Last season, the Superdome's lights suddenly shut off -- right in the middle of the Super Bowl. No matter the reason, it was a poor decision to turn them off, and the NFL should think carefully before doing the same this year.
Last year, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh led his team against the Ravens and their head coach, head coach John Harbaugh. It really was truly a family affair. In the third quarter, however, this family affair ran family afoul: the lights in the Superdome shut off. Right in the middle of the game.
Why did they decide to turn off the lights in the middle of the game? And why did they have to do so during one of the biggest and most-watched NFL games of the entire season? You, the reader, cannot answer these questions (except for in the comments section, which I never read), so I will fight for you and serve as your voice.
Together, we must deliver a message to the NFL: Don't do this again. Don't turn off the lights right in the middle of the Super Bowl. Here are three reasons why:
1. It provides a poor fan experience.
Whether your favorite player in the Super Bowl is Tarvaris Jackson, Russell Wilson, Derrick Coleman, Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael, Robert Turbin, Spencer Ware, Michael Robinson, Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin, Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockett, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Bryan Walters, Kellen Davis, Anthony McCoy, Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Max Unger, James Carpenter, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Paul McQuistan, J.R. Sweezy, Alvin Bailey, Alvin Bailey, Michael Bowie, Breno Giacomini, Caylin Hauptmann, Russell Okung, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Kenneth Boatribght, Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin, Benson Mayowa, Greg Scruggs, Jordan Hill, Tony McDaniel, Clinton McDonald, Brandon Mebane, Jesse Williams, Heath Farwell, Mike Morgan, O'Brien Schofield, Malcolm Smith, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Brandon Browner, Chandler Fenner, Jeremy Lane, Byron Maxwell, DeShawn Shead, Richard Sherman, Tharold Simon, Walter Thurmond, Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, Chris Maragos, Earl Thomas, Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan, Clint Gresham, Zac Dysert, Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, C.J. Anderson, Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno, Andre Caldwell, Eric Decker, Trindon Holliday, Deymarius Thomas, Wes Welker, Joel Dreessen, Virgil Green, Jacob Tamme, Adlai Stevenson V, Julius Thomas, Dan Koppen, Manny Ramirez, Steve Vallos, Zane Beadles, Chris Kuper, Louis Vasquez, Ryan Clady, Chris Clark, Orlando Franklin, Winston Justice, Vinston Painter, Robert Ayers, Malik Jackson, Shaun Phillips, Quanterus Smith, Derek Wolf, Sione Fua, Terrance Knighton, Mitch Unrein, Kevin Vickerson, Sylvester Williams, Jeremy Mincey, Stewart Bradley, Nate Irving, Steven Johnson, Paris Lenon, Brandon Marshall, Lerentee McCray, Von Miller, Danny Trevathan, Wesley Woodyard, Champ Bailey, Tony Carter, Marquice Cole, Chris Harris, Quentin Jammer, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Kayvon Webster, Mike Adams, Omar Bolden, David Bruton, Quinton Carter, Michael Huff, Duke Ihenacho, Rahim Moore, Matt Prater, Britton Colquitt, or Aaron Brewer, if they decide to turn off the lights in the middle of the Super Bowl again, it won't matter. You will not even be able to see your favorite player.
If you really are fine with a Super Bowl without lights, well, be my guest. Don't even bother to tune in. Just watch this three-hour GIF.
I hope you had fun. Speaking only for myself, I'd rather catch all the action, rather than go through the chore of actually reading about it later. It's monotonous enough for me to have to read the stuff I write as I'm writing it; I'm certainly not going to sit through someone else's words. Lots of folks spend all day going, "hmm, well I think, hmmmmmmmm," while drumming their fingers, and they have the good sense not to drum them on a keyboard and waste everyone else's time.
Keep in mind that Americans aren't the only folks who will be tuning in. The Super Bowl has become a truly international affair. In fact, if you add up all the viewers from America and the rest of the world combined, as many as one million people will be watching. An unlit Super Bowl would cast the most unflattering light upon our sport and our country -- figuratively -- because there would be no light at all.
2. Turning off the lights won't save very much money.
According to the blog Energy Electricity, the electric bill for Super Bowl XLV -- which was held in Dallas -- probably totaled about $7,500. Just for good measure, let's be generous and suppose that this year's Super Bowl will generate a $10,000 bill from the power company.
That is nothing. That is a drop in the bucket.
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The Big Game is Big Business for the NFL and advertisers alike. I feel very strongly that this is true, and have for quite some time. Considering the revenue generated by advertising, merchandising, and ticket sales, the NFL could be looking at a pay day as large as $1 million.
It's well-documented that humans have difficulty conceptualizing numbers that large, so think of it a different way: the revenue in the above chart is exactly 100 times greater than the power bill.
I understand that we live in a capitalist society, and that the NFL, like any other corporation, is ultimately in pursuit of money. But last year, their decision to shut off the lights didn't save them any money at all in the long run. And those who fail to learn from the past deserve neither liberty nor safety. (Benjamin Franklin.)
3. Folks could get hurt.
There are only two situations in which darkness is appropriate: sleeping, and having sex with your friends. I can't imagine attempting to play a sport as dependent upon vision as football. Just ask Jim "Eyes" Brown and Joe "Seeing Things" Montana what their careers would have been like had their respective fields of play lacked proper lighting. Those weren't their nicknames; I was simply having a laugh.
So NFL, if you want to stay in the dark, that's your prerogative.
But remember, fans: if they do decide to turn off the lights in the middle of the Super Bowl again, they cannot take away our terrific and fun videos. Here is one, though there are probably dozens.