Numbering the Super Bowl
It's a week after the Super Bowl, and numbers tell the story.
The first number, of course, is the score. The first half belonged to the Baltimore Ravens, 28-6. The second half belonged to the San Francisco 49ers, 25-6. But, it was the Ravens who limped into victory in Super Bowl XLVII, 34-31. Each Raven earned $88,000; each 49er earned $46,000. The NFL is paying up to $5,000 for each of 150 rings for the Ravens - players, staff, management and, possibly, a few hangers-on.
The official ticket prices were $850 to $1,250 per seat. Unofficial prices, from private dealers and stadium scalpers, were $2,000 to $5,000. Most tickets are bought by the super-wealthy and corporations, and then deducted as business expenses. A suite in the 400 level went for between $100,000 and $300,000. Next year's ticket prices at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., are expected to begin at about $1,000. In contrast, the first Super Bowl tickets in 1967 were just $6 to $12 a seat. Unlike the first Super Bowl, which was more fan-friendly, only one percent of tickets go to the general public. Almost three-fourths of tickets were divided among NFL teams, and one fourth went to corporations, the media and other mooches, all of whom figured out how to deduct everything from overpriced hotdogs to overpriced hotel rooms and paid escorts.
Hotel rooms went for a minimum of $400 a night. Expect to pay at least $500 to $600 a night for a room next year. Houses near the game in New Orleans averaged about $10,000 to $15,000 for the week.
If you placed a bet, that was just between you and your friendly neighborhood bookie. If you did it legally in Vegas, you were among thousands who wagered $90 million.
If you stayed home, you and 108 million of your closest friends watched the game on TV. This was the third highest number to watch any TV show, behind games played in 2012 (111.3 million) and 2010 (111 million).
This year, all of the viewers watched 47 minutes worth of commercials. Each 30-second ad cost about $3.8 million, and that doesn't include production costs. In contrast, the first Super Bowl ads cost about $42,000 for 30 seconds.
As in most Super Bowls, Anheuser-Busch leads the league in ad placement. This year, it bought four and one-half minutes of air time, as hefty a buy as its much-loved Clydesdales.
About eight million TV sets were bought in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Probably 10 percent or more big-screen TVs are now being returned to the stores.
To cover the game, CBS brought 62 cameras, including five high-speed cameras that directors used for slo-mo replay.
The fans bought about $ 1 billion in snacks. This includes about 53 million cases of beer and 1.2 billion wings. Domino's alone delivered about 1.4 million pizza on game day. Americans - even racists who don't want any more Hispanics in the U.S. - dipped about eight million pounds of nacho chips into guacamole dip made from about eight million avocados.
The electrifying 11-minute half-time show featuring Beyoncé and Destiny's Child required a crew of 600. However, they weren't responsible for the 34-minute power outage early in the third quarter. The outage in the Superdome led to an estimated 47.7 million social media posts, according to Trendrr TV.
About 5,200 media credentials were issued. That's 5,200 persons from the media whose newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, and even Internet websites, have paid a small nation's gross domestic product so they can cover the Super Bowl, and then deduct it from corporate income taxes.
We recognize that the Super Bowl is America's party. A time to forget the blizzards and winds of war. But, wouldn't it be nice if the rest of the year, we could get 5,200 members of the media to better cover poverty, homelessness, social injustice, education, health, labor, the economy and even improve their coverage of politics?
(Brasch, author and retired university professor from Bloomsburg, writes "Wanderings" for each Sunday edition. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)