Duck! and Gather

Superbowl XLIII: People vs. Corporations

Posted on: February 2, 2009

Superbowl XLIII was played yesterday between the teams from Arizona and Pittsburgh. I’ve been watching Superbowls since the late 1970s. To me, this one was the best. My reasons?

  1. game came down to the final minutes
  2. a great comeback by the underdog
  3. many swings in momentum, including two lead changes at the end of the game
  4. the players played well; coaches coached well; the refs reffed well enough  — i.e there were no goats

So, it would seem there’s nothing to write about here. Nothing more and nothing less than a great game, decided by the players and coaches, giving their all, performing at their best. What else could a sports fan ask for (assuming you weren’t emotionally invested in either team winning)?

Nothing. Except that, as you may know if you’ve read this blog, I tend to look for deeper meanings in things. Especially in important things. And I believe that the Superbowl is one of the of most important things in American culture.

As such, the Superbowl serves as fertile ground for mining the zeitgeist of America. You know, study the game and read the auguries. What did this game tell us about America?

Well, as you many also know having read this blog, I believe that America is headed for a battle between People vs. Corporations. So I asked myself: Does the People vs. Corporations meme have anything to do with this game?

Yesterday, by the third quarter of the game, I started suspecting that this game was a re-enactment of the 2006 game in which the NFL corporation ruined the game in the service of its profit interest. Basically, the refs in that game handed the game to an under-performing Pittsburgh team.

As I said, up through the third quarter of the game yesterday, it looked as though we were watching the same dynamic. Suspiciously one-sided officiating was favoring Pittsburgh.

But then, in the fourth quarter, in the time-honored tradition of referees issuing “make up” calls  to balance out the officiating, the refs made a series of damaging calls against Pittsburgh. The effect of this was to balance things out in the game, thereby taking the refs out of the game, and leaving the game up to the players to decide.

So yesterday, the refs were acting like fair People interested in a fair game. Meanwhile, the players were playing like untroubled, passionate children, the kind that most all of us People like. And the coaches were coaching like clever chess players, out-witting each other in turn, to the delight of us sports fan People.

So it would seem that yesterday’s Superbowl was a wonderful spectacle, put on by certain People, for diverting the attention of the rest of us People from our deepening troubles, for at least one day. No Corporations to be found. Right?

Wrong. I checked out ESPN and CNN-Sports Illustrated this morning to read the views of the “expert” “pundits”. These are the same Corporate people who tried to whitewash the tainted 2006 Superbowl XL*.

This morning, those same people were telling the story of yesterday’s game as a one-sided affair — a coronation of the NFL Corporation’s profit-generating darling, the Pittsburgh team.

The stories that these pundits told of the game read like AIPAC’s stories of Israel’s January bombardment of Gaza. Reading these latter stories, one would be surprised to learn that Israel killed over 500 women and children in this campaign, some with white phosphorus, which is a war crime.

Similarly, if you had not watched the game yesterday, and you were to read these pundits this morning, you would be surprised to learn that the Arizona team, and certain Arizona players, made historically great plays, and were worthy champions, who deserved to win this game as much as did Pittsburgh.

These latter facts are the reason why this game is being widely praised as the best Superbowl ever. But Monday morning, the day after, the Corporate media pundits revealed that their very consciousness is infected with Corporate profit.

I mean, these people watched the same game that everyone else did. In 2006, over 80% of ESPN users in a poll said that the game was decided by the refs. Back then, these same pundits told us People that we didn’t see what we saw. Were they watching the same game as the rest of us?

Same thing this morning. Historically great game and the Corporate pundits are spinning a story that does not match was happened, but that, not surprisingly, does match with the NFL Corporate profit interest.

So what is this game telling us about America generally? What do the auguries say? They say that we People are stronger than the Corporations.

I predict that, over the coming week, these Corporate pundits will change their stories to align with what I have written above, as they receive the furious feedback of their People readers.

I know, I know. It’s just football. But I think this is a harbinger of things to come in America generally. The People have the power, man.

2 Responses to "Superbowl XLIII: People vs. Corporations"

Pete, you have taken on an un-charateristically optimistic outlook as of late.

I am wondering if you think a fourth turning crisis has (or even can) be averted?

To me the answer is no, the crisis changes attitudes. Attitudes don’t change on their own, absent any catalyst, and magically avert the oncoming storm.

I think what we have in Society right now is the equivalent of the accused murderer with over-whelming evidence against him claiming to have found Jesus during his trial.

Doesn’t work that way……you gotta do the time and you gotta pay the price.

We’ve been stealin’ when we shouda been buyin’ for the past 30 years, and I don’t think promising to be good and behave in the future is going to be enough.

Tme will tell.

Thanks for the comment Steve. Nope, I don’t think a crisis can be averted. My optimism about America is about my belief that the nation might well survive after all.

Obama is damn clever. Might be so clever that he’ll survive his first term. If so, as bad as things will be getting, I think we’ll pull out of it.

As for the crisis, I believe it goes as deep as the way each individual in America lives: irresponsible for keeping ourselves alive. i.e. Food, water, heating, health, security. 99% of Americans today get these things from multi-national corporations or from organizations completely distant from the consumer.

During the Depression, for most Americans, these things came from our local community. We knew their origin, and for many us, the origin was us.

Today, we Americans are like infants, completely dependent upon mother government and corporations. We just blithely assume that “mother” will keep us alive.

Yet these “mothers” are even more irresponsible than we individuals are. They’re criminally irresponsible.

This is a 75-year-old dynamic. It’s going to crash. Our entire way of life is unsustainable. It’s going to be ugly. No laws Obama passes in the next few years can stop it.

But what Obama can do is: (a) stay alive; and (b) calm the nation. I think he can do both. That’s why I’m optimistic.

Comments are closed.

for the money has gone too far

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