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While the Super Bowl Churns On, Tweeters Identify Real Struggle

“This year’s game pits Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos squad against the young Seattle Seahawks team in what is sure to be an epic battle.” — Fox Sports, before the game
“Squirrel!” — Fox Sports, after the game


If I have to hear the the Super Bowl characterized as an “epic battle” one more time, I’ll… um… just stop listening, I suppose. I mean, really: what’s the outcome of this “epic battle” every year? Does the defeated city lose trading rights, or see its major institutions sacked and looted, or have to learn to speak Esperanto? No. Both the losing team, and the winning team, and every player on it, and the NFL, and its corporate sponsors, make gobs of cash — except for the advertisers, who still haven’t figured out whether massively expensive Super Bowl ads actually make them money. Regardless of the sporting outcome, the point is that the Super Bowl is a moneyfest, not a battle, not a struggle.

I didn’t bother watching the Super Bowl tonight. Instead, I recorded the stream of Twitter users who posted messages containing the phrase “real struggle” to the social media microblogging service during the Super Bowl. Maybe, I figured, I could get a bit of perspective on the real struggles people face every day, something that could help me reassess my own priorities.

Here are the messages humanity composed on the subject of “real struggle” during the Super Bowl:

#EsuranceSave30 the life in the hood is a real struggle pick me
@AL_TheChosenOne i know your the only person that knows my real struggle
@AmandaBT123 it’s a real struggle
@be_serenee A real struggle
@bkathleendavis I also can’t walk the trip to the fridge was a real struggle
@chandlerwoods_ broncos had struggles but the real struggle is your twitter name …
@dbozeman92 lmaoo it’s a real struggle
@DimplesThatsME oh see that’s a real struggle. I’m just being a punk over here lol
@HKruse22 @johnsontruong work at 8 AM… The real struggle
@Ivannajn I can go upstairs and watch my tv , but I’m too lazy now that’s a real struggle darling
@jennifernielson it’s a real struggle ok then again I don’t want anyone to think I’m nice or approachable anyways
@jewelflynnn: I want this game to be over so my boyfriend will give me attention this is the real struggle
@jontenicole That’s is the saddest thing I have ever heard. Ppl live daily w/the REAL struggle of it, and here you are planning it.
@karli_brooke i feel ya girl this is a real struggle
@KatherineFallin: @tay_slone and I know the real struggle of life. long distance girlfriend probz
@katielcoulter English is a real struggle.
@kbwilburn I bet it will be a real struggle to choose just one
@LandaBautista the real struggle- when the 4×4 came RIGHT after the mile !!
@LaurenCimorelli such a real struggle
@lickthebird seems to be a real struggle to do anymore.
@mfromm34 the real struggle
@NovembersGuest @adder574 I agree, its a real struggle. On a positive note though I think it can make us more empathetic towards others.
@Sam_McA98: I painted my nails blue and orange so if #Broncos could get it together please the real struggle
@sshiah @jaydav12 haha today was a real struggle for me. Never drinking wine again haha
@TheOrangeOrphan he’s havin a real struggle in his million dollar luxury box
@TheRealJPG ah yes the real struggle
@tuyoki there are a lot of kinds and it may take a while to find whats right for you but if you feel a real struggle it genuinely helps!
@twitlissa10 @Shhhernandez Freakin’ brilliant! Nicely done. Mine is a real struggle this week. But I’m determined to do it! #underpressure
@Tyler_jayy3 @ColdAsFrost_ hang in there Frost this is a real struggle smh
@ughkaisoo we already know we should use oppa but the real struggle is do we use his stage name or real name
8:30 I’m taking my NyQuil shot….insomnia is the real struggle
A real struggle for the Broncos man
Also a real struggle trying to tweet in 140 characters!
being scared in my own house… now thats a real struggle
Chillin my drinks for the Super Bowl, y’all ain’t got nothing on my game though this da real struggle http://t.co/wDM07fxP1p
Come from a real struggle
Considering i havent been at school since wed waking up tomorrow should be a real #struggle
Damn it was a real struggle to get that touchdown tho
Deciding when to go to the bathroom is a real struggle… #CantMissAMinute
Deciding whether to cut my hair or not is a real struggle right now..
Deciding who to cheer for has been a real struggle because I find both orange & lime green kind of offensive to the eye.
Drinking on a school night is a real struggle
Finding a girl shorter than me is the real struggle
game was over the first 7 minutes this is so embarrassing heart goes out I all the broncos fans bout to be in the real struggle
Getting through this AP Stats class will be a real struggle now… @kensleystill
Getting up to get food during the Super Bowl is a real struggle. Can’t go while the game is going on, but can’t go during commercials either
Going from a windows phone to an iPhone is a real struggle
Having 2 best friends named Jenna is the real struggle
having braces is a real struggle
Having to pretend that I’m not hungover/my elbow doesn’t hurt like fuck in front of my mom has been the real struggle
I can’t tell if you’re hot or not… that’s the real struggle
I don’t think anyone understands the real struggle of dating a man who bases his life decisions off of whatever lil b does. #NTYBG
I feel bad for guys who are shorter than 5’6. That’s a real struggle right there.
I guess I’m just torn with envy towards the people who don’t know the real struggle of a truly shattered life. Be thankful
I hate when people complain about their hair, because NOBODY has seen the real struggle on my hair before it’s straightened.
I know that getting up early and having to be at work in the morning and all day will be a REAL STRUGGLE.
I was so exhausted by the cough and fever that I crashed like a log into a four-hour sleep, I’m going to face a real struggle tonight!
