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Despite large ratings, some fans tune out Super Bowl

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Super Bowl XLIX stands as the most watched television show in history with 114.4 million viewers. Seventy-one percent of people across the United States with a TV turned on Sunday were watching the game. But what about the other 29 percent?

“I just got some grocery shopping done,” said Greg Weber, who works in Phoenix. “I took advantage of the fact that no one was really out on the streets. It was actually a pretty good time to get a lot of stuff done.”

“I just spent my Sunday reading the Quran and making dinner,” said Idrees Takrooni, a native of Saudi Arabia who lives in Phoenix.

“We had a bunch of good snow come through the state up in Sunrise, so I went snowboarding,” said Matthew Vian, a student at Arizona State University. “I knew everyone else was going to be watching the Super Bowl.”
The TV numbers in Boston and Seattle are even more astonishing. Boston finished with an 85 share and Seattle with a whopping 89 share.

While the rest of the crowd wondered why the Seahawks didn’t run the ball on the goal line or what the deal was with Katy Perry’s left shark, a few from Boston and Seattle had better things to do.

“I was learning how to use my new computer, playing on Twitter, and listening to my downstairs neighbor holler at the game,” said Susan Stinson of Northampton, Massachusetts.

“I value my spare time and have almost zero interest in pro sports,’’ said Rick Fleeter of Charlestown, Rhode Island. “I enjoyed the sunshine during the day and worked that night.”

“Football and televised sports in general are an enormous waste of time,’’ said Dan Murphy of Seattle. “Why would I waste my life watching other people work out?”

Others cited the NFL’s handling of domestic violence by its players as well as the increasing commercialization of the league as a whole.

Laura Behenna of Kalispell, Montana was visiting family in Phoenix during the week of the Super Bowl and ended up staying an extra day because of all the air traffic heading into the Valley for the big game. Instead of taking in the Super Bowl festivities, she went and hit the slopes.

“I have no interest in football and Super Bowl Sunday is a great day to go skiing on uncrowded trails,” said Behenna.

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