The New York Times tries to get to the bottom of why the Super Bowl is still a massive pop-culture event that unites Americans in an era when there are so many alternative viewing options. "Football," says Caryn Ganz, "is the quintessential problematic fave. And like Michael Jackson, it’s too challenging to cancel, too big to fail, too embedded in the fabric of American leisure to rip out. (For now, at least.) The Super Bowl is drama, emotion, identity, catharsis, spectacle, skill, power: It’s nearly impossible to find a viewer beyond its scope. It’s no longer possible to keep up with everything happening in television, movies, music and digital media, but the Super Bowl is one of the last gasps of the monoculture. It’s a given and a gimme: It has almost no barrier for entry — one network channel, one block of time when nobody is expected to be doing anything other than watching the Super Bowl. And as for the ethical conundrum, ethics are under siege in every corner of our society: on social media, in Washington, in college admissions, on the music charts. In an era of 'LOL nothing matters,' where does football rank on the scale of horrors? Even if your answer is 'quite high,' there are 100 million other viewers willing to share the shame."