An Entirely Predictable Game

My prediction for this year's Super Bowl.

My Super Bowl prediction is that millions of Americans, more than the number that voted in the last Presidential election, will gather together today to watch a group of millionaires play a game for four hours interspersed with dozens of 30 second TV commercials costing $3.5 million each, in a stadium that cost three-quarters of a billion dollars to build and was paid for primarily with taxpayer dollars and named for an oil company that had nothing to do with its construction. There will be hundreds, if not thousands of other millionaires in attendance intermittently entertained by aging millionaire pop stars. The total economic impact of today's festivities will exceed the GNP of most small countries. All of this while nearly 50 percent of Americans languish at or near the poverty line, record numbers are surviving on the $4 a day that food stamps provide, millions are being foreclosed on, and unemployment remains over 8 percent.

Will I be watching? Of course I will. In my youth I played enough football to develop a true love for the game. I'm an avid Falcons fan and have been since I attended my first Falcons game in 1967 at the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. I was a season ticket holder for years until my health declined a few years back. For someone who regularly advocates for the poor and working class, football, professional football, remains my biggest guilty pleasure even as the game has grown to obscene proportions. Imagine if we put the same emphasis on education and intellectual pursuits as we do sports. A world where mathematicians and physicists were rewarded like star athletes? Where teams of research scientists were given ticker tape parades for new discoveries in medicine or advances in renewable energy? Or if we invested those same resources in helping the poor rise out of poverty. Could we break poverty's back in a generation? Perhaps.

To me, today's game serves as yet another reminder that America is far from broke, we just have our priorities out of whack. Is this to say we shouldn't enjoy pastimes like sports and entertainment or that athletes don't deserve to be richly rewarded? Of course not. We just need to make sure we keep things in perspective and find the right balance. Oh, and Pats win 28 – 17.

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Bonnie February 06, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Oops! Giants took it - great game! The people who make the most money in our country are those who "shuffle money around," entertainers, and sports figures. As to the entertainers and sports figures, I think it shows that we value those who distract us from thinking about difficult subjects - like our mortality, our purpose. Where are the great thinkers of today? (They're watching the Superbowl with the rest of us!) People used to sit and talk in the evenings. Communication was deep rather than broad. I wonder if we'll ever get back to that. Maybe when we feel the need to connect with one another on a deeper level and the need to probe ideas about our place in the universe and why we are here. ?
Mike Korom February 06, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Brian, your liberalism even shines in sports. What your have described above is free enterprise at its best. Where in the world do you get that 50% of Americans live below the poverty line? Oh wait, I'm sure you'll find something from the Huffington Post or the like that says so. You have forgotten the billions we spend on public schools to create great mathematicians etc. What you are desribing as a solution is again tantamount to socialism. Feeling guilty about watching this great American event is a ridiculous response to an event that is so purely democratic, capitalistic, and simply American. Your are incorrect in all of your points including the score of the game. Do you also wish the score would end in a tie so no one would feel bad after they lost? It's a continuation of
Ed Varn February 06, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Brian, after reviewing your predicted score, it occurs to me you might be less knowledgeable about football than you are about politics and government! :-)
bobby black February 06, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Didn't watch but very little of the game as I am a collegiate fan and do not care for the Pro game.This has nothing to do with the game itself but isn't it about time that the NFL or whoever is in charge of the halftime shows begins to get some decent performers? The first thing I heard this morning was about vulgar gestures and language. Every year it seems to be something as some performer wants to call attention to themselves.
Robert Thomas. Sr. February 06, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Mike Korom, "capitalism at its best"? If so, it is indeed rampant and at the end of its tether. Read David Brooks (no liberal) in this morning's AJC about the two societies, the 20% at the top who live an old fashioned American life (99% of whites did so in 1969 according to Brooks) and the 30% at the bottom who are afflicted with all kinds of social ills because they've essentially been squeezed out of the productive economy. The other 50% are the middle class who are also in trouble. With its wretched excess, perhaps, if your statement were amended to that the super bowl celebrates the kind of unsustainable capitalism we currently have, it would be correct. As to all professional sports they are simply the refuge of those who have trouble finding a satisfactory life elsewhere.
M.K. OSBORNE February 06, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Im glad Madonna did not break out the pointed cones because it was dark and i couldnt see the floor !!
Brian Crawford February 09, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Brian Crawford February 09, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Great comment Bonnie!
Brian Crawford February 09, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Hi Mike, always good to hear from you. I believe what I said, my actual quote being just a few short paragraph's above, was that "nearly 50 percent of Americans languish at or near the poverty line". I was referring to the same 50% that conservatives claim pay no income tax. It would have been for accurate to say 50% of tax filers but I was paraphrasing. I actually admire the NFL's labor structure. It is one of the most completely socialistic enterprises in our entire economy and one of the most successful, one with powerful union representation where there is true profit sharing between owners and labor. I was touched by the Patriots players loyalty to the Kraft family and their true devotion to Mrs. Kraft's memory. Hate to bust another of your liberal stereotypes but I am a highly competitive person, I always like to win...play Scrabble with me some time, or Bridge.
Brian Crawford February 09, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I enjoyed the Brooks piece as well.
Mike Korom February 09, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Brian, I'm not a fan of either game mostly because they involve a large element of luck. I would play you in basketball, tennis, chess or golf where luck has essentially nothing to do with the outcome. I like the combination of the mental and physical- exercising the mind and body.
Rich Rewkowski February 10, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Brian, you could have at least spelled 'predictable' right in your blog headline. Why did a conservative have to discover this mistake? The horror......
Brian Crawford February 10, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Haha...good catch Rich, you folks do make the best nitpickers. I just put a dollar in the misspell jar with your name on it!
Kristi Reed (Editor) February 10, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Yes, good catch Rich! All fixed now.


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