Super Bowl swells 'fan' ranks this Sunday -- and not just for football
Look for a game-related article of interest that's not in the sports section. Tell why the topic is appealing.
Discuss whether Super Bowl coverage seems over the top, about right or not heavy enough. Are sports section articles clear enough for non-fans to understand?
Can you find quotes from people who'll watch just to see the ads or for another reason besides liking football?
The pro football season ends Feb. 7 with familiar rituals and a team playing its first Super Bowl. The New Orleans Saints, created in 1967, haven't reached the NFL championship game before. Led by quarterback Drew Brees, they'll take on the Indianapolis Colts and star quarterback Payton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV (that's 44 in Roman numerals). Miami hosts the big game for the 10th time.
The Saints have a 13-3 record in regular season, compared to the 14-2 for the Colts. But on-field strengths and strategies aren't necessarily the main draw for everyone in a global TV audience that will approach -- or exceed -- 100 million. With that many viewers, the event is a Huge Deal for sponsors and the network airing it. CBS sold more than $200 million in commercial time for Sunday evening's extravaganza, a traditional showcase for inventive, humorous new ads that generate their own fans, news coverage and social media buzz. A 30-second spot costs about $2.5 million, one industry estimate says.
Spots will include viewer-generated ads for Doritos chips and CaereerBuilder.com, chosen via online votes. The brewer of Budweiser beer, which will show five minutes of ads, has a Facebook poll on whether to feature its familiar Clydesdale horses again.
The game also means big bucks for Miami and Miami Beach, with sold-out hotels, parties galore and plenty of promotional events. An economic study says the event will add about $153 million to South Florida's economy this year. Celebrities coming include megastars who'll perform at Sun Life Stadium during the game. Carrie Underwood sings the National Anthem, Queen Latifah presents America the Beautiful and classic British rockers The Who are the halftime entertainers. In other words, there are plenty of reasons to be near a TV on an evening when nearly everyone is a football fan, loosely speaking.
Sportswriter says: "Virtually everything will be televised except Drew Brees clipping his toenails." -- Barry Jackson, Miami Herald
Saints fan says: "This is possibly the biggest thing we've ever had [in New Orleans]. Just getting there is making us happy. Lord help us if we win." -- Ella Brennan, prominent restaurant owner
Columnist says: "Before culture and even before sports, the Super Bowl is about business." -- Dan Neil, Los Angeles Times business columnist
Front Page Talking Points is written by
Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2013
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