2018-02-07 / Columns


Lots of good guys still play in the NFL
Ledger Publisher

I confess.

I watched the Super Bowl.

I realize all of my NFL-hating friends will chastise me for doing so…especially how earlier in the season I refused to watch games as long as the players were kneeling during the national anthem.

For the first 10 or 11 weeks I didn’t watch any games.

Then I watched a few minutes of some of the Panthers’ games and finally towards the end of the season and during the playoffs I watched entire games.

It’s not that I began to accept the protesters. No way. I still believe that any player who refuses to respect our flag and what it stands for should be benched or suspended or otherwise reprimanded.

As time went on, I began to realize that not all of the players were kneeling or protesting and that many of them — if not most — are patriotic, model citizens.

They support numerous good causes in their communities and do good deeds. They have wives and children and family members who have served in the military. Most of them are not thugs as some haters would have you believe.

Quite the contrary.

Do I wish the NFL commissioner, coaches and owners would have come down harder on the kneelers?

You bet.

But the longer I thought about it, the more I realized that not watching games deprived me of one of the few enjoyable things about cold winter Sundays. Also, should I take it out on the ‘good guys’ of the league because of a few radicals?

I think the NFL got the message from fans when viewership was way down this year and hopefully that will put an end to these nonsensical protests.

A couple of observations about the Super Bowl:

1. The game was really entertaining. Lots of big plays. Very few penalties and it came down to the last play.

2. The halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake was OK, I guess, but then he’s popular with the younger set. Like my 25-year-old daughter. She REALLY likes Justin.

In fact, she was singing right along with him during the show, whereas I couldn’t understand a word.

When I commented on that, she shot back, “Well, you and momma do the same thing with the old songs!”

She’s right, we do. But the lyrics to the ‘old’ songs are understandable.

The ‘old’ subject came up again after a closeup of Justin.

“He looks old,” Abbie’s fiance, Drake, commented.

“He is,” replied Abbie after consulting Google. “He’s 37!”

The subject of ticket prices came up and I guessed about $5,000 from scalpers. That wasn’t too far off. An online search showed the ‘get-in’ price at $3,100 and $7,000 for lower level access.

That’s cheap compared to a 30-second commercial at about $5 million.

Now I enjoyed the commercials, but I am having to rack my brain to remember the products that were advertised. I do remember the Budweiser ad where they put water in cans for areas that had natural disasters. And the dancing Eli Manning. What was he promoting?

There are several more that I have faint memories of but none that hardly seem worth $5 million — not including the cost to produce them — somewhere in the $1 million range.

During the discussion about ticket prices I recalled that my mother and father had gone to a Super Bowl and had given me some memorabilia. I guessed it was around 1998 or 1999. Sherry disappeared and came back minutes later with a Super Bowl seat cushion. The year was 2000.

Who played in that game and who won?

I have no idea.

I do know that seat cushion is the closest I’ll ever get to going to a Super Bowl, which is OK by me. The seat in my recliner didn’t cost me a dime AND I got to watch the commercials!

I believe that a bad Super Bowl halftime show is still better than a soccer game. — Ron White

Cody Sossamon (cody@gaffneyledger.com) is publisher of The Gaffney Ledger.

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