An increasing number of people watch the Super Bowl for the diversions surrounding the actual game, such as the pregame show, the halftime show and, of course, those ridiculously overpriced commercials.
The Retail Advertising and Marketing Association gives us this done-as-a-society stat from 2012's Super Bowl: More than 25 percent of viewers said that the most important aspect of the Super Bowl is the commercials. In 2006, that number was only 15.3 percent.
It ain't rocket surgery to recognize this as a significant trend that's likely to grow, while the on-the-field play continues to fade further into the background.
This article is for those of you at the Super Bowl party who are actually watching the game, holding in bodily fluids until play is suspended for the latest nauseatingly cute talking baby commercial. It's all about the play on the field, because without that, none of the other stuff would exist.
No. 5: Super Bowl XXXII - Jan. 25, 1998, in San Diego
In order to truly grasp the significance of this game, you need to remember that until Super Bowl XXXII against the Packers, John Elway and the Denver Broncos had lost three previous Super Bowls, including a 55-10 disgrace against Joe Montana and the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV.
The play: It's a tie game, 17-17, in the third quarter. The Broncos face third-and-six from the Packers' 12. Elway drops back to pass. Finding no one open he decides to run.
A burst of speed reminiscent of his younger days propels Elway toward the first-down marker, but he's on a collision course with Green Bay's LeRoy Butler. Elway dives for the first down; Butler dives for Elway. The ensuing collision launches Elway into a chopper-blade-like spin, but his heroic effort gives the Broncos a first down. They go on to win the game 31-24.
No. 4: Super Bowl XXV - Jan. 27, 1991, in Tampa, Fla.