Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow offered a fascinating observation about the Super Bowl this week that makes a lot of sense even though it’s something I’ve never thought about.
Burrow appeared on Colin Cowherd’s podcast this week and he talked about the atmosphere at Super Bowl LVI earlier this year.
The former LSU star, who has played in his fair share of big games (including the national championship game against Clemson in early 2020), told Cowherd that the Super Bowl didn’t feel like a playoff game due to the corporate nature of the event.
“It felt like a dinner party and we were the entertainment,” said Burrow. “You come off a road game in Kansas City, a road game in Tennessee, and then your first home win in the playoffs in 30-some years. And then you go to the Super Bowl and it’s more corporate.”
“It just took a second to get used to,” added Burrow. “It didn’t feel like a playoff football game, it was a weird feeling at the beginning.”
“Once you get out there, football is football. You prepare all week to get those nerves out. They come the days leading up, but then once you get to game day, you know you’re prepared, you know you’ve done the film study.”
Burrow makes a great point — the Super Bowl is more like a dinner party than a playoff football game.
One of the great things about the NFL playoffs is the great environments that we get. There’s nothing like screaming fans in Cincinnati, Kansas City, Buffalo, New Orleans, etc.
With the Super Bowl, though, we don’t get that same environment. Instead, it’s more like a red carpet. That’s because the tickets aren’t affordable for average football games. You know, the ones who live and die with each play for 17 weeks in the fall? The ones who spend hard-earned money on tickets, merchandise, etc.
Those are the fans who should be filling the stands at the Super Bowl. Not the casual business executives and celebrities who probably barely watched a down of football all season.
It’s not surprising that this stuck out to Burrow — he’s a “football guy” through and through. And you can certainly tell that he has no time for the dinner party vibes of the Super Bowl.
Featured image via Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK