The Super Bowl experience told by a German exchange student

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Sarah Carpenter

BY SARAH CARPENTER (’20)

To Americans, the anticipation and hype surrounding the Super Bowl is normal and is even considered a part of American culture. However, I was curious as to how people from other countries and cultures view the American tradition that is the Super Bowl. To get some answers, I sat down and interviewed German exchange student Anna Luedtke, who experienced her first American Super Bowl this February.

S: First off, what are your thoughts on the sport of football in general?

A: “I have to be honest, I didn’t know much about football before I came to America and it is still kind of confusing to me. Not only the sport itself but the whole hype that comes with it. I obviously knew about it and I was also aware that it is one of the most popular sports in the US and especially the Super Bowl is a very important event for many Americans. I think football is something that people either love or love to hate.”

S: How popular is football in Germany?

A: “Though there are a number of football clubs in Germany the popularity is not comparable to America. Though I believe that is has become more popular over the years since the media has become such a big part of it. People know about the Super Bowl but usually think of it more as a stereotypical American event where junk food is consumed in excessive amounts.”

S: Do you think that the American celebration of sports is excessive?

A: “I believe that the celebration of sport is just as excessive as it is in other countries. Germans get equally hyped about the soccer World Cup and celebrate it very enthusiastically with open-air watch parties, foods and merchandising many European countries enjoy the celebration of a certain sport.”

S: What were your initial thoughts about the Super Bowl?

A: “Initially I didn’t think that I would care much about it since neither I nor my host family follows the sport. I was excited to see the halftime show and I heard that the commercial are somewhat special.”

S: How was your Super Bowl experience?

A: “I have to admit that I was one of the ‘I’m only here for the commercials’ people and I didn’t actually watch the game much itself. But I think it was a great excuse to relax on the couch and eat an excessive amount of junk food and ice cream. And whether or not you care about the actual game, it is an event that most Americans celebrate by hanging out with family and friends. It definitely was a uniquely American experience and I found it quite amusing and entertaining.”

S: Do you think Americans hype up the Super Bowl too much?

A: “I think that the idea of the event itself is just like any other sports event and there is nothing wrong with that. But I think that nowadays it has become more about selling, advertising, and entertainment than the actual game. The media has become very involved in it which has caught more people’s attention. I do have to say that Americans sometimes tend to get overly hyped and excited about it and forget about what it is actually about because they get all caught up in the celebration.”

S: After experiencing the Super Bowl, what is your overall opinion on it?

A: “Overall, I did like the experience. I thought the food was really good, and I enjoyed spending time with my family and friends. I had a lot of fun while the game was going on, and I enjoyed watching the halftime show and singing along to some of the songs.”