The Popcorn Stand: What does the Super Bowl mean?

I’ve been made aware there’s some kind of game going on tomorrow, the World Championship of Professional Football also known as the Super Bowl. During this cultural phenomenon of commercials and this year, Justin Timberlake, it just so happens there’s also actually a game that’s played.

I’ve written this several times before. I don’t know if we’re the greatest country in the world. I think sometimes we’re the greatest country in the world. And I think we can be the greatest country in the world. And I think we’re the most unique country in the world.

If there’s ever been an event that showcases just how unique we are it’s the Super Bowl. No other country on earth puts on a spectacle like this — year and after year. The Super Bowl represents why the rest of the world loves us — and hates us — so much all in about four hours or so.

And while it’s become something of an afterthought when it comes to the Super Bowl, the whole reason why this event is held — football — also represents this country’s greatest angels and worst demons. That point was driven home in the movie “Concussion” a mostly true story about how the National Football League had to confront its worst demons.

Alec Baldwin had a line in the movie which perfectly sums up our love affair for football: “It’s a violent, senseless game, but it’s a beautiful game.” I, like many others in this country, face a moral dilemma for loving such a violent, mindless game. But I love it so much because it’s as ugly as it can be, it truly is beautiful.

So at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday after avoiding all the other nonsense that surrounds this game, I will sit down to watch the violence, the mindlessness, the ugliness, the beauty that is football. And I will love it.

— Charles Whisnand


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