Newswise — For a few hours, the ultimate play-off is the ultimate unifier, chasing away everyday cares and cutting across cultural, economic and gender lines that on most days divide people, says Baylor University pop culture observer Greg Garrett, Ph.D.
It can even cause a "spiritual sugar high" of sorts, says Garrett, an author and professor of English in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences.
But the flip side is that it is a “festival of excess, consumption, spectacle and violence . . .
"I think it’s entirely possible that we can join in a national conversation about the Super Bowl on Facebook, Twitter, talk radio, and other media, watch the game, halftime show, and trendy commercials, and get a sort of spiritual sugar high that has little or nothing to do with the virtue at the root of all wisdom traditions: compassion.”
He notes that “players are hurt — many suffering lifelong damage — for our amusement,” citing Baylor’s own alum Robert Griffin III —Washington Redskins quarterback — who suffered a horrific injury on national television in the 2012 playoffs.
To interview Garrett, contact Terry Goodrich, assistant director of Baylor’s media communications, at (254) 710-3321 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.