As a long-time Broncos fan, the Super Bowl of 2014 left not merely a bad taste but something more along the lines of those cuts that occur on the top of your mouth and stay for days after you eat a regrettably delicious sandwich with rough, toasted bread, or a bowl of Captain Crunch. To exacerbate the pain of this year’s championship, the defending champion goon squad Seattle Seahawks AND the antithesis nemesis of the AFC, the New England Patriots, both made it to the big game while our dependable treasure Peyton Manning strides ever further towards his inevitable twilight.
Egads!!! What is a football-lover/ political satirist, cynicist and realist to do?!?! Well, find the social commentary in those beloved commercials and take issue with things that others can simply take at face value and enjoy, of course.
Allow me to go back a couple months.
I have recently begun running on a “professional” level, meaning I have shown up with other folks to collectively engage in an activity that I enjoy for the solitude it provides. Thus far I have run two half marathons and, despite my love of independence, they are incredibly rewarding. What you also find at these events are all manner of gadgets, trinkets, edibles, wearables and readables that encompass the world of running. During the pre-race accompanying expo, I was listening to a nutritionist speak on the necessity of fueling during long runs. It was here that I was reminded of the oblivious nature that encapsulates the otherwise careful creature that is the human being.
This nutritionist specifically mentioned needing electrolytes while running and was met with nods of agreement, murmurs of affirmation. I looked left, right and all-ways only to realize: no one here, outside of the specialist on stage, knows what an electrolyte is. I laughed at the reminder of the short attention span, fear of looking foolish and overall willingness to accept what is given, without critical thought, when people are in the presence of knowledge, experience and expertise.
Now, back to the now.
Over the weeks leading up to the final game of the 2014-15 NFL season naught a discussion was heard without mention of Deflate-Gate, the suspicious under inflated footballs provided by the Patriots during the AFC Championship game. Now that the team has won yet another championship, I believe that the love of a champion will outweigh the foggy memory of air pressure. Ball deflation and video-taping are rather opaque methods of breaking only a few of the conglomerate of NFL rules. The football-loving public doesn’t grasp, or really care to grasp the significance of this type of cheating. The public does however, adore winners and a dynasty, even if they occasionally cheat, always scowl and wear fluffy boots.
And outside of the contrarily to tradition, incredibly entertaining game and half-time show, the commercials were as engaging and perplexing as ever, offering intriguing glimpses into the nature of humanity:
–The indelibly enduring friendship of Budweiser’s horse and pup pulls the heart strings and reminds us: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
–Danny Trejo-Brady and Steve Buscemi-Brady partook in random, nostalgic hilarity. Sometimes it’s just funny cause it’s funny.
-Hopefully Jurassic World will transform the doubt in those who feel that they should have stopped making movies after the first one.
Then there were the ones that tried to send a message:
–The anti-domestic violence pizza delivery 911 call was incredibly effective and much more genuine than the crying celebrities from the same organization running ads throughout the season.
–McDonald’s is offering free meals with acts of love. Not sure how this will be equally distributed among all colors and creeds. What happens when the man and wife are asked to kiss but the wife and wife are asked to pay in dollars? I think this is simply a ploy to keep McDonald’s relevant in a world turned Chipotle.
-Did anyone catch the hypocritical irony of the “run like a girl” PSA juxtaposed to the Sarah Siverman wireless ad where she says “sorry, it’s a boy?” Sometimes it’s funny cause the progressive comedian says so.
And then there’s the pope.
While I don’t recall any pro-catechism PSA, he is certainly inserting his two-cents into the coffers of global political debate. I am all for a more pro-active pontiff but in this case I am reminded to be careful what I wish for. While more accepting of the modern realities that govern domestic relationships, i.e. homosexual partnerships as well as divorce, God’s messenger on Earth has spoken on the benefits of social justice economics and the destruction of the environment by human beings. To help the environment, encourage charity and clean living are noble and righteous acts in which the pope is almost obligated to engage. But to express naivety towards free market economics, denigrating a system that has created more wealth for the world and the church than any other, is dangerous sophistry. To encourage the cesspool of corruption that is the United Nations, not recognizing the evil such an organization fosters is nothing short of willful ignorance. The world needs active church leaders but it needs them to support the good that humanity can offer, not further condemn the actions of prosperity that provide hope to the millions living in the insufferable third world.
All this is to say that people love entertainment to escape the rigors of life and work. They want a break from their thoughts. And it is in those moments that they can be most manipulated. Whether in sports, fitness or religion, distractions abound. Instant gratification in simplistic explanation is easy but often invalid. When it comes to justice, get a lawyer and trust that the truth will win out. Search through the panoply to find the fitness products that work for you. And if you wanna alleviate your sins, seek out a priest; for climate change, read the very-much-alive ongoing debate.
Trust but verify. Simply because a holy man is in charge does not mean he is infallible. Just because a coach and quarterback are already winners does not mean they will not sacrifice integrity to win again. Electrolytes may be as good for you as cobra venom, learn before you take either. And sometimes the only way that people can raise themselves up is to hold others down. Human beings are a wonder of this world. We help each other, we deserve unadulterated fun and we require constant vigilance in order to stay within the confines of reality and not be dazzled away from justice and common sense.