FROM THE VALLEY: It Doesn't Make Any Cents
By Tom Valley
It doesn't make any cents
I'm not going to accept the results of the Super Bowl. I was in one of those
pools with a hundred squares and little did I know before I signed on that it was
all set-up by unscrupulous actors. It was a fix like no one has ever seen before
in the history of sports.
Seriously, at one point, I was winning ... by a lot. And then suddenly, they
told me I lost.
I said “How can that happen? I was way ahead. There's no way I didn't
Okay, I'm kidding. But now that I've got half of you riled up, sit down, take
off your viking horns and fur-vests. I'm not going to rant about you-know-who-
and-you-know-what. The fact is, I didn't really lose the ability to see clearly, I
didn't lose the ability to accept the truth.
And, obviously, I didn't win that Super Bowl pool. I lost. I get that. It's not
that hard of a concept to grasp. And the Super Bowl will not turn into a
socialist or a fascist enterprise because of it. Period. Ouch! Moving on ...
Speaking of the Super Bowl, what a surreal spectacle. Most of us still can't
get over the visual impact of near-empty stadiums. Especially, during
something like this, the single, most-watched, sporting event in the world.
Never mind the so-called hologram of Vince Lombardi at the opening of this
year's game, they would have been better served showing Rod Serling from
'The Twilight Zone.'
Additionally, the half-time entertainment by The Weekend ... what the hell
was that all about? Was he performing in a well-lit, over-size heating duct?
And what kind of parents, may I ask, would name their son “The”? I don't get
Furthermore, let's not ignore the elephant in the room: the commercials.
They've gotten out of hand. They're starting to upstage the main act. It's like
serving double cheeseburgers as appetizers before your main entree. It's too
busy; too much going on. It diminishes the light on an already big spectacle.
When, may I ask, am I supposed to go the can?
And trust me, I'm not about to DVR commercials anymore than I'd sit and
watch an actual TV show about the Super Bowls' “greatest commercials.” It's
totally against my disdain for those interruptive forces which have long been an
agonizing point of frustration and contempt in my life. I'd be a hypocrite.
Where was I? We all know that despite the NFL's attempt to lessen the
danger involved in the game, it's still the most violent team-sport around. That
controlled mayhem and machismo is the sport's seductive appeal. Without it,
it's a school-yard game of tag. Tag is nice but it's not going to generate the
excitement and lure of fans and the all important big bucks which follow.
So here's the deal (stay with me): networks have a policy of not showing
fans run on the field because “it's dangerous” and don't want to “encourage
copycats.” Dangerous? Yeah, whatever. But isn't being arrested, going to jail
and paying a heavy fine enough of a deterrent to those who think it's a good
I was watching the game Sunday when someone - who like everyone else
watching, welcomed the three-hour escape from the crap going on in the
country - got carried away by the euphoria of the moment and decided to jump
onto the field and have a moment of fun. And he did it, despite the legal
ramifications involved. (I've since heard there was a story behind his decision.
It doesn't matter.)
So what does the self-righteous network do? They pan their cameras away
from what's happening. They focus on the faces of the players and coaches who
are all watching in total amusement. Amusement. Not shock, not horror ...
amused by the so-deemed “dangerous” prank. But we can't see it. We can't
share in the amusement. Nope. We have to watch the people who are enjoying
it. And then, of course, more commercials. And when that “dangerous” stunt is
over, we can get back to watching the innate ferocity which is, let's face it,
more part than partial of the game of football.
Their (the networks) self imposed policy makes no sense. If the fear of
copycat behavior and danger at a ballgame - when someone in a moment of
harmless frivolity jumps onto the field - is really based on that reason then
why, in respect to recent events, did they eagerly give non-stop, live-action
coverage of the mob of idiots who charged the Capitol building, scaled its
walls, broke down doors and smashed through the chamber's windows in an
effort to “hang Mike Pence” and kill Nancy Pelosi?
Frankly, Scarlett, I'm baffled. Cut to a commercial, please.
And that's the way it looks from the Valley.