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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.
Eloquently spoken. The Super Bowl is the perfect microcosm of our decrepit society of today. At 58 I'm old enough to have watched Lombardi's Packers play the Chiefs in the first Super Bowl, although the game didn't get that name for another couple of years. In that first game, none of the players that scored danced ridiculously or grabbed their crotch. The halftime consisted of marching bands and there were no days of endless hype prior to the game or legions of semi-literates babbling afterwards to "analyze" the contest. The fans in that half-empty stadium were not the pampered elite who attend the current spectacle. How far we've fallen.
We tried our best to ignore the halftime show. Pure drivel it was. Seeing the "celebrities" in the crowd on NBC, it is doubly irritating that we in Maricopa County have to subsidize the building of this sports palace to placate the millionaire players as well as Mr. Bidwell.
Here in Allegheny County, the voters twice rejected publicly-funded stadiums for the Pirates and Steelers. The referendums went down by nearly two-to-one margins both times. However, the Rooney family, oligarchs of the region, managed to circumvent the vote, and appeal to the state to fleece the citizens. Through some sort of "regional asset district" the money went from local taxes to the state and then to the stadiums instead of directly from local taxes to the stadiums... At the same time that this was occurring, gambling was legalized in PA and the Rooneys fought to prevent a casino on Pittsburgh's North Side (site of the stadiums and the Rooney's stronghold,) for some "moral" reasons. The local proles had no idea that the Rooneys were major investors in the casino that was proposed at the edge of the Gettysburg battlefield. Truly a case of NIMBY. The Steeler's stadium is not large enough to hold a Super Bowl. They have to add a few thousand more seats to accommodate the national holiday, so guess what the Rooneys did? They didn't want to pony up the cash to add the seats themselves, so they sued the stadium authority and won, forcing the taxpayers to add on and retrofit a ten year old stadium to meet the new Super Bowl requirements. By the way, Dan Rooney, the current patriarch of the clan, is a progressive lefty and huge Obama supporter. He was the author of the "Rooney rule" in the NFL that forces owners to interview minority coaching candidates when hiring. His father, the original Steelers' owner was a shady, riverboat gambler who never really had a legitimate job and supported his investment in the Steelers with ill-gotten horse racing wins and ward boss maneuvers. One of his most infamous episodes involved a horse race in New York, where he pulled off a scam reminiscent of "The Sting" and took the train back to Pittsburgh laden with sacks of cash.
Harry: I also remember the first Super Bowl in 1967, when I was 11. My father said, "Watch this, it will be an important game."
Come on. No one here gets a kick out of dancing beach balls and back-up sharks?
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