Is the Superbowl the High Holy Day of America?

February 3, 2009 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Culture, Headlines


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Gary Laderman (religiondispatches.org) recently penned a provocative article speculating whether the Superbowl now functions as America’s religious festival par excellence. Laderman focuses on the religoius indignation that flared up over Janet Jackson’s “costume malfunction”. I, however, wonder whether he’s on to something bigger. Sports (and concerts) are filling the void of public katharsis. Americans disagree on politics and religion, but everyone can get together an enjoy the big game. Why you can even paint your face, drink libations, and sacrifice Johnsonville sausages to the god of your belly.
People who don’t even watch NFL games during the season still tune in for the Superbowl. It’s an American experience. Some have suggested that the Monday after Superbowl Sunday be a work-free national holiday. Pittsburg even delayed school on the Monday after the Steeler’s victory. President Obama made a statement as to which team he supported (Steelers). Some Baptists churches canceled evening Sunday services in light of the Superbowl. It’s beginning to look and feel like Rosh Hashanah or Christmas.
What do you think? Is the Superbowl becoming religious?

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