The Connection We All Need

Everything about the Super Bowl is big. From its name to the fans, and the ads, the Super Bowl has become the theatrical event of American sports. A thirty-second ad in last year’s Super Bowl cost $5.6 million, but more than 100 million viewers watched it.

This year’s ads covered everything from lemons falling from the sky for Bud Light Seltzer to Will Ferrell talking up GM’s electric vehicles.

With all these ads paying millions in exchange for the biggest audience on the planet, one ad stood above all others.

With its stunning, minimalist landscape photography and Lincolnesque narration by Bruce Springsteen, “The Middle,” is a message that all of us need to connect with.

“There’s a chapel in Kansas standing on the exact center of the lower forty-eight. It never closes. All are more than welcome to come meet here in the middle.

“It’s no secret, the middle has been a hard place to get there, lately. Between red and blue, between serving and citizen; between our freedom and our fear.

“Now fear has never been the best of who we are. And as for freedom, it’s not the property of just the fortunate few. It belongs to us all.

“Whoever you are; wherever you’re from, it’s what connects us, and we need that connection. We need the middle. We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground. So, we can get there. We can make it to the mountaintop, through the desert, and we will cross this divide.

“Our light has always found its way through the darkness. And there’s hope on the road up ahead.”

The title card at the end celebrates that hope:

“To the re-United States of America.”

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