Super Bowl entertains, sells and fills screens this week
Super Bowl articles can be read without picking up or clicking onto the sports section. Invite class members to find at least one game-related report in the main news section or in the lifestyle, entertainment or business pages.
Readers have many opportunities to interact with the newspaper and each other, and the Super Bowl is an ideal chance to share expertise, opinions, predictions and other comments. Send students on a mission to join the buzz at an online forum, to submit an editorial page letter, to e-mail an article to a friend or to message the writer of a piece they like -- or dislike.
Not everyone "gets" football or appreciates Super Bowl hoopla. Start a discussion of whether the local paper's coverage seems excessive, about right or not heavy enough. Can students find any articles about people who won't watch or feel the game too much attention?
It’s nearly time for the only pro sports championship with the word “super” in its name, a fitting superlative for the NFL’s oversize season finale. Next Sunday’s Chicago Bears-Indianapolis Colts game is at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, though the playing field seems to cover the country.
Newspaper coverage spills beyond sports pages; virtually every TV channel has game-related reports this week; supermarkets feature Super Bowl party snacks; non-fans will tune in to see memorably clever commercials and Prince at halftime. The live TV broadcast of the Super Bowl still is the year’s most-viewed media event, even in this era of cable, the Internet other competition for traditional TV networks. More than 90 million viewers tuned in last year. Advertisers are paying up to $2.6 million – yes, more than two million bucks – for a half-minute spot during the CBS telecast.
Super Bowl XLI has the added element of a racial landmark –- the first NFL championship game in 41 years with two African American head coaches -- Tony Dungy of the Colts and Lovie Smith of the Bears. "I know a lot of great coaches who came before me that didn't get this opportunity," Smith says. Dungy recalls that there were no African American head coaches in the NFL when he joined the league in 1981 as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Sponsors: Kevin Federline, estranged husband of Britney Spears, stars in a Nationwide Insurance spot. Anheuser-Busch has the biggest presence again with five minutes of Budweiser and Bud Light commercials. In addition to its usual stable of Clydesdale horses, the company will feature NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr., beer-stealing crabs and a scary hitchhiker.
Student ads: Several companies ran contests for user-generated ads. Winners from among 820 teams in Chevy Super Bowl College Ad Challenge will be announced during a CBS special, “Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials 2007,” before the winning spot airs.
Sports columnist says: “In so many ways, it's our country's largest exercise in excess, overstatement, over-hype and overspending. . . . It's a day that transcends all social, ethnic, racial, religious and economic backgrounds. So why don't we stop pretending here and officially declare Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday?” – Mike Cobb, The Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger
Front Page Talking Points is written by
Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2013
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