I know, I know, the Super Bowl is over by the time most of you are reading it. So what? I’m writing this on Thursday, February 1st, days before the game has been played (side note to Webmaster Brandon…if a major natural disaster or terrorist attack occurs and the Super Bowl is interrupted or cancelled, just run last week’s Soapbox).
Besides, my predictions have nothing to do with the actual game on the field. They have to do with my usual counter-culture way of looking at the world, so here we go:
ONCE ALL OF THE NUMBERS ARE IN, SUPER BOWL 52 WILL BE THE MOST WATCHED IN HISTORY. No one believes this for a second. The two teams playing are nestled into the upper Northeast of the country, leaving 95% of the nation on the outside looking in, which is usually a kiss of death. Almost all of the commercials have been available for more than a week online so many of them have already been seen, and we know that as many as 25% of people who watch the Super Bowl do so for the ads (which is why it’s so baffling to me that the NFL allows this practice but whatever). In this particular matchup, pretty much no one is rooting for either team. The main rooting interest is watching the Patriots lose. No one outside of Pennsylvania cares about the Eagles and everyone pretty much hates the Pats so there’s no Cinderella story. People trying to tell you that “everyone loves an underdog,” are just stupid; no one loves the Eagles, everyone just hates the Patriots.
So, how in the world can I possibly predict more than 114 million Americans watching this game? Well, first of all, remember I said when ALL of the numbers are in, including streaming. Tons of people miss the game live because they’re at work, on a plane, etc. Not this year. The NFL has been ahead of this curve for a while and this year, if you can access a device, you can watch, and you will. And that latter point is the biggest…people still want to watch. Despite everyone claiming that the NFL is nearing its’ demise and overstating lost viewership, America still loves the NFL and, more than that, the Super Bowl. It’s America’s national holiday that isn’t but should be. Go ahead, drive around Sunday at 5pm and try to find a car…well, do that next year I guess since you’re reading this after the fact. Whatever. Plus there’s the added allure of the Patriots hate which is stronger than ever. If New England won again (which they did, I dare say), they are now tied with the Steelers with 6 world titles and the Patriots did it all in one fell dynastic swoop with Belichick and Brady, and that just kills so many people.
THE NFL WILL BE AS POPULAR AS EVER NEXT SEASON. What? How is that possible? With all of the political/kneeling turmoil and the safety concerns and the blah, blah blah. Grow up. This is the NFL and they didn’t become an $11 billion enterprise by being stupid. This whole kneeling thing has been so overstated on both sides as an issue that relates to viewership that it’s laughable beyond words. I consider it a non-issue. More importantly, the NFL is poised for an amazing 2018-2019 season. The NFL does best when its’ marquee teams matter and there will be lots of storylines next season. The Patriots will be going for the all elusive three-peat; that, in and of itself will spur interest. Additionally, major teams that matter to Americans will matter again. The Raiders, easily one of the 5 most important teams in the NFL, and now led by Jon Gruden, will be on everyone’s radar. Similarly, across the Bay, there is all sorts of interest, intrigue and expectation about the 49ers. The Dallas Cowboys have every reason to believe they’ll matter again, and Aaron Rodgers will return healthy to the Packers. The NFL is fine and will continue to thrive for a long, long time. America loves its’ football and it isn’t going anywhere.
Unless the Patriots lost, then forget most of what you just read.