"Super Bowl XLVI: You're Doing it Right." Image via Wylio http://bit.ly/wFjGGY
America’s annual sports extravaganza, the pro football Super Bowl, will be played Sunday in Indianapolis, IN. And everything about it becomes a “super” excess.
Television commercials this year cost $3.5 million for a 30-second spot during the game's broadcast, which has become the most-viewed show on television. Last year, an estimated 111 million people tuned in to watch the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Superbowl XLV, setting a new viewership record for a single event. In fact, of the five most watched events in U.S. television history, four are Super Bowl games (the fifth was the final episode of M*A*S*H* in 1983). Last year, $87.5 million was legally wagered on Super Bowl XLV, mostly via Las Vegas, and the amount is expected to be even higher this year.
Given the game's role as the preeminent icon of American popular sports culture, it’s not surprising that the struggles and problems of the larger society intrude on Super Bowl Sunday. Two new laws were signed this week by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels — one good and one bad — that directly relate to this Sunday's game.
First, the good. The seamy underside of the Super Bowl is the increase in sex trafficking that accompanies it. Like any large gathering of people, it attracts traffickers peddling their victims, many of them minors.