Every year I vow I’m not going to watch the next one, but inevitably end up watching it anyway. The commercials pushed in yesterday’s game were so gross, so vile, even so blasphemous it should have been called the Sleazy Bowl.
I won’t describe the ads, which I avoided the best I could by switching to another channel for a minute. I don’t want to think about them again. But imagine what they did to the young minds watching the game.
The Romans relied on panem et circenses – bread and circuses – to pacify the restive proletariat. We have welfare and football to keep the middle-class’s minds off their destroyed jobs and invaded country. Although the Romans, even at their most decadent, never imposed on their people something as destructive as that quintessentially American “art,” TV ads.
Aside from cheering their teams and buying the Sleazy Bowl ads’ products, the middle class gets the privilege of paying taxes to support the modern Colosseums. Every time local taxpayers try to dodge payment for a new playpen, the billionaire owner threatens to move the beloved team to a locale with more gullible voters and bribable politicians.
Yesterday’s game itself, although exciting at the end, was surrounded by the idiotic “deflategate” controversy, which won’t even be settled until the off season. The supposed “integrity” of the NFL rests on sensible rules fairly applied. But as with the government’s legal system, there are “penumbras, formed by emanations,” so who knows how it all will turn out.
The Sleazy Bowl trophy is named after Vince Lombardi, whose grizzled face still is that of the NFL, because he won the first two contests. An old-school working-class Democrat, Lombardi attended daily Mass. If he somehow were to come back today and see what’s going on, he wouldn’t hesitate charging like a bull at those who have corrupted his honored game and his beloved country.
I actually have an excuse for watching the Sleazy Bowl because I’m a working journalist who writes about such things. But I’m boycotting next year’s game anyway. Really.
John C. Seiler, Jr., writes from California.