The game is an event
Charles Prince, Sports Editor
The Super Bowl is annually the most watched sporting event in America. The game has not always produced great football on the field. Blowouts have been common through the years, but a few games have held the audience in suspense. Denver's win over Green Bay, the Rams holding the Titans one-yard short of a title and New England's last second win over the Rams have been the exception not the rule.
Great games really don't make the ratings. The Super Bowl is the biggest production of the year. Four-hour pre-game shows, a half time show that attracts some of the biggest names in music and the most expensive commercials on television.
The game has outgrown being just a game, it's become an event. An event so large, that corporations don't mind shelling out $2 million for a 30-second commercial. In most years the commercials are more memorable than the game.
The commercials have become so large a part of the event that they are reviewed each year in newspapers throughout the country the following day.
My favorite commerical was shown during the 2001 game. An investing firm used a chimpanzee as their star attraction.
The scence opened with two men sitting in lawn chairs on each side of the chimp in his chair. No words are uttered for several moments, and then the chimp jumps down out of his chair and pushes the play button on a boom box.
The chimp begins to dance around and clap. Then a caption on the screen reads, "We just wasted Two Million Dollars, what are you going to do with your money?"
The slick halftime show and the promise of funny commercials have made the game a family event. Super Bowl parities are now common, with more than one family getting together to view the spectacle.
The Super Bowl is a no longer a game, it's an event.
How will this year's event turn out?
I asked the local high school football coaches who they think will win. Here's what they said.
Danville head coach Joey Burch favors the Panthers because of their running game. Burch picks the game Carolina 21 New England 17.
Falkville head coach Jeff Miller thinks New England is a better team on both sides of the ball. He picks it as New England 27 Carolina 17.
Priceville head coach Marty Chambers also likes the Patriots chances. His pick is New England 24 Carolina 14.
Hartselle head coach Bob Godsey thinks the Patriots are the better team, but thinks they may be due a off day after 14 wins in a row. Godsey sees it as New England 24 Carolina 14.
My head tells me New England has to be the favorite, it's hard to pick against 14 straight wins. My heart wants the under dog Panthers to have their day in the sun. This looks like a low-scoring battle. My prediction – I'm going with my heart. Carolina 17 New England 13.