The day when the world stands still

Six per cent of the Americans call in sick the day after, this day is second in food consumption after Thanksgiving, people pay thousands of dollars and travel hundreds of kilometers, just to see the four quarters that decide between winning or losing, between glory and depression. On February 4th millions of people looked at Indianapolis: Madonna performed at half-time; the most valuable player of the game got a Corvette. What event can that be?

In this year’s Super Bowl the New England Patriots were playing the New York Giants (Image: stephen_d_luke – CC BY 2.0)


On February 4th millions of people looked at Indianapolis, the Lucas Oil Stadium to be precise. Madonna performed at half-time; the most valuable player (MVP) of the game got a Corvette. What event can that be? It is the most mythical and divisive football game of the year: the Super Bowl. In this year’s game the New York Giants and the New England Patriots clashed in the glorious battle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Two teams with a history and many stars. Most years the Super Bowl does not fulfill everybody’s expectations; Fans expect a good football game, but what they get is often more of a careful and defensive game. Nobody wants to lose. This year’s game was different. In fact, it was one of the best games of the season, and it had many unbelievable moments that definitely will have a place in the history of football. 

Madonna entertaining with her half time show (Image: Beacon Radio – CC BY-NC 2.0)
But what is even more important at the Super Bowl than the actual game is what happens before, after and during the event. I was lucky enough to personally experience the insanity since I live only a 45 minute car ride away from Indianapolis, the host-city of this year’s Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is not only a one-day event. In fact, the party starts a week before the game, with the opening of the Super Bowl village, an exhibition downtown Indy (that is what we call Indianapolis here in Indiana), with dozens of little games and activities for the football fan and family. Hundreds of popularities showed up in Indy, hundreds of players who were not lucky enough to participate in the big game, singers, actors, politicians and many more. The popularity of this event can be measured in many numbers, but I experienced something that is a lot simpler and a lot more descriptive: You had to sign up in order to get a parking spot downtown. Every single parking spot was already taken for the entire week before the village even opened. On Super Bowl Sunday people paid prizes between $400 and $600, in the stadium area even $1000 to $2000.

Even more important than the actual game is the choice who to watch it with. The right Super Bowl party ultimately decides about the success of your own personal Super Bowl. The TV-size, what kind of food is served, who is coming, are there enough seats: all those are factors the American considers when he or she looks for the perfect party. Weeks of planning on any imaginable level. No matter whether you play or watch. You have to be prepared. After four quarters and the legendary, humorous commercials during half-time and a good half-time show (Madonna unexpectedly made up for the shame The Black Eyed Peas brought upon the event last year) it is over. And everybody is just a normal citizen again. Unless you belong to the 6 per cent that called in sick Monday.