Greetings to friends on the East Coast – and throughout the country – who took in Super Bowl LII Sunday evening. I watched it with my community. We all thought it was the best game in years. (Or since the Packers last won.) We gave an A to the commercials and a B+ to Justin Timberlake et alia.
So, condolences to Patriots’ fans and congratulations to Eagles’ fans.
Preaching here in Milwaukee was preempted by the Archdiocesan Catholic Stewardship Appeal video. This, too, was the best in some years. And it brought up this contrast for me:
What is the Super Bowl really about? What themes play out? Here’s a partial answer.
It’s about the struggle between Life & Death/Winning & Losing and the concomitant fear during the combat. Thus, it has to do with male displays of power & dominance, military might (patriotism & national sovereignty), testosterone & huge trucks in commercials, women cheerleaders as sexual objects, the perpetual appeal to appease our hunger & emptiness with buying stuff to prop up our fragile self-esteem, and beer (commercials) to wash it all down.
And, Super Bowl Sunday is reportedly the single largest sex-trafficking event in the United States. And, in the midst of the post-game hoopla, who remembers the hit that took Brandin Cooks out of the game? What’s his future.
I don’t say that cynically, rather as my attempt to lay out as data what the day is about. It’s about appetite. Appetite for taking, winning, and having. And appetite for denial of pretty much everything else.
Super Bowl Sunday owns a lot of turf. The week or two run-up to the game. Las Vegas odds, injury reports, speculations galore, predictions, etc. It lays claim to large portions male consciousness.
Now, back to last Sunday Mass. Archbishop Listecki served as the enthusiastic MC for the archdiocesan video that told the story of the archdiocese’s ministry to persons of all ages, color, creed, and languages. It stood out to me by way of contrast to the glitz & glamor of the Super Bowl, the insatiable American appetite for distraction.
Let’s face it, it was a great game. How was it to come back to the realities of this wounded world?