A writer for the SF Chronicle recently told us locals that, "nobody you know will be attending any of this." Our city is providing, the playground -- hotels, restaurants, scenery, security, stadium -- for people who want to come and play. It's our job to say, "thanks for spending your money here."
So I had given no thought to getting tickets to anything related to the event which is up there with Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July as a national holiday. Then I saw a movie called Concussion. It features a great performance by Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who defined chronic traumatic encephalopathy in NFL players, and great supporting performances from Albert Brooks, Alec Baldwin and others.
Then I saw a poster announcing that Dr. Omalu would appear as part of the City Arts and Lectures series on Thursday, February 4, just three days before the big game. So, I logged on and got tickets! There were only sixty seats left.
He is appearing in a theater that seats about a thousand and the tickets were $29 each. That hardly compares to the big game that will bring a million visitors to our city of 800,000 and command thousands of dollars for a single ticket. So this may not be everybody's definition of a Super-Bowl-related event.
But this may have more to do with Super Bowls present and to come than first appears. As a character in the movie says, if just 10% of moms in America decide football is too dangerous for their sons to play, the NFL is finished. And it was right here in SF that Chris Borland of the 49ers became "the most prominent NFL player to leave the game in his prime because of concerns about brain injuries," according to ESPN.