“The Super Bowl is an occasion that’s really associated with abundance – lots of snacks, parties, spectacle – and so it would be great if there were also some kind of tradition of generosity attached to it as well.” (Josh Gondelman)
South Florida bustles now with excitement as Super Bowl LIV approaches Sunday at the newly modernized Hard Rock Stadium. Hordes of happy tourists now can celebrate the excitement of “big game” fever at lavish party or “open bar”settings scheduled around the greater Miami vicinity? You might even spot celebrities Jennifer Lopez or Shakira around bustling “South Beach” if you are lucky. Even if you don’t like football, you can bask along our sun-kissed beaches to work on your tan or simply “hang out” along the coastal boardwalks to simply be seen.
Yet the hedonistic excesses of Super Bowl week this year in Miami this year seems remarkably misplaced. For a sports fanatic such as myself who has managed to attend four, prior Super Bowls on a meager teacher salary, the inflated price of $8,000 and up for one ticket to the game this year seems grossly unfair. As I also crawl along in heavy tourist traffic or find long restaurant waits now, I long for a simple slowdown from such Super Bowl bedlam this week. I cannot ignore the fact as well that local residents like me will see significant tax increases to finance the celebratory excesses of this Super Bowl in the future. Many tourists might not even realize that the stadium location of this worldwide football spectacle is located amidst the largely lower income residential area of Miami Gardens. Do the urgent needs of the struggling residents here matter as Super Bowl madness invades their blighted community?
Furthermore, as tragic events last week gain hold of my emotions now, the narcissistic hype of the Super Bowl seems oddly out of character. I think of the tragic helicopter death in Southern California of Lakers great Kobe Bryant who’s generous contributions to improving the lives of youth and families after his basketball retirement now ended in senseless tragedy. I also feel the pain of fearful Caribbean island residents who endured the destructive wrath of a major earthquake. last week. These devastated countries most certainly will need America’s help now. The prolonged saga of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial also distracts my attention from Super Bowl bliss this week as I envision this President who profits himself illegally at the expense of our country’s best interests. I thus feel little need to revel in the Super Bowl “buzz” now when a man of such questionable values will likely be acquitted in political partisan fashion of morally debasing the office of the Presidency.
As I attended a “Super Bowl Experience” gala at Miami Beach Convention Hall last weekend, I thus found myself observing ways of “giving back” to others before this year’s Super Bowl. Judge for yourself then. How could we transform the following photographic mementos of gridiron game glory of the National Football League (NFL) into a scenario of more humane intentions?
1.How might one redesign NFL player helmets, uniforms and shoes to better show the goodness of our country?
2.What lessons from the history of the National Football League would best uplift the values our country’s populace now?
3. What should Super Bowl rings really honor beside winning?
4. What can each NFL “ Man of the Year Award”recipient do to help stop the problems of homelessness, poverty, and racism in our communities ?
5. How do we make professional football affordable and more fun for all?
6. How will NFL role model efforts uplift our country’s values in the future?
7.How can we use visual arts to create a less violent image of the NFL in the future?
8. How can we allot Super Bowl game tickets in a more equitable fashion for rich, middle class and the poor?
9. How can the NFL assist fans to overcome the negative stigma of continued support for a perennially losing NFL team?
10.How can the Super Bowl help Americans unite as a country?