By Chasity Fernandes, May 26, 2016
This Super Bowl crept up on me. Between work, school, and helping out at home, I was unaware about the big kick off until a week or so before the game.
I work for Food Plus in Flushing, Queens, or rather ‘Foo Plus,’ as the outdoor business sign reads since the D fell off years ago. The store began setting up festive sales and handing out football themed flyers. Customers with massive amounts of soda, chips, assorted dips, hot dogs, and paper products crowded the register lines. In addition, assignments for my media classes, all asking for a report on the Super Bowl, made me realize the most American viewed sporting event was upon me.
Aside from watching professional boxing matches on TV (I’m not much of a sports fan. Aside from watching professional boxing matches on TV (that include boxers like Pacqiauo, Mayweather, or Cotto, to name a few) or maybe a NBA joust on a good day, I don’t have the patience to sit through a contest. Let alone only watching it on TV. Attending real games allows for more interactivety.)
I grew up on boxing. There isn’t a single person in my family who won’t attend a family member’s party coinciding with a major boxing event, and there isn’t a single person who isn’t knowledgeable about the sport.
I can’t say I know as much about basketball, but I know enough to watch a game deemed important but my boyfriend can bore me to death with details and facts like the Knick’s stats.
However, Super Bowl parties can be a lot like other sport parties where everyone eats an excessive amount of junk food and gathers around a huge TV set. I actually do enjoy this form of sport viewing since it’s more exciting and easy to follow with 15 relatives collectively cheering (and booing) as attractive men in tight pants, run around.
I was actually inspired to pay close attention to what was going on. I believed it wouldn’t hurt to try to learn about the game for once. Yet, when Sunday, February 6, rolled around, it was a different story. I had worked the entire weekend because all of the locals went crazy over buying snacks and drinks in preparation. Food Plus was short on chips and soda by the end of the evening. I can’t tell if the shortage was because it’s the only supermarket in Flushing, Queens or because of the Super Bowl.
By the time I was finally off the clock that evening (a whole half hour after the game had begun, mind you) I could barely keep my eyes open for the remainder. It’s safe to say I can’t recall a single play thought I know the Bronco’s won, and of course, there was the halftime show, which had a controversial theme this year. With Coldplay advocating for gay rights with its colorful performance and Beyoncé’s performance addressing the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I thought much of America would be none too pleased with the halftime show this year.
After the game, I had regained enough consciousness to interview people who had gathered in my house to watch along with my parents.
The responses were similar. The game was boring. Louis Montenegro, 36, an elevator mechanic from Queens, said, “It was clear by the end that the Panthers let Broncos win so that Peyton Manning could retire with that one last victory.” With that sentiment, many whom I interviewed that evening agreed it was commendable, but didn’t make for much of a show.
The real excitement, however, was Beyoncé’s performance. Not only did she perform “Formation,” but her background dancers dressed as Black Panthers, a political organization in the 1960s that fought for black rights. I was shocked because many pop culture and media artists usually avoid addressing controversial issues that could lead to bigger problems for them down the line.
For example, controversy could threaten ticket sales or alienate or displease other artists or producers who might have contrary opinions or don’t want to deal with controversy. That Beyoncé stood up in front of America at the coveted Super bowl and clearly stated her position amazed me.
[Editor’s Note: This is the preferred copyedited version of the writer’s article about the 50th Super Bowl].
Chasity Fernandes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org