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fact: all Americans watch the Super Bowl

5 February, 2012

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a student during office hours.

We were talking about sports, and he asked if I would be watching the Super Bowl.  I told him that I had never watched a Super Bowl game, and his jaw dropped.    He explained his surprise by telling me about his former belief that all Americans watch the Super Bowl every year.

Prior to this conversation, I had not given American game viewing habits much thought.  I know that the Super Bowl is always a popular event, and people have parties for it every year.  And anyone with a TV or internet access knows that the Super Bowl commercials are a big deal.. but do *all* Americans really watch the game?

While I understand that my student did not mean literally every single American citizen watches the Super Bowl, I think he had the belief that it is a huge national pastime.  And while I know my viewing habits, as well as those of close friends and family, I don’t have much of an idea as to what the rest of America does on game day.  I decided to check out some statistics and found that about 33% of the population does watch the Super Bowl.  A lot, for sure, but not all.

Our conversation stuck with me because I think learning about what beliefs people hold about various group or national identities is interesting, even when the beliefs are way off.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 7 February, 2012 19:05

    I find this funny, because I’ve spent the last few days telling Moroccans that pretty much all Americans watch the Super Bowl. For me, that mostly means attending a Super Bowl party – I don’t really like football, but I’ve watched part of it many, many times. 33% seems like a really low statistic to me! I’m shocked! I suppose I’m only in touch with certain demographics, but everywhere I have ever lived, Americans have gathered to watch the game (or the commercials, or just eat the dip). I wonder if as a dip-eater I would be counted as a ‘viewer’ in those statistics? Either way, it seems I stand corrected.


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