Did you watch the Super Bowl? According to Nielson ratings, the mega event was watched by about 112 million people – the biggest audience ever on U.S. TV. That calculates to an incredible 36% of all Americans. But the premise of this editorial is that a far lower percentage of motorcyclists plopped themselves on a couch to watch the event.
The majority of my friends on Facebook are motorcycle enthusiasts of some sort, whether they are friends who ride, fellow motojournalists, OEM reps or otherwise affiliated with the moto industry. And, on Super Bowl Sunday, I couldn’t help but notice a surprising lack of posts on Facebook about the big game.
Maybe they were out riding, as the MO crew was during an event with SoCal Trackdays at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. Or it’s possible they simply weren’t interested in the country’s biggest game and ignored it.
This general feeling came into sharper focus the next day when I read a FB post by Michael Orr, formerly Aprilia’s National Marketing Director, who now runs his own marketing agency.
“What is it with moto-heads and lack of interest in ball sports?” Orr asked. “There is a direct correlation to riding motorcycles (and I am making the distinction between motorcyclists and bikers here) and NOT being into team sports, balls, or sticks. I’m there with ya!”
Could it be possible the brain of a motorcyclist somehow underappreciates the drama and the social aspects of team sports?
Throughout history, riders have commonly been portrayed as lone-wolf types, and there’s certainly an element of truth behind it. Riding, even with a group of friends, is a fairly solitary activity, as the brain’s focus is regularly inward. The wind pushes at you, the tires describe traction levels, and the only communication with others, if at all, is via crude hand signals. Danger lurks everywhere while on two wheels, so a brain is forced to be active, as opposed to a car driver’s more passive duties. Or a game watcher’s.
This internal emphasis while riding is in stark contrast to the mindset of football fans that gather socially and passively watch a game among friends – it’s an exceedingly communal situation, inverse to the lone-wolf motorcycle rider archetype.
Some of you surely watched the big game, and despite the blowout, you probably had a good time. But when it was all over and you were settling yourself into bed, did you wish you had instead spent the day riding?
I hope to see you all weighing in on this subject in the comments section below!