just game

Blake Howell and Blake Howell

Avid fans across America will order 1.23 billion chicken wings, consume 11 million pounds of potato chips and grill approximately 14 billion hamburgers in the frozen tundra they once knew as their back yards on Sunday.

In fact, according to the Public Relations Manager for Meijer, Joe Hirschmugl, the average Super Bowl watcher will ingest nearly 1,200 calories for just this one event.

Last year’s Super Bowl snared a staggering 108.4 million viewers, a record low in the past three years according to ESPN. Ray Schuck, assistant professor of communications at the Fireland’s campus, believes there are many reasons people tune into the Super Bowl.

“[The Super Bowl] is mass-scaled because it was constructed to be so,” Schuck said.

The NFL constructed the Super Bowl in the 1960s to bring two separate leagues together for one big game. Since then, the NFL has built and sold the Super Bowl to fans well, Schuck said.

“People enjoy the drama of sports,” Schuck said. “Even people who aren’t fans, you tell them the story line and they’re interested.”

If drama is what sells the big game then fans have something to look forward to this year. Peyton Manning has the opportunity to be the only quarterback in history to take two separate teams to the Super Bowl and win. The Seattle Seahawk’s number-one defense is the only thing to stand in his way. The drama of this game is why Perry Fraylick, a student at the University and a devoted Bronco’s fan, is so excited for the big game.

“It’s the most important game of the year, all fans dream of their teams going to the big game,” Fraylick said.

But even Fraylick admits this year is different because his favorite team is playing.

“If my team wasn’t in it, I wouldn’t care as much, but it’s just really well marketed not to watch,” Fraylick said.

As Schuck said, the Super Bowl is meant to be the climax of a 17-week-long season and is marketed to be such.

The drama and hype may pull in a large amount of fans, but there are other fans like junior Josie Kinneer, who are only attracted to the social interaction triggered by the event.

“Everybody in my neighborhood gets together to watch the game, but it’s all about social interaction,” Kinneer said. “No one cares about the sport.”

Senior Mike Hammond goes somewhere almost every year to watch the game but the game itself is “not an actual priority.”

Whatever the reason may be, on Sunday, fans will devour vast quantities of wings, chips, hamburgers and 49.2 million cases of beer, all in the name of the Super Bowl.