Student Press Super Bowl Preview: Predictions & Debates About ‘Landmark American Cultural Event’

The 2013 Super Bowl– the capstone to the NFL season and a media phenomenon unlike any other– has inspired countless columns and news stories within college media over the past two weeks.  Students have shared predictions, staked out viewing party hot spots, and discussed the game’s larger societal impact and public fascination.

As Alex Leichenger writes about the latter in the Student Life at Washington University of St. Louis, “Every year, the Super Bowl is a landmark American cultural event. It’s a corporate bonanza of multimillion-dollar commercials and grandiose halftime shows. The game itself unifies and divides cross-sections of American society based on the geography or perceived values embodied by the two teams and 106 players.”


University of Miami sophomore Raymond La agrees with Leichenger’s grandiose assessment. As he writes for The Miami Hurricane, “I bet even Vince Lombardi would be amazed. Amazed at the speed and agility of today’s offenses. Amazed at the brunt force trauma inflicted by today’s defenses. Amazed at how today’s Super Bowl has transformed into a multimillion dollar game of not just athletic, but cultural significance. . . . How did the Super Bowl become what it is today?

In a separate piece for The Oakland Post at Michigan’s Oakland University, Dylan Dulberg advises his fellow students on “10 things you should bet on in Super Bowl XLVII.”

Among them: “Which commercial will come first: Doritos, Budweiser, or Coca-cola and/or Pepsi?”; “How many times in the first quarter will they show a split screen with both of the Harbaugh brothers looking stoically in the opposite direction?”; “Of the three former NFL Super Bowl winners to serve as ESPN analysts– Mike Ditka, Steve Young and Trent Dilfer– who will be the first one to say, ‘Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh.’”; And “[w]ill Justin Timberlake appear out of nowhere during the halftime show to cause another ‘wardrobe malfunction?’”

Amid all the questions being raised and bets being placed, Arkansas Traveler sports editor Kristen Coppola is steering clear of making a Super Bowl prediction. In part, the University of Arkansas student blames her avoidance mentality on a season filled with disappointments.


“It started with the replacement refs, who I won’t quickly forget,” she writes. “Actually, I may end up telling my grand-nieces and nephews about it one day when I’m cranky and arthritic. I can hear myself now: ‘Back in my day, there was this atrocity called replacement refs, and that’s what happens when you refuse to compromise and make nice!’”

Meanwhile, Taylor Ellis, a features columnist for The Daily Illini at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provides a nice guide on how to fake your way through Super Bowl weekend.


In her piece, headlined “Football for Dummies,” she admits, “I’d tell people I’m rooting for the Ravens simply because purple is my favorite color. Unfortunately, there’s no way I could actually give this reason because I would look extremely girly and possibly irritate any serious football fans around me. Instead, it’s better to say that you’re rooting for Baltimore because they’re the underdog or that you’re pulling for San Francisco because you’re a big fan of Michael Crabtree, their wide receiver. As long as the reason sounds somewhat legitimate, you will come off as at least a little bit intelligent about one of the most anticipated sporting events in the United States.”

The bottom line, according to the Hurricane’s La, “As bags of chips and guacamole are consumed, entertaining commercials are watched, and the halftime show performers are rocked out to, just remember that there is an actual football going on, and you can watch it too.”

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