60: Super Bowl

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is actually an elaborate ruse, concocted by a shadowy group in the mid sixties for this purpose. The "watch it for the ads" addition was a master stroke.
Title text: The Super Bowl is actually an elaborate ruse, concocted by a shadowy group in the mid sixties for this purpose. The "watch it for the ads" addition was a master stroke.


The third in the "My Hobby" series. The Super Bowl is the championship American football game of the National Football League, which is usually played each February, and the final game of the 2006 season, Super Bowl XL, was played on the evening of 2006-02-05, the day before this comic was released.

As the game is one of the most watched television broadcasts in North America, advertising during the game has become increasingly expensive (among the most expensive advertising rates of any broadcast) to the point where corporations produce their best, most expensive advertisements to air during the game, to ensure that they would get value out of the expensive spots. The Super Bowl has thus become notorious for the "best" commercials, with some viewers purportedly tuning in solely to see the commercials, rather than the actual football game. News reports the next day often highlight the best and worst Super Bowl commercials, as do websites devoted to Super Bowl commercials.

Realizing that the Super Bowl is viewed by a large percentage of the population, Randall, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, states that those people would be quite distracted during that time, and therefore it would be possible to steal cars without fear of being caught. The title text takes this even further, suggesting that the entire Super Bowl was invented entirely for the purpose of being a distraction for car thieves. Naturally, the addition of the ads would make this even more effective, as it would attract even more viewers and ensure that they stayed in front of the TV during commercial breaks as well as the game.

The phrase "I steal cars" also provides a contrast to the fact that many viewers are only watching for the advertisements, making their smug sense of superiority seem petty compared to the fact that they but not Randall are not stealing cars and that they therefore are morally superior to Randall in this respect. This calls into question whether or not they really are significantly superior by comparing this marginal superiority to not being criminals. Alternatively, Randall may resent these people for feeling superior even though they aren't actually superior (at least in the eyes of Randall) and therefore steal their cars as punishment. Or Randall might be implying that they have no reason to being smug as they are being duped into having their cars stolen, and the thief is the one in the best position to be smug.

Randall may have chosen to use a car as a reference to the large number of car commercials that play during the Super Bowl, in addition to the ease of stealing a car at that time.


[A green car with text above and next to it.]
My hobby:
While everyone is watching the Super Bowl, feeling smugly superior because they're "Only watching for the ads," I steal cars.


In a distant future (2015), Randall (or Cueball) spends his time differently during the Super Bowl - see 1480: Super Bowl. (This was the second time that two xkcd comics have shared the exact same name.) In between this comic and the one nine years later, no other comics came out related to the Super Bowl. The year after (2016), there was a comic (1640) about the Super Bowl, and in 2018 a comic (1951) appeared about a Super Bowl watch party.

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I'm gonna say this is a 1970's chevelle coupe. Or inspired by it. ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I actually never realized how true the stealing part actually is until the 2014 FIFA World Cup (Soccer) because whenever the German team played there was so much stuff stolen here in Germany. I know somebody who worked at a gas station during the finals. She was robbed, she pressed "the button" and like 20 minutes later, during half-time-break, the security people rang her up and asked if something was wrong... On the other hand I know one security guy who takes his job very seriously and explicitly works the shifts during major games so he can makes extra rounds when the games is ongoing. Well about the World Cup I remember it was later assumed by the police that during the finals (Germany playing) the majority of the vehicles on the roads were either transporting stolen stuff and such or where actually being stolen themselves... 08:20, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

"Randall may have chosen to use a car as a reference to the obscene amount of car commercials that play during the super bowl." does not seem to be the most likely reason. Many people watch games in their homes. A home burglary would be more difficult at such time. Stealing a car on the street would be much simpler since there would be less people on the street. A car also happens to be one of the more valuable items that can be stolen on a street. -- Flewk (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Almost no one will be working then so you might as well go steal things from offices, and no one can stop you because they'll all be at home. Come to think of it, you might as well go rob a bank. Herobrine (talk) 07:46, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
Offices and especially banks tend to be secured better than cars. At least to get my work laptop, you have to get onto the premise (card required, barbed wire fence, guards), then into the department (card required or breaking thick window in door), then into the room (key required or another window in door), then into the drawer container (key, paperclip or just pulling hard). And then you only have a laptop with password and encrypted hard drive. And some bank vaults can resist considerable explosions, not to mention the security cameras and that it's highly suspicious to have a big amount of cash. If I needed money that badly, I would rather go for the car. Fabian42 (talk) 08:15, 7 June 2018 (UTC)