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Students Celebrate Super Bowl LI

BY AXEL HALVARSON, STAFF WRITER

From September to February, the National Football League owns one day of the week: Sunday. For many Americans, Sundays are often spent on the couch eating food with their eyes locked on the television in front of them.

Through fantasy football, primetime television slots or through outrageously long commercial breaks during the regular season, every American seems to be knowledgeable about the NFL. The NFL is the largest professional sports league in the country as well as one of the most popular sources for entertainment.

The long season comes to a close on the first Sunday of February with the grand finale of professional football: the Super Bowl.

This year’s matchup featured four-time (and now five-time) Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and the dominant New England Patriots versus Matt Ryan and the up-and-coming Atlanta Falcons. The halftime show was nothing short of a spectacle with Lady Gaga taking the stage and the top of NRG Stadium.

The game itself was a spectacle of epic proportions, as well. After taking a 25-point lead, the Falcons struggled to stop Brady’s offense, and eventually fell to the Patriots 34-28 in the first-ever overtime game in Super Bowl History.

One of the best parts about the Super Bowl is the commercials. However, these are not the usual long and boring advertisements that we see 100 times a day.  Super Bowl commercials cost around $5 million just to get a 30-second slot.

These commercials stand out from the typical ones we see. Viewers miss these commercials if they are present at the game.

The most interesting part about the game is how many people really do care and watch the Super Bowl. The 2013 matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers was the lowest watched Super Bowl in the last 5 years. The game averaged 108 million viewers according to ESPN.

The day has essentially become a national holiday. Americans use the game as a way to get together with people they know and have a small or large party. Bellarmine is no different.

This year, students had a new way to watch the game on campus. Bellarmine’s Student Activity Center hosted its first-ever Super Bowl watch party. The party takes place in Palio, which is one of the most popular areas on campus, especially for students who live in the Sienna residence halls. Robbie Gains, the event’s coordinator, said he wanted to inject some of the fun of the Super Bowl into Bellarmine.

“We want to bring in students who live on campus for a fun night. We will have food provided, prizes, and (Super Bowl) trivia,” Gains said. “People will come for everything: the halftime show, commercials and of course the game.”

Many students watched the big game with friends in their dorms with roommates or in residence hall common areas.

Some students carry on traditions from their childhood. Before the game, freshman Sean Steer said the Super Bowl was an opportunity to mix old family traditions with new college friends in Newman Hall.

“I always get together with friends or family and pick a team then eat taquitos and watch the game every year,” Steer said. “Since I’m a freshman, I think I’ll have a great time watching the game with new friends that I have made here.”

With all of the extra activities surrounding the game, it is hard to remember that the Super Bowl is still a football game. Lady Gaga surely drew in some unique viewers, but a lot of people still want to watch the Super Bowl for the football.

“My favorite part about the Super Bowl is the game itself, not really all the extra stuff,” said freshman Michael Motiff. “I like to enjoy the game as it happens.”

People from all across the country, whether they understand football or not, took part in a national tradition of watching people play a game that has its grip on America for one particular Sunday each year.

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