I’ll freely admit I’m drawn more to the creativity of the million-dollar ads that are part of the spectacle.
The half-time show has become a little uncomfortable for my refined tastes.
For me, watching the Super Bowl is a mix of occasional glances interspersed with conversations among friends.
Tagged with the superlative “super”, there’s an expectation that this is the game to end all games. The two top teams in all of football play each other to see who is the best of the best–for the year.
Are they really the best teams?
There are teams which fell apart due to critical injuries; players expected to be on the field couldn’t do what they anticipated doing. Some teams just had bad days, where throwing was off, guys missed easy passes, balls were dropped, quarterbacks weren’t protected as they’d hoped to be.
Even football players make mistakes.
I understand the drive behind this game, why it’s called Super. It’s an advertisers’ dream come true, with millions watching clever snippets that will encourage them to buy products they may never really need. It’s an opportunity for the host city to make big bucks on all those who come to see the game and cheer their team on to victory.
And of course, there’s football, the all-American sport, where really big guys go after each other like individual wrecking balls to prevent a pigskin from crossing the goal line.
I’m not being cynical. I actually enjoy the game.
But it’s just that–a game.
Many will bet big money this weekend on who will win. Statistics will be thrown around and talked about; factoids that will seem like the difference between meritorious and mediocre. Men will be defined by how they do on the field in a three or four-hour time slot.
I would never want who I am or how I’m remembered to be earmarked by a fumble or a missed pass. A mistake.
Mistakes on national television, on a game seen around the world, can seem daunting.
It takes great people to play under that pressure and not cave to fear. Showing up in a situation that can be uncomfortable and demanding and still seek to do your best no matter what the results–that scenario is more telling than winning a game because everything works in your favor.
We’re all quick to get on the bandwagon of winners. It’s a vicarious experience of doing the deed well.
The true “super” folks are those who diligently go about doing their best, whether or not they’re recognized. They show up in faithfulness and kindness, treating others with respect and value because it’s the right thing to do.
It’s what Jesus did.
You won’t find them in the limelight. They won’t be asked to endorse anything of importance. They won’t be on any Fortune 500 list.
They’re the first to volunteer when people need help. The ones who stay late to clean up after everyone else has left.
Super may be overused in our common vernacular.
For this year, the Kansas City Chiefs are super.
Who but Jesus can be consistently super?