Thoughts on America's annual ritual....
THE ATHLETES: ILLITERATE MILLIONAIRES. Begin with depressing news: second-graders in Buffalo are learning grammar by ... correcting NFL players' tweets. A 108-yard kickoff return cannot cure this problem.
LIGHTS OUT. Donald Trump called the 35-minute power outage "a very, very bad thing for the country." The country, he added, is being run like America's deteriorating infrastructure. Incredibly, the breakdown occurred despite $336 million--one-third of a billion dollars--having been spent to repair the 38-year old stadium, whose roof was destroyed in 2005 by Katrina. It is plausible that the blackout gave the 49ers time to regroup and give the Ravens a scare.
SUPER SUNDAY. What now is a weekend extravaganza was a simple game in early years. I attended Super Bowls II & III in Miami, while a student at the University of Miami....
POLITICAL POISON. Feminists circulated the infamous 1993 canard that Super Sunday saw the highest incidence of domestic violence against women. Read the linked article to see how pure hype can spread baseless rumors like wildfire, with media outlets suspending what is supposed to be a professional skepticism that greets any assertion.
THE GAME: GROWING CARNAGE. More depressing news: Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton explains why steroids are creating monster linemen whose size, speed & strength make injuries more likely than ever:
When I entered pro football in 1961, every member of my offensive line weighed less than 250 pounds. In my last year, 1978, our biggest linemen were only around 260 pounds.
No Super Bowl-winning team had a 300-pounder on its roster until the 1982 Washington Redskins. Now it is unusual for a team to have fewer than 10 300-pounders. This year's Super Bowl teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens—who play Sunday night in New Orleans—have 24 300-pounders between them.
Have players gotten bigger thanks to genetics, diet and nutrition? Or is there something else going on?
Shortly after retiring from football, I spent time with the owner of one of the biggest gym chains in the country. When we saw some bodybuilders with muscles on top of muscles, he asked me how I thought they got so big. Intense weightlifting regimens, I offered. He gave a half-smile, shook his head and replied, "No. You can't get that big on your own. It's just not physically possible. There's only so much that weightlifting will do."
Add this prediction from a Ravens star: within 30 years the NFL will no longer exist. Here's why:
At the same time, [coaches] want bigger, stronger and faster year in and year out. And that means you’re going to keep getting big hits and concussions and blown-out knees. You’ve got guys who are 350 pounds running 4.5 and 4.4s, and these owners and coaches want scout-run blockers and linemen to move walls. At the same time, they tell you, "‘Don’t hit here, and don’t hit there, or we’ll take your money.”
Put this in perspective: NFL all-timer Jim Brown, who retired after the 1965 season having won 8 rushing titles in 9 seasons, ran about a 4.5 second forty yard dash; he was about 2/3 the weight of today's fast supersize linemen.
THE CRASS AD. CBS censored a GoDaddy liplock ad starring Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli & a nerdy actor. The ad could have been done with class, simply by omitting the explicit stuff & adding humor. But today's style is to hit the viewer over the head. Subtle suggestion, the classic technique of the true artist, seems to have gone by the wayside. It seems poetic justice that she had to do 45 takes before the add passed muster with GoDaddy.
BOTTOM LINE. Crass trumps class in an age of celebrity trash culture. Sadly, there is no end to this in sight.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Conservative Politics