I went through a real struggle last night … I’m going to go through it tonight tooooo
I’m sure im gonna be crying some real struggle tears in the morrow
It’s a real struggle for Peyton
It’s a real struggle getting comfortable on my bed rn
It’s a real struggle sharing the tv with someone during the game while Justin is on snl at the same time..(channel: vh1)
It’s a real struggle trying to “watch” the Super Bowl on the road
I’ve always been a broncos fan but I have also always hated Peyton Manning. It is a real struggle.
Just got beer spilled all over me but the real struggle is that it caused me to die in flappy bird.
Just moving the chains is a real struggle for Denver. Stick a fork in em.
Kels knows the real struggle
Maddie and I are supposed to be encouraging each other to do homework but she fell asleep. Sooo it’s a real struggle
Man, it’s going to be a real struggle to stay up to see Prince on New Girl now.
me and kelley have the same issue just different boys . the real struggle @Kelleyhammerett
No 1 knows your real struggle but you.
Peyton got that REAL struggle face
Pumping gas in this weather is a real struggle
Real struggle when there’s no chocolate in the house…
Real struggle!”@iTsMz_Jumiee: The struggle to be successful…”
School tm is going to be the real struggle #disneyhangover
School tomorrow is gonna be the real struggle..
Should I wear red lipstick or not this is a real struggle
sleeping with all these earrings in is the real struggle im having right noe
Taking contacts off is a real struggle.
Taylor trying to measure peanut butter is a real struggle http://t.co/NkCBwBwc6z
Thanks for featuring me in your commercial GoDaddy. It’s been a real struggle but I finally have that nice, tone, cut body fit for TV
that offensive linemen had a real struggle face there
That was mean, but seriously nobody may understand the real struggle like me #EsuranceSave30 help me out!
The Budweiser commercial makes me want to buy beer just because I love veterans and puppy’s the real struggle…
The commercials are lame this year and there’s no real struggle in the game. We’ve known the winner since the first few seconds of the game.
the real struggle @AshleyBaucom http://t.co/q6qN3jJvWy
The real struggle for me is getting out of bed
the real struggle for me is not being able to find a tone of gray that matches my pillow cases
The real struggle is deciding whether to get food during the game or the commercials
The real struggle is deciding whether to go to the bathroom during the game or during the commercials.
The real struggle is doing all your hw and going back to school tomorrow after the weekend we just had.
the real struggle is having to shave and wash your hair on the same night
The real struggle is picking out outfits
The real struggle is that I have to wait for my dad to be done watching the Super Bowl to watch the finale of Coven with him
The real struggle is to stay awake right now
The real struggle is trying to find a time to go to the bathroom.. Cause I don’t wanna miss the commercials or the game.. #thestruggle
The real struggle is trying to find my mom in a nordstroms
The real struggle is trying to get rid of to be verbs in my essay
The real struggle is trying to put a sports bra on after getting out of the shower
The real struggle is when I have to read 200 pages to even make it to my topic for my speech Wednesday.. How is that review?!?
the real struggle is when you try to brush out your teased comp hair…
the real struggle is writing this paper while the Super Bowl is on
the real struggle of our generation: lagging
the real struggle of this night is that i went tanning and my face is kinda burnt
The real struggle RT @xCourtneyArlene: I left for like an hour.. http://t.co/mJ2yCGfIbv
The very real struggle you experience when you desperately need to pee & you have freshly painted nails. #thestruggleisreal
This football game is the real struggle right now. Un-freaking-believeable
This is the real struggle man
Trying to balence counseling theories readig and the game at the same time is going to be the real struggle of the next few hours…
Trying to do trig is the real struggle righ now
Trying to figure out what other movie I should watch is the real struggle of life..
Trying to find a time to go to the bathroom during this game is the real struggle.
Trying to get comfortable in long sleeve shirts is a real struggle.
Trying to put sheets on a queen size bed that is half-surrounded by walls is the real struggle..
Update: it’s a real struggle, still turtle heading
Waking up tomorrow is going to be a real struggle
Watching football is a real struggle
Well the real struggle now lies in trying to get this homework done
What a terrible way to end the football season. The real struggle is that football is over…
When I taught in public schools I heard them, the children don’t believe in a system that doesn’t prepare them for real struggle.
yall don’t know what i go thru, but ion wish this shit upon nobody.. it’s a real struggle
You dont know the real struggle.
you don’t understand real struggle until both the walking dead and football are on at the same time

I came in seeking clarity. I don’t know what I found.

2 comments to While the Super Bowl Churns On, Tweeters Identify Real Struggle

  • Bill

    As knuckle-dragging and blatantly corporatist as professional football is, there might be a case to be made that popular ritualized group violence in which little actual blood is shed provides society with a safety valve that reduces the popular demand for real warfare. Or not. Now, college football…I’d be happy to see that made illegal; as an ex-professor, I’m just not sure that brain-damage and academic scandal is a reasonable feature of higher education.

    • Jim Cook

      Add unpaid labor to the list!

      I agree about the social function of sport. It’s no coincidence that archrivals seem to come from bordering city-states.

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