Why the Super Bowl Ratings Were Abysmal

Now that the food comas have worn off and everyone is settling into the work week, lets take one last glance back at Super Bowl 53. The overall response to the game that took place seems to be a negative one labeled as “boring” and “underwhelming”. Super Bowl 53 drew a rating of 44.9. This was the lowest rated Super Bowl since the Cardinals vs. Steelers in 2009. So, why was this Super Bowl so crummy compared to the others? Here are some reasons why we just weren’t intrigued:

  1. Offense is king: I’ve made the argument on numerous occasions, but fans don’t want to see defensive showdowns. Fans want to see high scoring duels pinning great offensive minds against each other with deep threat plays. Deep passes and explosive runs are flashier and more exciting than an effective defensive scheme. In the last 5 Super Bowls, the total points are as follows: 16, 74, 62, 34, and 52. Watching solid defensive stops isn’t what fans want to watch for almost four hours; they want high scoring showdowns.
  2. Patriots bias: Unless you are a Patriots fan, or from New England, you most likely don’t want Brady to win another ring. A lot of fans are turned off by either the constant victories of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, or simply even the fact that they are always there. The Patriots have been in 4 of the last 5 Super Bowls and won 2 of the last 3. Different teams spice up the game and provide different fan bases a chance to finally see their team excel. I think people are just tired of constantly seeing Brady on the biggest stage and are hoping to see a different matchup.
  3. Rams fans: The Rams suffer from a very weak fanbase. It was evident that the Rams fanbase is subpar simply by the home games they played and crowd noise. I remember how the Eagles and Packers both traveled to LA and both fanbases were notably louder than the home team Rams. The Rams practically played a road game in Super Bowl 53 simply because of the lack of fan support there and lack of crowd noise. With so many talented studs on both sides of the ball, it’s astounding to me the Rams fan base is so lackluster.
  4. Saints’ dilemma: After the botched call in the NFC Championship, Saints fans did not go away; rather, they were louder. Saints fans petitioned the league to replay the game and “do the right thing”. They brought fake flags to the game and were waving them in the air almost like rally towels. I believe the blown call turned off fans who believed the game featured the wrong teams and wasn’t worth watching. The ratings for New Orleans clearly suffered, but I think this played a role across the country as well.

There are so many reasons why ratings for the game dipped so much as compared to previous rings, but these are the key ones. With the 100th season for the NFL starting what seems so far away, the NFL needs to clean up their officiating and other rule changes and make sure they don’t lose more fans from the game we all know and love. It’s just unfathomable to believe that in a season featuring so many explosive matchups, the biggest game of the year was a dud.

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