Friday, February 4, 2011
What's everyone doing this Sunday? Are you ready for some football?
Yes, it is Super Bowl Sunday, and the world will be watching. Watching everything but football from the looks of it; the pregame festivities, the halftime extravaganza, the post game purchasing of t-shirts and other commodities with "Super Bowl Champions" plastered all over them. By the way, what happens to all the stuff with the wrong team's logo on it? I believe I heard somewhere that it gets donated to charities. I hope so; what a waste if all those t-shirts, sweatshirts and caps never get worn.
I've been thinking for a while now that the Super Bowl has become so much more hype and entertainment, rather than a sporting event. I was debating with my friends at The Perpetual Post, about how the Super Bowl has become about 95% spectacle and 5% sporting event. I told them I would rather sweat through 2-1/2 months of Stanley Cup playoffs to see my team win (not very likely), rather than the one 10 hour extravaganza the Super Bowl has morphed into. If rock concerts were meant to take place at halftime, there would be one during every NFL contest. All pre-game shows would be 6 hours long and the run-up to each game would last for 2 weeks. Then, we could have football year round. I'm fairly certain that would make many people very happy.
Many fans will be savouring every moment of this year's Super Bowl. The NFL players and owners are set to clash, so next season is already in peril. Personally, I'm hoping that the worst happens. I've long believed that retired NFL players have been getting the shit end of the stick when it comes to health benefits and disability. Many of the older guys suffer the long-term effects of the injuries they sustained as players, and the union they belong to does piteously little to help them. I've mentioned before how the HBO sports documentary series, Real Sports has repeatedly reported on the hideous shape many of these ex-players are in, and the lack of empathy the NFL players' union has for them. The present day players are culpable as well, engaging in a shameless money grab, while their predecessors suffer in silence. Maybe, a lockout/strike will do these guys some good; after all, the guys playing gladiator on the field today, might be in even worse shape than the retirees of today. These guys are bigger, stronger, and more vicious now, than they have ever been.
Regardless of what happens with the NFL players and owners, I do hope the Steelers and Packers give it their all on the field on Sunday, despite all the distractions. It is, after all, a game; not a marketing-product placement-musical extravaganza. I don't care about the commercials, I don't care about the halftime show, and I don't care about the merchandise. Those of us who pride ourselves on our mental "athleticism" wish that we had some physical athleticism to go along with it. I never aspired to be a football player, but I have wished for a bit more physical coordination than I possess. Unfortunately, it was not to be. But for those who are blessed, you should make the most of it for as long as possible. Beware of the consequences; a strong mind goes hand-in-hand with a strong body, not a broken one. It's too bad the NFL players' union doesn't agree with that. Here's hoping one day that will change. In the meantime, enjoy the spectacle - I mean, the game.
Have a wonderful weekend.