The Super Bowl: America’s great unifier

America is a divided nation. I’m not simply speaking about on the subject of who we select to signify us in authorities. I’m speaking concerning the selections we make all the way down to as mundane as the place we store for meals. However on this world the place residents of america can by no means appear to agree, there may be one huge occasion the place People of all stripes discover widespread floor.

The Tremendous Bowl and the NFL normally appear to deliver collectively People in a means few different issues can.

In an period of streaming and cable tv, most applications seize solely a small portion of America’s over 330 million-person inhabitants. Final 12 months, the best non-football program was the State of the Union, which beneath 40 million People watched – the viewership this 12 months was even decrease.

When it got here to the highest-rated non-sports present on one community, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on NBC took the prize; a mere 22 million People tuned into that.

The Tremendous Bowl, in the meantime, was watched by practically 100 million individuals on NBC final 12 months. Once you mix streaming and Spanish language broadcast, viewership topped 110 million.

Final 12 months was no anomaly both: the Tremendous Bowl has crossed the 100 million viewership threshold over 10 instances. The one non-Tremendous Bowl present ever to hit these numbers was the sequence finale of M*A*S*H, which aired 40 years in the past.

No different non-Tremendous Bowl present has ever come near that, and I’m unsure it ever will.

The way in which the Tremendous Bowl is ready to unite People is a couple of fold. A part of it has to do with the recognition of soccer in America (extra on that in a second), however there’s much more to it.

The Tremendous Bowl is a bunch of reveals wrapped into one. It’s the one spectacle I do know of the place individuals watch only for the commercials. SSRS polling reveals that 24% of people that watch the Tremendous Bowl say their favourite factor concerning the sport is the commercials. No surprise that the worth of a 30-second advert goes to price advertisers about $7 million this 12 months.

The Tremendous Bowl can be a much-raved about music present at halftime. Huge stars have been performing on the Tremendous Bowl for over 30 years now. This 12 months, it’s Rihanna – who has offered a whole bunch of tens of millions of information and gained 9 Grammys – making her live-music return. Over 10% of people that watch the large sport say the halftime present is their favourite factor.

However I’d argue that the flexibility for the Tremendous Bowl and the NFL to be so well-liked in the end comes all the way down to the truth that it bridges the partisan divide in our nation.

We are able to see this nicely in Google searches.

For many subjects, there may be some type of correlation between how states voted within the final presidential election and the way many individuals in a given state are looking for mentioned subject. There’s a very robust correlation, for instance, between searches for the Academy Awards and vote patterns within the 2020 presidential election with states Biden gained much more more likely to have curiosity within the Oscars.

The Oscars, not surprisingly, have seen their rankings fall from practically 60 million within the late Nineties to lower than 20 million immediately.

The Tremendous Bowl has maintained its excessive rankings partly as a result of there may be mainly no correlation between previous voting patterns and curiosity within the Tremendous Bowl in keeping with Google searches.

This shouldn’t be shocking given what I had beforehand discovered. Blue states and pink states have by no means seen a giant divide when it comes to how they seek for the NFL total. The NFL is exclusive on this regard, as most main sports activities present some geographic correlation with previous election outcomes.

And we’re not simply seeing the shortage of a pink and blue divide on Google. We see it within the polling as nicely.

A Washington Publish ballot taken in 2022 discovered that 67% of People have been followers of soccer. No different sport examined topped 50%. Amongst Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 66% have been followers. For Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 70% have been followers. It was the one sport the place greater than 50% of each Democrats and Republicans have been followers of the game.

Fans watch Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks on television at a sports bar in New Jersey, on February 2, 2014.

There hasn’t been lots of current polling that meets CNN’s requirements for publication on Tremendous Bowl fandom particularly, however the polling we do have means that the adulation People have for soccer particularly carries over to the large sport.

A Monmouth College ballot from 2019 discovered that there was only a four-point distinction between the proportion of Democrats and Republicans who have been going to observe the Tremendous Bowl.

About the one factor that does divide People on the subject of the Tremendous Bowl is “Who do I root for?” On that difficulty, I say observe your coronary heart. I’m hoping for a pleasant, clear sport.

Supply: CNN


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