Super Bowl Super Blowhards


While it’s true sports analogies are cheap, Super Bowl 45 (pardon me: XLV) is irresistible as a metaphor for American politics even though it’s anything but cheap.

To a large degree it is another bauble for the charmed lives of the obscenely wealthy, who lord over the masses below in their owners’ boxes of luxury. They are handed anything they want. Just look at Alex Rodriguez and Cameron “Feedy Bird” Diaz as so many millions already have.

Looking for crass and predictable? You certainly came to the right place for crass in the Dallas football temple of excess. As for predictable, how about that halftime show with its music that seemed so canned, much like the song and dance we get from the politicians and pundits. Despite the best efforts of their staff members, of course, sometimes they forget their words, like a Christina Aguilera to Francis Scott Key.

How about those commercials, which like the political ads used to be so creative, but this time around seemed tired. With just a couple of exceptions they ranged from blah to tasteless.

For those who believe they’re getting a raw deal these days, those who spent thousands to see the game suddenly had their seats taken away because a greedy incompetent had promised a product he couldn’t deliver. When he got called out, he/they grudgingly offered refunds that in no way compensated for the lost dreams and excitement.

Oh yeah. The game itself, seemed just like our politics, with all its dropped balls. In this football contest, the Packers receivers often looked like their hands had been injected with Botox. Here in DC, they’re usually frozen with their toxic words. The Packers and Steelers seemed hellbent on handing the game to each other. Just like Republicans and Democrats.

One huge difference: The people still love the Super Bowl, even after XLV years. And though we still fervently support the USofA after CCXXXIV years we have gotten tired of the way the game is played here in the nation’s capital stadiums and that would be both games. It’s fair to say that Washington is right down there amongst the least unpopular cities because of the nasty way things are done here. Or not done here.

Maybe it’s appropriate that when it comes to NFL football, the Redskins have become an embarrassment and not just because of their racist name. It’s largely been that way for more than a decade since Dan Snyder became the owner. To so many Snyder is the personification of the entitled, completely-out-of-touch, shameless rich guys who try to crush any effort to rein in their avarice or tamper with their bought and paid for image

His latest self aggrandizing, self destructive stunt is his lawsuit, clearly designed to intimidate a news organization that had the audacity to write a critical article about him. In the process he has provided a reminder to everyone about why they consider him to be an inept, bullying meddler who will do anything to feed his ego and wallet, except deliver the product for which his customers pay dearly. He has become a poster person for the undeservedly rich who benefit at everyone elses’ expense.

As Snyder escaped from DC to traipse around Dallas it!s not likely he reflected at all on the fact that he is possibly the most despised man in the nation’s most hated city. He’s way ahead of Barack Obama or Sarah Palin because the feelings about him are nearly universal, just like they are for those from high finance They are on everyone’s list except those who gather with them in their owners’ boxes.

Back to President Obama, he may be leader of the world but he was just one segment in the pregame hype, as he swatted away the mosquito-like attempts of Bill O’Reilly to do an interview with bite. It was also a handy way to show how these big games are intertwined.

Yes the Super Bowl and politics are largely one in the same.. There are a couple of differences: In politics you are not penalized for playing dirty, you’re rewarded. And after all the gyrations, the Super Bowl has a winner.

(Bob Franken, a former CNN Correspondent, is a syndicated columnist for Hearst and King Features)

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