Manufactured Mania


Sunday February 2nd, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

I have wanted to see a Super Bowl in person since I was a kid, and I still do. My reasons are no longer the same, but if I ever get the chance I’ll definitely go. I used to want to go only to see my beloved Green Bay Packers win the ultimate prize, but now I’d like to observe all the marketing.

It would be great if the Packers happened to be in it, but it’s not necessary. I want to experience the manufactured mania for myself, and see what I can learn. That’s the biggest single event that I can think of, at least in the United States. I’m sure the World Cup and Olympics are also giants, but they’re both spread over time and space. The Super Bowl is a one day shot for a single city.

There are events the whole week, but the main event is the game. I’d like to see how the people in charge run everything, and I’m sure it’s much more complicated since 9/11. As a rule I usually don’t like big crowds, but for that I’d make an exception. That’s an experience I’d like to have.

I went to see the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and I’m still glad I did. I was already working in Nashville anyway, so it wasn’t that far of a drive. I bought a ticket from a scalper to see the track and field events, and it was worth every penny. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid, but it was significant. I think it was maybe $200 as I recall, but the experience I got is with me today.

The $200 would have been long spent on something forgettable like rent or car repairs, so I am glad I made the investment. I had the opportunity to go to a World Series game in Milwaukee in 1982, and I passed it up. The ticket would have cost $50, and I wasn’t about to pay it at the time. I assumed I would have plenty more chances to see my hometown Brewers in the World Series.

Right. And what did I do with that $50? Nothing I can remember, and certainly nothing that is close to experiencing a World Series game in person. Life is to be lived, and I completely wasted that particular opportunity. Should it come up again, I’ll choose more wisely. Who says it will?

I suppose I could go to the World Series any year if I wanted, but I don’t really want to unless it’s to see a team I happen to like a lot. Maybe if I’m in a town that happens to be hosting a game and I get a chance to go, I’ll do it. But it’s only one game. A Super Bowl is THE main attraction.

I really wanted to go a couple of years ago when the Packers were playing the Steelers down in Dallas. It was a brand new stadium, and there were tickets available. The weather was especially nasty and I didn’t have a plane ticket, so I decided not to go. Was it a correct choice? We’ll see.

This wasn’t the year, as I had no interest whatsoever in sitting outside in New York. I can have all the ugly weather I want right out my front door, I don’t have to pay big money for it. I’ll wait until it’s in a warm weather location, and go from there. Hopefully I can rustle up a free ticket or better find a way to get paid to be there. Whatever the case, I’d love to see one before I cash out.

Spectacle and showmanship are extra difficult to pull off effectively because there are all kinds of elements that need to come together at once – not the least important of which is the throng of people required to make anything that big that big. Dress rehearsals are fine, but when the curtain is raised for real there’s no turning back. I’d love to have an opportunity to be part of that energy.

I have wanted to see a Super Bowl live since I was a kid.

I have wanted to see a Super Bowl live since I was a kid. I still do.

In a perfect world, the Green Bay Packers would win by several touchdowns.

In a perfect world, the Green Bay Packers would win by several touchdowns.

The halftime show would be George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic.

The halftime show would be George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic.

Since I'm dreaming already, she'll be my date.

Since I’m dreaming already, she’ll be my date.

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