Sunday, February 5, 2012

For The Love Of The Game??

I write this from the comfort of my favorite chair as I watch Super Bowl XLVI. Let me first say that I am in no way disrespecting this venerable American tradition. I just wanted to offer my thoughts.

I wouldn't say I am a devoted NFL fan. I enjoy watching and keeping up with my favorite players throughout the season. I especially like keeping an eye on former University of Oklahoma players who have gone on to the big time. OU football is my first love and always will be, at least in the sports world. That is another subject for another time, but those who know me would not disagree with that statement. GO SOONERS!!!!

Back to the situation at hand, Super Bowl Sunday is a huge day in the United States. Even those who don't watch a single game all year long tune in, even if just to catch the interesting commercials and halftime shows. It almost seems unpatriotic to miss it!

Food is the central part of this tradition, unless you are actually at the game. From chips and dips to huge elaborate spreads, households across our country are sitting down to enjoy their favorite food and drink while enjoying the game with family and friends. Offerings can run the gamut from simple pizza to fanciful creations. See for yourself:

Times sure have changed when it comes to halftime entertainment. The first Super Bowl in 1967 included performances from trumpeter Al Hirt, college marching bands and a high school drill team. I think I even spotted a guy in a jet pack in the center photo!!

Now, in 2012, we have a totally different type of show, which includes appearances by Madonna and Nicki Minaj.

Quite a difference, huh?

Interesting, too, how the cheerleader situation has changed through the years. Here is an image of Green Bay Packers cheerleaders in 1967, followed by the 2012 New England Patriots squad. See if you can spot the differences without looking at the colors of their uniforms...

Oh, and how about the players? This is a game after all. I give you images of the Most Valuable Players of the 1967 and 2012 games.

Okay, so not much of a difference there. Regardless, I think we can all agree that they typical NFL football player has changed significantly over the years. Although both past and present players put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into developing their bodies to play the sport, showboating and product endorsements have become a a huge part of the careers of more than a few NFL players in the current leagues. Materialism, flashy lifestyles and "bling" abound for some. Some players have even been charged and convicted of crimes including drug possession, firearms violations, murder and (infamously) running dog-fighting rings. I have a hard time believing that the players of 1967 were involved in similar lifestyles or activities. Maybe I'm candy-coating the old days, but that's how I remember it.

So whether you are watching for the love of the game of football itself, or for the commercials and entertainment, remember that you are taking part in a time-honored American tradition; the championship game of the National Football League. I hope your team wins and that you enjoy the game.....or the commercials.....or the entertainment....and the food.....or all four!!

What are some of your favorite foods, traditions, Super Bowl moments or actual plays from the Super Bowl? Do tell!!

Oh, and GO PATS!!!

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