Carroll: Super whining over the Super Bowl
The spectacle over the weather at Sunday’s Super Bowl isn’t just because the cold might force Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea to clothe his upper body during the halftime concert with Bruno Mars.
Welcome to America’s First World Problem of the Week, in which the spotlight shines on a state better known for bridge debacles and The Sopranos.
Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka — always outspoken — made this observation about the big game being played in the frigid confines of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.: “First of all, it’s not fair to the players,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s not going to be fair to the fans. It’s not going to be that enjoyable.” He later added, “I understand it’s the Super Bowl, and it’s a privilege to play in the Super Bowl. It’d be nice to be playing in Miami or San Diego or New Orleans or somewhere the weather is conducive to guys being able to show their talents.”
Then there are the self-proclaimed football purists who insist that the savage game that is football was meant to be played in the cold, and Sunday’s tilt between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will separate the men from the boys.
Hogwash on both sides, that’s what it is.
First, there’s no law that requires football to be played in the cold. Maybe that’s next on our D.C. lawmakers’ plate — since they feel a need get their regulatory paws on everything — but not yet. Likewise, it’s hard to feel much sympathy, or empathy, for Ditka and company’s moaning about this not being fair to the players.
Come Monday after the Super Bowl, you can rest assured many of these players will be chilling under a palm tree somewhere nice, sunny and far, far away from New Jersey, either drowning in their sorrows or celebrating their new ring with a fruity adult beverage.
As for the fans attending the game, you won’t get much sympathy here, either. Tickets are averaging $4,300, while the more expensive suites fetch nearly $1 million. If Super Bowl patrons want to throw down that kind of cash to sit in the cold, should we hold a vigil for them?
Now stop and think about your job for a minute and the challenges it presents. Maybe your job requires you to be out in terrible work conditions like snow, sleet or blazing heat. Maybe you sit next to an annoying co-worker who has the inability to leave any thought unsaid. Maybe your boss is a jerk, your hours suck and your pay is worse. Or, perhaps, it’s all of the above (and bless your soul if it is).
Why isn’t the media sticking up for you? Because you’re not famous, and you’re not playing in the Super Bowl. Such is life, and many of us — at least us normal folk — must work and carry on.
For sure, storylines and non-issues are the name of the hype game in the two long weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. The press needs something to talk about — I can relate — and the fans willingly lap it up.
Yet the media have buried the lede on this story, and it has nothing to do with the weather, but rather, where’s the outrage over forcing people to spend a sacred national holiday in New Jersey of all places?
No one — not even Seahawks coach Pete Carroll — should have to go through that.
Rick Carroll is editor of The Aspen Times, a fan of the New Orleans Saints and a bandwagon supporter of the Denver Broncos, if just for a day. He takes comments, complaints, questions and news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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