The Super Bowl: a time of food, friends, football, funny advertisements and, unfortunately, politics.
Watching the Super Bowl has always been a fun event in my life. My family would gather around the television, usually after Sunday night church services, and we would watch the battle for that shiny Lombardi trophy. While I did not become a sports fan until early high school, I was always enamored with this championship game, and better than the game, the commercials.
These commercials were always the highlight, whether the game was close or a complete blowout. From the Old Spice man riding a horse to the Volkswagen driving dad who pranked his son into thinking he had the power of “the Force,” these commercials have stuck with me.
However, this year was different. While there were still a few funny spots such as Adam Driver forgetting his part in the Snickers live commercial or Christopher Walken speaking lyrics to NSYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye,” many companies bypassed using humor in their ads and took a political stance.
From 84 Lumber’s advertisement depicting “the wall” to Airbnb’s “We Accept” spot to Audi’s “Daughter” commercial, companies big and small sent out strong messages. While it makes sense that these companies are trying to take a stance after so many controversial events within the past months, I have one plea. As a sports fan and a fan of humorous Super Bowl commercials, I ask these companies: please stop.
I do not think that it is wrong for a corporation to share its opinion, I think that freedom of speech is one of the greatest things about this country in which we live. That being said, I also do not think it is too much to ask for a few hours where I am not bombarded with an organization’s political agendas.
I believe that professional sports were created to allow people to think about something other than the issues they were facing. The Super Bowl is a chance to celebrate the great athletes of two different teams, their journey and the battle to see who will win it all.
I knew whoever won the Super Bowl was not going to change how we lived our lives. It was not going to make me a different person, and that is why I loved watching it. I can just enjoy spending time with my friends and sharing the memories of the game and the funny ads that went with it with them.
When companies decide to fill the advertisement space of the Super Bowl with messages of how things are not right or how we need to change, I am no longer watching a sporting event, but I am being told to think about issues that I am bombarded with constantly through every other news outlet.
So please, major corporations who will probably never see this column, understand that I do not want to limit freedom of speech or promote ignorance. Please also understand that I want you to leave the Super Bowl, one of my favorite televised events, alone. I watch this game expecting to leave the politics behind. Call it a college student’s apathy, call it a plea for sanity, but please do not politicize my Super Bowl.
This article was written as part of an “opposing viewpoints” series. The article expressing the opposite viewpoint can be found here.