MacDonald: We care way too much about the Super Bowl

Alexandra MacDonald

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Last night marked Super Bowl LIV, with the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs playing for the title of champion for the NFL’s 100th season. 


While we football-loving Americans scoff at how riots like the UEFA Euro 2016 sweep our televisions and mobile screens in reaction to soccer games, we follow the same behavior. After the New England Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, people toppled cars and stole police horses.

Those events were just a couple years ago. Googling “Super Bowl riots” will enter you into several yearly accounts of rioting. 

The thing is, football really isn’t something worth rioting en masse over. However, when people feel the need to riot over football, it may be because they’re losing money. To state a fact that many agree with and many can’t stand hearing, football is just a game.

Sure, it’s the top-tier game of the NFL, but beyond that, it doesn’t necessarily change much about the state of the world — what we’re allowed to read on the internet or the amount of electricity we’re allotted that week.

The Super Bowl is strictly a form of entertainment, and like most large entertainment platforms, it’s a money maker. According to CNBC, the median salary for an NFL player is $860,000 per season. The average ticket price for the Super Bowl is between $4,000-$5,000.

The Super Bowl is undoubtedly popular, and some of the few things that actually encourage new watchers to tune in are the commercials that air during it. In 2018, CBS, the television broadcasting company that hosted the Super Bowl, charged around $5.25 million to air a 30-second advertisement during commercial breaks. In 2019, the Super Bowl drew 98.2 million viewers to watch the game. 

Big-league sports are something that bring people together to follow their favorite team — not something that should bring them together in order to tear someone down.”

Ellie Zadow, a sophomore biology student at Colorado State University, grew up around football. Her stepmother used to co-own a football team — the Jacksonville Jaguars — so her family watches the Super Bowl every year. 

“People probably get angry when they lose money,” Zadow said. “They’ll find any reason to point out an excuse why they lost if that means they’re not getting their money back.”

Winning the Super Bowl is so popular because only professional American football has a single-elimination playoff system. It’s what makes it appear so cutthroat. 

If anything, the Super Bowl should be an excuse to get together and enjoy time spent with people who support the same things you do. Big-league sports are something that bring people together to follow their favorite team — not something that should bring them together in order to tear someone down. 


Gambling isn’t the taboo and very illegal hobby it was decades ago, so choosing to put money down on a team you think you can support is something you — depending on the state — can do. Just don’t decide that the money you slapped down on the table gives you a right to ignite the next Purge.

An off call by a referee is certainly annoying if you don’t see eye-to-eye, but it’s not worth breaking your neighbor’s television screen or flipping a table. It really is just a game. 

Alexandra MacDonald can be reached at or on Twitter @alexandramacc