As Americans get ready to watch the biggest television event of the year, we at RebootTheMedia would like to take a moment and contemplate the phenomenon that is the Super Bowl. Nothing against football, but what is it that attracts so many people to watch this single live event on TV? Most people watch for the game itself, and many people watch for the commercials — but, we suspect, some people watch simply to be part of this national “event” — millions of Americans watching the same thing at the same time — the phenomenon of a community connected by television.
Bill Maher says that “some 100 million Americans will watch the Super Bowl… that’s 40 million more than go to church on Christmas.” Imagine if there was more content on TV that captivated audiences the way the Super Bowl does. A Super Bowl commercial for potato chips leaves us hungry; wouldn’t it be extraordinary to harness that power for something that brings people together, improves lives, and gives purpose and meaning and joy?
President Obama said in the State of The Union speech last month, “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.” Similarly, we need to find content that draws us to the TV that is not just championship sports, but also victories of human accomplishment, of what is possible.