Like more than 110 million others, I watched Super Bowl XLV (#45) unfold on the Texas gridiron of Cowboys Stadium Sunday. News of this battle dominated our media for the week prior to the game and most of the day Sunday.
I played football in high school and in the military. I later coached the game and announced from the booth. In my current role, I’ve had the opportunity to work with two professional football teams. I’ve been an avid fan all my life so I thoroughly enjoyed the Big Game.
However, I found myself moved mentally and emotionally by several events other than the game itself.
- As always, the commercials were phenomenal … creative, humorous, and even touching at times. Of course, they should have been as the advertisers were paying $6 million per minute to share them with viewers!
- The entertainment was sensational from start to finish. Lea Michele, of “Glee” fame, kicked things off with a touching rendition of “America the Beautiful” followed by Christina Aguilera’s moving version of the “National Anthem.” In the excitement of the moment, Christina missed a few words but recovered quickly, finished with heart like the pro she is, and was thrilled to discover that many missed the mis-que and others didn’t care. Exquisite camera work and uncanny timing captured respectful tears flowing from the eyes of an emotional player during her performance.
Expectations had to be high for the halftime performance with names like Slash, Usher, and The Black Eyed Peas, and apparently they were met, judging by the audience reaction. The performance provided big names, great music, unique outfits, and terrific high-tech choreography by hundreds of extras.
The game itself couldn’t have offered much more in the way of excitement, execution, and edge-of-your-seat outcomes. The game went down to the last 30 seconds, providing fans of both teams with the anxiety only a tried and true fanatic could appreciate.
I mentioned earlier that I was mentally and emotionally moved by several events other than those I’ve mentioned. While there were several, they each had to do with the human aspect of Super Bowl week and how the entire country seemed to be focused on football and the celebration of the upcoming competition. We heard very little about the negativity that has plagued us for what seems forever. No one was debating healthcare or watching the unemployment numbers. You heard little about mortgages, the value of the dollar, terrorist attacks, trade balances, immigration, inflation, or politics. In fact, just prior to the game, conservative newsman Bill O’Reilly interviewed liberal President Barack Obama, and both were not only civil but actually friendly to one another … despite predictions to the contrary.
Though fierce competition was evident at every turn, it was apparent that everyone was good-natured about the upcoming game and everything involved with it. Everything else seemed to have been relegated to a back burner, at least for a short time, while people chose to focus on something more enjoyable. Stress levels were reduced, smiles and laughter increased, and it seemed nice to have something positive to look forward to.
When you think about it, all of this was a matter of choice on the part of each one of us. Maybe we should strive to choose more positive thinking, speaking and interacting a bit more often. Choice is one of the few things we do control. We choose where to place our focus. Maybe it’s time to examine our current choices and make an effort to create a few more “Super Bowl weeks” just a little more often. We’d all certainly benefit from it. Let’s start today!