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OUR VIEW: Superbowl’s meaning lost in the crowd

An Editorial Opinion

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 14:02

 

Jim and John Harbaugh took center stage in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLVII, and they were just the beginning of what ended up being the most comical and ironic NFL championship in history. From GoDaddy.com ads to Beyonce to the blackout seen ‘round the world, the focus seemed to be on everything but football.

On its own biggest stage, football wasn’t the center of attention. It’s a shame really. What turned out to be one of the more competitive Super Bowls was overshadowed by what authorities are calling an “abnormality.” Call it what you want, it’s embarrassing and unacceptable.

Fortunately for most of the world, we get to have a good laugh. Some say it was a Buffalo Wild Wings publicity stunt, others say Beyonce was too electric and some even say that Ray Lewis shot the Energizer bunny. Maybe it was simply some weird New Orleans voodoo.

The unjust truth of the matter is, the Ravens and 49ers played one of the best games in history and few will remember it that way. Ray Lewis’ last ride, Joe Flacco’s statement game, the 22-point comeback, and the final goal line stand will all be remembered as footnotes to “the night the lights went out.” 

It’s bad enough that every year the commercials are the most talked about thing the following day. Now football not only has to compete with the marketing business and the Hollywood entertainment business, but now it has to compete with the supernatural.

Yes, the NFL itself has its marketing and entertainment aspects, and such is the case with many — if not all of — the major sports leagues today. But back in the day, it used to be about the game itself. Emphasis on the word “game.” 

In the days of Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi, it wasn’t about the salaries or the halftime shows or the commercials. It was about football. 

The Drive, the Catch, the Immaculate Reception and the Greatest Game Ever Played are the moments that built the NFL and captured the passion of citizens across the country. These players and these coaches have dedicated their lives to reaching that level and making those moments a reality.

Across the country there are thousands of young kids aspiring to be the next Joe Montana or Jerry Rice. It drives young minds and is a crucial part of development. Sports are a necessary and integral part of life. Everyone has their passions, but for a vast majority of the country, sports are part of the dream. They’re part of being an American. They’re part of who we are as human beings.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the various aspects of sporting events, but respect the players and their abilities, and most of all, respect the game.

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