Photo by London Bridges on Unsplash

Notes In Passing on the Superbowl

The aristocracy loves the gladiators.

3 min readFeb 14, 2022


Yesterday, I watched the Superbowl, not as a sports fan (I’m not a sports fan), but as a cultural observer. The game was played in SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, packed with fans and celebrities. As I watched the game, I reminded myself that there were hundreds if not thousands of people staffing the facility to keep things running smoothly. I also reminded myself that everyone in attendance was rich enough to blow a minimum of $6600 for a ticket. The stadium was filled with members of an aristocracy.

I only saw 2, maybe 3 persons wearing a mask throughout the entire program. The players (understandably), the anchors, the sideline staff, and the celebrities all appeared without masks. I didn’t see anyone in the stands with a mask. It was almost as if a return to normalcy was in play.

White hair is in vogue for the Superbowl. A Law and Order commercial alerts us to a series reboot with Sam Waterson as a geriatric crime-fighting attorney. During the halftime show, we’re treated to older, heavier, and slower rap stars called out of retirement from the 1990s heyday. I recalled that Bruno Mars gave a much better halftime show just 8 years ago.

Jennifer Lopez appeared in a commercial, I could barely recognize her. Mike Myers reprised his role as Dr. Evil in a car commercial. Jim Carrey reprises his role as The Cable Guy for a Verizon 5G commercial. Then Jennifer Lopez turned up again in an ad promoting Netflix, too. The aristocracy designs advertising for their wares as entertainment.

I enjoyed the Superbowl as a spectacle, for the action, the color, and the controversies signified by every flag thrown down by a referee. I enjoyed the camera angles, the slow-motion replays, and the emotional outbursts of the gladiators. I saw the touchdowns, the interceptions, and the field goals. I didn’t care who wins, I was only interested in the body language, the signaling, and the way the coaches covered their mouths.

As I looked at the sidelines, the team staff, the journalists, the photogs, I couldn’t help but think that everyone on the sidelines earned more money on that day than I do in a year. I saw how exclusive the entire stadium was. I saw the commercials with multimillion-dollar…