8
Feb
2016
2

The Super Bowl, The Excess Of The NFL And Its New Face

In my opinion, the best thing about the Super Bowl – the small part that involves two teams actually playing football – is that the underdog won.  Beyond that, here are just a few random thoughts:

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I’m just a little bit sick of those who wrap up in the American flag in order to promote themselves, and that includes everyone from the NFL to foreign car dealerships who have cornered the market on the XXXL versions of the stars and stripes.  On the other hand, maybe it is the nation that wrapped itself in the banner of the NFL by providing the All-Services Choir, Color Guard and a formation of jet fighters for a flyover.   
I’m particularly pissy about this because just hours before the game I answered the call of a telemarketer who said he needed my assistance to help our vets.  After he made a patriotic and definitely scripted pitch about the need to serve the men and women who serve our country, I asked him what percentage of my donation would go to veteran services and what percentage would be kept for marketing expenses and of course profit.  His reply stunned me.  
“Great questions, I’m pleased to say that 15% of every donation goes to veterans and 85% goes to cover our fundraising efforts on their behalf, can we count on you for a donation to help our vets?”
“So you’re saying that if I send you $100 today, you’ll pass along $15 of that amount for veterans services and keep $85 for yourselves?”
“Yessir.”
I’m not known for getting mad or being disagreeable very often, but this phone call made me both.  
“That is disgraceful, you are nothing but thieves and should be ashamed for using veterans as a cover to raise money for yourselves.”
Before I could apologize to the telemarketer for losing my temper, he stunned me again.
“You are right, I agree with you, I really do.”
It would be nice if the NFL and its mostly billionaire team owners could be as forthright when demanding public subsidies as that beleaguered telemarketer, who I have to realize was only doing his job.
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Aside from focusing on the Denver Broncos defense (which was outstanding) in the immediate aftermath of the game, most attention and conjecture has been aimed at Peyton Manning (who aside from game management was not outstanding) and his possible retirement.  
The view here is that this would be a good time to announce his retirement and help put some distance between a future of lucrative endorsement deals and the controversial rumors regarding his possible use of Human Growth Hormones to help heal from an earlier injury.
Frankly, I’ve always liked Peyton Manning, largely because of the image he portrays in commercials,  but when it comes to those endorsement deals, I think his mention of post-game Budweisers by name was a little calculated and out of place, making me want to know how much he was paid for doing so. (Subsequent reports indicate that he is part owner of a beer distributorship.) 
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A day after the game, the internet began buzzing over three faces, only one of which played in the game:
Face #1 belongs to Lady Gaga whose rendition of the national anthem is being heralded by many as one of the best ever at a sporting event, and I’m inclined to agree.
Face #2 belongs to Eli Manning who almost always looks like a sourpuss, and has rarely looked more sour than he did when big brother Peyton guided his team to a score that put the game out of reach.  As the rest of the Manning family rejoiced, Eli wore the pained expression of a man who got something caught in his zipper while simultaneously biting into a bad persimmon.
Face #3 belongs to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, a handsome and undeniably talented young football player who we’ve repeatedly been told “is the new face of the NFL.”  Anyone who has promoted that notion might want to re-think it.
Newton attended the post-game press conference where he proceeded to provide plenty of reasons not to like him.  Aware that he was understandably disappointed, the reporters’ questions seemed both thoughtful and reasonable.  Newton ignored some and provided terse, often one word responses to others before abruptly standing up and walking out.
The “new face of the NFL” is a good sport when things go his way and a poor sport when they don’t.  The image he provides is of one who is arrogant, petulant and has an overwhelming sense of entitlement.   
He looks to me like a pretty good fit for the NFL, don’t you think?
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