Tuesday, February 5, 2013

More Super Bowl Buzz

I find these commentaries to be interesting and so I thought I'd share. These two have more to do with the half-time show.

Death by Snu-Snu: Football, Beyonce, and the Power of Sex


About That Beyonce Performance...

Then there was this comment left under Elizabeth Esther's Super Bowl post that will be missed by most cause it was kind of late to the party. This one isn't about the half-time show.

Insightful words from David.

(I tried to just link his comment but it didn't work so I hope he doesn't mind that I copied and pasted his words here as long as I give him credit.)

The problems with football in North America are too many to discuss. Each one merits it's own 500-page book. I'm not a Christian or even a theist, but one of my many reasons for boycotting the Super Bowl, and really the entire NFL, is the "deification" of players and coaches. The sports media in North America has done a miraculous job of protecting players, coaches, team management and the league itself from organized opposition and criticism. The league is non-denominational, so it can claim to be the religious comfort food of all Americans, and when faced with serious issues, the media rallies to protect all the "good guys" in the league who do their charitable work and who are role models to the young 'uns. The same media will excoriate Lance Armstrong, and deny Barry Bonds the Hall of Fame because of steroid issues. The NFL, however, is untouchable.

This is a league that still allows Michael Vick to play, and he could easily play on a Super Bowl team next year. I'm not saying Vick isn't beyond redemption and forgiveness, but the league and most of the media will not allow him to face criticism that his sentence was too short, his punishment from the commissioner a joke, his crimes so vile only a truly sadistic man could have committed them, and his contriteness non-existent. The league clearly had TV ratings in mind when they reinstated him, and if that is their priority, then they should drop the "player as role-model" nonsense. That cover has protected Ray Lewis and others with checkered backgrounds involving murders and violent crime.

The Pittsburgh Steelers recently cut running back Chris Rainey because of an arrest for domestic abuse, but damned if I could find a mainstream discussion of how head injuries put a lot of the partners of NFL players in danger while they are playing and after they retire. If the issue of men beating their partners when they watch football has ever been brought up, I've never seen it discussed without an NFL spokesman laughing it off. Most of the media will laugh it off, too, because their audience includes the same men who are beating their wives.

I'm an atheist but I've objected openly to my relatives (to very rude responses) that the NFL wrongly takes the one day most families have to be together and transforms it into a gambling, drinking, gluttonous celebration of the most violent sport in North America (and a celebration of the league that facilitates and enables it all.) In my family, the Super Bowl IS sacred. You sit down with the food and the beer before game time, and glue your eyeballs to the HD screen through the pre-game ceremony, the national anthem, all the NFL self-congratulation, the insincere salute to the military, and finally the game. Then there's the half-time show as routinely-uninspiring as it always is, and the post-game presentation of a meaningless trophy. Even if the game is terrible, the half-time show embarrassing, the commercials annoying, no one is allowed to change the channel, change the volume except up, and the whole think does resemble a religious service, albeit with food and non-stop cursing at the TV screen because, you know, the guys have to have money on the game.

The Roman Gladiator analogy is very accurate: many black youths are brainwashed by sports culture almost from birth to see sports, especially football, as the only way out of their impoverished communities. NCAA scouts looking to match players to scholarships bring these young men into a world where they will not receive any compensation for the obscene amount of money the league makes on their football programs, and most of them will not be drafted or play in the NFL. They are left with a college degree that is as useful as it is to a graduate who paid his/her own way, disillusionment, and head injuries. North America has created a culture that has sanctified football as an untouchable institution; a privilege no other organization has ever enjoyed. --David Zgurski

This has all been very interesting to look at from different angles.

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