Letters

Letters 04-13-2015

Perplexing Eighth Street Changes I’m writing to you about the way 8th Street in Traverse City is organized. I commute on 8th Street daily like hundreds of others.

115 Years of Injustice Investigative reporter Pat Sullivan’s March 23 article “BURNOUT” exposed for the first time to many northern Michigan residents the 115-year-old tragedy that took place at Burt Lake in October of 1900.

Kicking The Prop 1 Can “Proposal 1 consists of only 100 words, but if approved by voters on May 5, it would trigger into law thousands of other words in 10 bills passed by the state legislature in December.”

Expose The Republican Playbook There was much angst among Democratic Party loyalists after the November election about their failure to convey a strong populist message.

Unions Are Essential Thanks to Stephen Tuttle for pointing out in his recent column how we have had trade apprenticeships for decades throughout Michigan and other states.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · A kinder, gentler Super...
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A kinder, gentler Super Bowl

George Foster - January 28th, 2008
For those of you who love the Super Bowl exactly the way it is, you need not read further. For the rest of us, the Super Bowl is an innocent football game on steroids. Nothing symbolizes the excess of commercialization and celebrity hero-worship in this country more than the Super Bowl.
Yet, I love football – I played in high school and still follow the sport closely. I have viewed almost every Detroit Lions game since 1958. The NFL playoffs are can’t-miss TV viewing for me, as with other hard-core fans.
As you can see, I am dripping with credibility in the football-fan community – so hear me out. Instead of just complaining about the Super Bowl, these are my solutions to its problems cited below.

The Super Bowl is financially out of reach for the average person. I know it was 40 years ago, but many of us have memories of buying tickets at Tiger Stadium for 75 cents and pro basketball tickets at Cobo Arena in Detroit for $1. Fans of meager means could usually afford to buy the cheap seats in order to see the best athletes in the world.
The 2008 Super Bowl nosebleed tickets begin at about $3000. You will pay much, much more if you waited until recently to seek tickets. Expect to pay at least $100,000 (gulp) for executive suites for one lousy game – the Super Bowl. No one expects tickets to be a bargain, but these prices are obscene.
Of course, we live in an era where a football players can earn millions for sitting on the bench in a handful of games and NFL owners rake in billions during each football season. I’ll bet you are curious about the going rate for a 30-second TV ad during the Super Bowl this year. Ha, expect to cough up $3 million each for that privilege. No doubt about it, the Super Bowl has become the ultimate arena for the rich and famous.
Solution: why not give most of the Super Bowl tickets to underprivileged persons in the community hosting the game? Pro football is already earning hundreds of millions more than it needs outside of the Super Bowl. Such an act would be akin to Bill Gates donating some copies of his new MS Office software to the local library. Giving the tickets to charities would be a relatively low cost for providing immeasurable goodwill to the sport, if not our country.

The half-time show is easily the most obnoxious part of the Super Bowl. They are okay, but is anyone really looking forward to seeing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at halftime of the Super Bowl? If I hear Free Fallin’ one more time, I’m going to punch someone. And I Won’t Back Down. The fact that Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction is the only interesting thing to happen in over 40 years of loud and glitzy halftime shows says it all.
A better way would be to televise the finals of the national Punt Pass and Kick competition at halftime. It would be tremendous thrill for the kids competing and more compelling viewing than one more recycled group of over-the-hill musicians.

Lastly, let’s change the damned name. The phrase “Super Bowl” even has an obnoxious, over-the-top ring to it. I hate it.
How about renaming it the “Pat Tillman Memorial Game?” As you may know, Pat Tillman is a former NFL star player who turned his back on millions in future earnings and a chance to play in the Super Bowl to enlist in the U.S. military. Killed in Afghanistan in 2004, Tillman is one of many who in recent years made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Commemorating Pat Tillman would help us place a completely different spin on what constitutes a hero. Then, in truth, maybe we could begin to claim pro football’s championship game to be super.



 
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