Friday, February 3, 2017

Are you ready for some football? It’s in there somewhere!

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am quite a sports fan. So, it should be no surprise that this week’s blog is about Super Bowl 51 – sort of.  From somewhat humble beginnings in 1967 – the first game didn’t even sell out –  to more than one million expected to attend Super Bowl 51, the event has taken on a life of its own.

How did it all start? Well, in 1966, the National Football League and the American Football League merged. As part of the merger, it was agreed that the two leagues’ champions would play in a World Championship to determine the overall champion. Today, football isn’t the only competition on Super Bowl Sunday.

It’s almost like attending an extravaganza where a football game breaks out! The half time shows have gone from marching bands and drill teams to the likes of Bruce Springstein, Michael Jackson, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars and this year, Lady Gaga. Almost as many people watch the half time show as the number who watch the game. Didn’t half time used to be reserved for bathroom breaks and snack time?

And how about those commercials? If you think that’s not a competition, think again. Every company, every ad agency tries to outdo the others. With all the money at stake, advertisers keep their fingers crossed and hope their commercial is the one that makes the most impact. Think about this – at the first Super Bowl in 1967, a 30 second commercial went for $42,000. Today a 30 second spot is going for about $5 million.

There are Super Bowl parties hosted throughout the country in homes, taverns, restaurants, event halls and more. In fact, some are lobbying for the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday to be declared a holiday.

All this and I haven’t even really talked about the game. Ah yes, the game; the reason this all started in the first place. This year the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots face off for the right to be Super Bowl Champions: two teams who have battled the competition all year to get to this point; two teams who will leave it all on the field to prove themselves; two teams who will give it their best to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. That’s what Super Bowl Sunday is really all about.

What’s my point? I’m not convinced that bigger is always better. When things get too big, they can get out of control. Bigger sometimes makes us lose sight of the goal – no pun intended – not just in football, but in life. The key in whatever we do is clarity and focus; focus on what’s truly important, what really makes a difference and to not let that get lost in all the trappings.

It’s less than one day, 15 hours and 55 minutes to kick-off. Are you ready?

Posted by MJ Thomas

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