Tomorrow, life as we know it in the
It won't be because of an event of national importance. It will be because of a football game when the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers play in Super Bowl XLIII.
Stores will be empty. The streets will be deserted. It will probably be a good time to be a police officer because most communities will be nice and quiet while the game is being played.
As much as I enjoy football, I really get turned off by all the Super Bowl hype. Don't get me wrong; when the game begins, I will have my pizza and favorite cold beverage in front of me.
However, all the build up to the game is a complete bore. ESPN has been virtually unwatchable during the last few days because of all the super hype, and NBC won’t be much better on Sunday when it airs hour after hour of its pre-game show.
It seems these media outlets are bending over backwards to convince us that our lives will somehow be incomplete if we don’t watch the game. If this year's game is like other years, their efforts will be successful because most Super Bowls are among the most highly rated programs on television each year.
As for the teams and the players, I have a lot of respect for them and admire their dedication. There are lots of opinions regarding the large salaries athletes receive. While I agree athletes in some sports are overpaid, I don't feel that way about National Football League players.
As far as I am concerned, they earn every dollar they make. Every time they take the field, they put their long-term health in jeopardy just to entertain us. Because of the level of violence we see in their games, I sometimes wonder if fans have become desensitized to what these men put themselves through.
For example, consider the injury Baltimore Ravens' running back Willis McGahee suffered during the AFC championship game against the Steelers. McGahee circled out of the backfield to catch a pass and was violently tackled just as he received the ball.
For several minutes, he laid nearly motionless on the field. Players from both teams were concerned and gathered around him. Some players prayed.
However, as this was unfolding, Steelers' officials loudly played rock and roll music through the stadium's public address system. Even though McGahee could have been seriously injured, it didn't seem to matter. The party had to go on.
So, as McGahee was wheeled off the field on a cart, the fans were serenaded to songs like Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 'Down on the Corner.' I love Creedence, but that was not the time or place for one of their songs.
In all the flash and hype of the Super Bowl, the game often gets lost in the shuffle. There is a lot of focus on the commercials aired during the game. Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to have their commercials aired, and then have to wait as their efforts are 'graded' in the court of public opinion.
Major national publications like 'USA Today' often deliver the final word about whether these commercials are good or bad. If the media gives a commercial 'thumbs down,' then tons of money and months of effort have been wasted.
Additionally, the half time show gets a lot of attention. This year, Bruce Springsteen is the featured performer.
Let's hope he doesn’t have a 'wardrobe malfunction' like Janet Jackson did a few years ago.