Why I Love Football and HATE the Super Bowl

I’m a little riled up.

I went to the Fem 2.0 conference on Monday and learned how feminists can really make an impact in society, in communities and in lives through technology. We also learned how important it is to take the feminist message to broader audiences. So even though I’m a food blogger, I want to continue the conversation and demonstrate that there can be feminist lessons everywhere. Especially in Super Bowl food ads.

But I don’t want to straight up dis the sport. I love football because it’s the best sport there is. And the Eagles will one day be recognized as the most dominant force in the league. Well, recognized and will win games against crappy teams like the Cardinals and Bengles. And one day, drunk off Yuengling and mysterious green shots, I will cry in the arms of my fellow fans as Donovan McNabb hands off the football to Brian Westbrook, who then dives into the end zone, for a game winning touch down. And then Brian Dawkins sprouts wings and flies around the stadium.


I hate the Super Bowl because every effing commercial is directed to what ad execs think the white male 30-year-old wants to see and hear and consume. And I don’t even want to get into the whole Danica Patrick tasteless, tacky and completely un-feminist ad campaign. She’s an athlete! Must she stoop to the level of a Playboy Bunny?!?!

So on to Pepsi Max.


Okay, so the ad depicts stupid (mostly white) men doing stupid, stereotypical *men* things:

Male gets hit in head with golf club, proclaims, “I’m good”

Male gets bowling ball dropped on head, proclaims, “I’m good”

Male gets an electrical shock while doing male house repairs on roof and flies into trailer thirty feet away, proclaims, “I’m good”

Male announcer proclaims, “Men can take anything, except the taste of diet soda.”

And then magically Pepsi introduces a diet soda that is specifically designed so that men can still be macho while drinking this healthier option.

Here we go again.

Perpetuating the paradigm that men need not worry about their health. That men should eat manly things like red meat and potatoes – in triple the portion that they should. And men don’t have to think about their food choices because they’ll have their own Claire Huckstable ready to snag away that artery-clogging cheesy, meatball sub. Well, kids. The stigma needs to die.

Men care about their health. Which is why, in the first place, Pepsi created another line of low calorie soda. But does it really have to be marketed to the frat boy? I love humor. I mean, hello, is Endless Simmer like the least serious food blog of all time. Okay, fine. Not today.

Anyway, I understand that humor sells. And yes, my (feminist) boyfriend pointed out that this may just be self-deprecating and over the top on purpose. But I don’t care. Can we please start to break down gender stereotypes, especially such life-threatening ones as obesity. Pepsi at least started to dispel the stigma that men shouldn’t think about what they’re ingesting. But then decided to make their point by promoting machismo.

Now, Pepsi is a big ole company. And I’m not sure how to combat this ad. I’ll be going through my notes from the fem conference and sending this post to my new fem friends. And hopefully some boys will read this too. And be just a tiny bit outraged. And will pass it on. And will most definitely not drink Pepsi Max.

Fuck Pepsi Max.

Full disclosure: I’m a (full fat) Coke drinker

cross posted on Young Women Misbehavin’

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  • Maids February 3, 2009  

    I was mouth open aghast at that diet pepsi commercial. I mean, really. I thought Pepsi was trying to be the hip new generation cola… The change we can believe in – . Instead it proved itself to be lame as mccain… more of the same.

  • Maids February 3, 2009  

    and to disclose my bias: I drink diet dr. pepper and diet coke when I drink cola

  • Meg February 3, 2009  

    I could not agree with you more on this topic. The Superbowl featured quite a few offensive commercials, but Not Diet Pepsi takes the cake.

    Also, you are right: one sweet day the Eagles will win it all.

  • belmontmedina February 3, 2009  

    Does this mean I’m not allowed to laugh at the Teleflora commercial?

  • BS February 3, 2009  

    you know, everyone complains about woman being stereotyped in commercials, but I think men get just as bad a rap. If your image of the American male was based solely on super bowl commercials, you would assume we were some kind of loutish species who spend 24 hours a day stuffing pizza in our faces, bumping into things and scratching our balls. Although I have to admit, I do kind of want to punch a koala.

  • Oxen Cox February 3, 2009  

    The adverts were pretty lame, but I did like the McGruber ad. It was so bad, but for some reason I couldn’t stop laughing. Does that make me lame? E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!!!!

  • Mrs. L February 3, 2009  

    Glad I’m not the only one who was a bit put off by the GoDaddy Danica Patrick commercials. Personally I really liked the Coke commercials this year (i.e. ladybug). FWIW I’m a Coke Zero drinker.

  • Nick February 3, 2009  

    Convinced me. Not that I have ever drank Pepsi… but definitely won’t start now. You are very right about super-bowl ads. It’s not even funny how bad the commercials are.

    There is also a large double standard on what commercials they allow during the SB. Sexy and Danica Patrick is okay. Sexy and vegetable-related is inappropriate.

    And when I saw the Doritos ad, I literally said, “This is going to end in a groin joke”. So predictable.

  • Liza February 3, 2009  

    Yeah freaking like let out a scream when the pepsi commercial said that – un-fucking-believable

  • Mariah Carey February 3, 2009  

    God – I love you.

    1. Go Nova (/go eagles!)!
    2. I disagree with the Claire Huckstable reference – she really was the HBIC and Cliff knew it. Maybe Carol Brady?
    3. Coke por vida.

  • Mariah Carey February 3, 2009  

    I think I mis-understood your Claire reference…but I stick with my HBIC comment.

  • BS February 3, 2009  
  • dad gansie February 4, 2009  


  • Sarah D. February 4, 2009  

    Dude – I loved this post! So true… that commercial was ridic.

  • doug February 5, 2009  

    OK, maybe, just maybe, feminists should notice the routine anti-male sexual sadism in commercials and programming today. It was not very long ago that it was taboo to show men or women being sexually injured on TV. Now it is obligatory to have either commercials or programming show men being sexually injured as ‘humor’. I’m speaking of the Doritos ad, of course. I no longer watch the super bowl because of such obligatory ‘humor’. Indeed the last time that I watched the super bowl was the famous Janet Jackson breast-exposing affair (while everyone seemed to ignore that Budweiser showed an ad with a dog sinking its teeth into a mans genitals). Until feminists start taking notice of such sadistic, anti-male content on TV, it is hard for me to view them as advocates of HUMAN rights/dignity. Instead, I tend to view them as ONLY advocates for and ONLY caring about half the human race.

  • Maids February 5, 2009  

    @Doug… It’s precisely this demeaning and demoralizing view of men in superbowl ads that Gansie is pointing out here in.

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  • Robert Ryan August 19, 2009  

    I thought this head line was some body hating fake football (ie, Gridiron/the Superbowl) and loving the real Football of the World, ie: Man United, Rangers Football Club, etc etc.

  • Pingback: Team Fake Celebrity | Endless Simmer January 28, 2010  

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