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American Culture – Super Bowl Sunday Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Culture

Sports are an important part of a country’s culture and can tell you a lot about it. The most popular sport in the USA is definitely football. I’m not talking about the football that you see in the World Cup, though. I’m talking about American football. The biggest event of the year for American football is Super Bowl Sunday. It’s such a big event that it might as well be a national holiday. In this post, we’re going to learn about Super Bowl Sunday and the culture that surrounds it.

The Big Game

Image by djanimal from flickr.com. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL). The first ever Super Bowl was played in 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Green Bay won the game and went on to repeat the following year. The winner of the Super Bowl takes home the Lombardi Trophy, which is named after legendary coach Vince Lombardi who led the Packers to those first two Super Bowl titles.

Image by Mobilus in Mobili from flickr.com. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

While the Packers have had great success with four Super Bowl titles, nobody tops the Pittsburgh Steelers. They have the record with six Super Bowls wins, but another team has the chance to tie them this year. Super Bowl LII – Roman numerals are used in the numbering of the big game – will take place this Sunday, February 4th in Minneapolis. The New England Patriots will try to tie the Steelers’ record as they go for their 6th Super Bowl championship against the Philadelphia Eagles. This is a rematch of the 2004 game, which the Patriots won 24-21. You can see some highlights from that game in this video:

The Super Bowl really is a big deal in American culture. It’s often the most-watched television program of the year. In 2015, the Super Bowl set the record as the most-watched program in American history, with over 114 million viewers. On the day of the big game, people all across the country are glued to their TV screen to watch it. While most people are interested in watching the actual game, there’s a lot more to the show than football.

The National Anthem

Image by the U.S. Army from flickr.com. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

There’s a massive production that goes along with the Super Bowl, and it all starts with the singing of the national anthem. Originally, the national anthem was performed by university marching bands. When the popularity of the game increased, famous singers and bands began singing the national anthem. Past performers include Diana Ross, Garth Brooks, and Lady Gaga. Perhaps the most famous version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was delivered by Whitney Houston in 1991.

In 2009, “America the Beautiful” was added to the pre-game show and is sung before the national anthem. This year it will be performed by Alexandria Wailes, while Pink will sing the anthem.

The Halftime Show

Image by Huntley Paton from flickr.com. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).

When the two teams take a break for halftime, there’s a huge show in the middle of the field. Just like the pre-game show, it has moved on from marching bands to famous singers and bands. This started with Michael Jackson’s performance in 1993, which actually got higher ratings than the game! Since then, the halftime show has featured the likes of the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Beyoncé. A very memorable halftime show came when Prince played his hit “Purple Rain” in the pouring rain in 2007.

This year, Justin Timberlake will deliver the halftime show. It will be his 3rd time performing at the Super Bowl. He previously appeared as a member of NSYNC and alongside Janet Jackson in their controversial performance in 2004.

The Commercials

Many people will tell you that they only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Because it is one of the most-viewed events of the year, prices to run an advertisement during the Super Bowl are extremely high. This year, companies will have to fork over $5 million to run an ad during the big game. As a result, companies put a lot of time and effort into these ads. Whereas people might usually change the channel during the commercial break, many will actually turn up the volume and pay closer attention when ads are shown during the Super Bowl. You can see some of the best ads from last year in this short video:

If the game isn’t a very close one, more people will actually be talking about the commercials than the game the day after!

The Party

Image by US Department of Agriculture from flickr.com. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

Super Bowl Sunday is 2nd only to Thanksgiving in terms of food consumption in the US. All over the country, people host Super Bowl parties in their homes or go to a bar with friends to watch the game. There’s so much to eat and drink at a Super Bowl party – pizza, submarine sandwiches, chicken wings, nachos, soda, and lots and lots of beer. If you want to try and host your own Super Bowl party, here are a few ideas for some easy recipes you can make:


As you can see, Super Bowl Sunday is kind of a big deal. Even if you don’t really understand American football – it really is a complicated game if you aren’t familiar with it – it’s still fun to tune in and watch the big game. Between the singing of the national anthem, the halftime show, and the hilarious commercials, there’s plenty to keep you entertained even if you don’t know what’s going on on the field!

Will you watch the Super Bowl this year? Who do you think will win? Leave a comment and let us know!

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.