So, Patriots vs. Eagles. Super Bowl 50 has me teetering on the fence. I haven’t been able to form a healthy attachment to either team so far. I know, what’s the fun in that? But I’m working on choosing one and weighing my options:
Betting on a sure thing—if the team wins—gives one a respectable sense of superiority. You knew all along what was what and how things were. But there’s also something to be said about rooting for the underdog. Besides giving someone else a shot at the victory dance and a piece of jewelry they don’t already have, wiping the smirk off a cocky Pats fan sounds appealing too.
I need to make a decision one way or another because being neutral at a Super Bowl party just ain’t cool. UNLESS, however, you happen to be the commentator. Fans value play-by-play commentators for their articulateness and ability to accurately describe each play fairly and without bias. Any sports announcer who projects personal preference while commentating quickly finds himself looking for other employment in say, Cable News Broadcasting or Newspaper Reporting. In other words, FAKE OR BIASED COMMENTATING will not be tolerated.
For the fun of it, let’s juxtapose Sports and Politics.
Suppose your team (political or athletic) was the projected winner of a big competition and against all odds, your team lost to the underdog. How do you handle it?
Side note: Now before you get all bent out of shape, I’m not comparing the New England Patriots OR the Philadelphia Eagles to either the Democrats or the Republicans (although it's true that Tom Brady owns a Make America Great ball cap, and Patriots owner, Robert Kraft gave President Trump a Super Bowl ring this year.) It’s just an analogy, okay?
Back to my juxta positioning. In the world of football, fans of the losing team may curse the referees, start a few squabbles in the parking lot or even get down and drunk for a day or two. But I guarantee you won’t find loyal fans protesting for months on end, insisting that the winning team didn’t really win. You’ll never see them carrying signs that say “Patriots (or Eagles) are not my Super Bowl winners.” When sports fans lose they get over it and move on. They don’t need counseling, puppy petting or coddling. It doesn’t matter how many more yards were run or passes made by the other team; the winner wins, the loser loses. Period.
Football players generally exhibit good sportsmanship. Politicians generally do not. Football players are team players. Politicians frequently are not.
Football players sometimes use colorful locker-room language but they never leak it to the press in order to undermine a teammate, unlike some sanctimonious hypocritical politicians. For that matter, football players don’t seem to have a problem with the concept of S***holes and in fact, often give each other congratulatory pats on the butt to prove it. Just kidding. Had to say it.
Football players are, for the most part fair-minded. Sure, there are a few that go political and take a knee during the National Anthem but that’s to be expected in a game where head-slamming is routine. Politicians make constituents want to slam their heads on a hard surface and get on both knees to pray.
In spite of the madness of politics and football in March and every other month, it’s much easier for me to pick a political party than a Super Bowl team. Like I said, I’m working on it. In fact, I’m using the same formula for both. First, I study the players carefully, and then I go with my heart.