Contributor: Adrian Rutt
Did you know on average 114 million people watch the Super Bowl? Most of know the Super Bowl is a cultural staple. It’s not going away any time soon. I’m sort of “meh” about the whole thing – I like the camaraderie, the friends, the food, the commercials, etc., but I find myself often just hoping for a good game. Perhaps my apathy is due to our home team, the Cleveland Browns’ inability to win which is so incredibly depressing! Just when you think they can’t get any worse, that they can’t get much lower, someone tosses us a shovel and tells us to keep digging.
I’m one of those annoying people that tries to find a nugget of truth in everything; who tries to find something useful in the darkest corners of the world…even in the Super Bowl. While not the darkest, it is not exactly the brightest either. People take it too seriously. It’s only a game.
This year I’m going to try something new as I watch the game; look at the brighter side so to speak. I’m going to bust out my handy-dandy legal pad and my Pilot G-2 0.38 thickness pen and write down everything that I’m thinking about during the game. Everything that sparks a thought in me. I’m going to try and find “deeper meanings” and useful ideas.
What works for the commercials – is there anything about the commercials I find entertaining and effective that I can apply to my own marketing methods? Humor, lightheartedness, emotion, all three? Why was there a breakdown in communication; why was the defensive coordinator screaming at the linebackers? Is he yelling to be heard or is he yelling because he’s mad? How do I know the difference between emphasis and anger? What sorts of communication strategies can I find that may be useful in the way I communicate to people in my life? What does it take for a team to function well – does it require a leader? Is the quarterback the leader? Can anyone be rightfully said to be the leader?
I believe when we strip some of the superficiality away, we can glean deeper insights, meanings, and ideas from everyday occurrences; occurrences that we often inappropriately and hastily dismiss as meaningless. Life, in all its richness and beauty, is waiting there to be interpreted in new and novel ways; not waiting to be simply recycled and repackaged.
I’ve always taken a liking to the sentiment that novel ideas, seemingly revolutionary insights, are the result of synergy, not bare genius. That there’s nothing new under the sun, but what is waiting to be remade and recombined to make new things; to be responded to and conversed with in an eccentric way? In other words, good ideas and genius do not happen in a vacuum – there’s always a context, and there’s always a lineage of ideas that can be traced back to their origin. For example, Newton didn’t just BAM! posit gravity. It was the result of nearly a life’s work; of responding to his contemporaries and interacting with their ideas.
So the point I am trying to make is; Don’t overlook the humdrum of “football culture” or think that life is dull or monotonous. Instead, make new truths; use your imagination. G.K. Chesterton once said that “There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.” He was right, I think, and we’d all be a bit better off if we took his maxim to heart.