Super Bowl Fixation Unintended

“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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magical Mania Of Scoreboards

” If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?” (Vince Lombardi)

In this modern era of digital information overload, how do scoreboards capture my live sports attention during baseball/football season at home? Tradition holds that competitive game action for me should hold my interest firmly to the winning and losing end. Yet at major league baseball games, I now find myself impatiently overlooking each inning by inning compilation of player/team statistics on the big, Jumbotron scoreboard. Under these unusual circumstances, I instead long for a strong personal connection unrelated to the game experience. Likewise, I find myself consistently ignoring the unfolding drama of gridiron battle on the field now at an NFL football game in favor of the dazzling sensory blast of pure entertainment energy emanating from the giant video screen above.

I realize, however, that the expanded functions of today’s scoreboards have resonated deep seated meanings in our road trip travels. Picture for example, the end of our long and tedious driving days on our road trips. In the relaxed setting of a small town baseball park, curious glances at the scoreboard have revealed to me a vital community connection of where I am and why am I are visiting there.

In visits to college campuses, you might also imagine my thrill at re-experiencing youthful enthusiasm as I join in with the lively masses of at a college football game in a scoreboard barrage of “rah rah” energy. Or on those more sedentary occasions when the weather turns bad or I do not feel up to driving, the multifaceted features of the IPhone/I Pad becomes my main ticket to experiencing new scoreboard mania.

So imagine it’s game day again and settle into the following photographs of scoreboard impressions from our recent travels.

I long for the days when you would leisurely watch a live Major League game with strict focus on inning progress with a paper scorecard in hand and an occasional glance at a simple scoreboard.

Sadly, however, only Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago remains as authentic reminders of the old days of manually operated scoreboards that strictly focused on key game statistics in Major League Baseball games.

So I often lose concentration on the game these days as I stare constantly at the ever changing collage of information offered by the Jumbotron scoreboard. Notice how many people in the photo below are not actually watching the game action on the field.

Such non-game communication with game spectators on digital scoreboards at times breeds narcissistic silliness. Why not watch the game instead?

Judging by the woman depicted on the screen, I could also fulfill my own sports fantasies in digital magic. Where have you gone, Eric Stamets?

Would you oppose as I would this historic backdrop along this centerfield wall becoming torn down for another Jumbotron scoreboard?

In similar fashion, would you prefer as I do an unobstructed view of gorgeous San Francisco Bay or a new, information cluttered Jumbotron?

Maybe a better use of big board” scoreboards would be to disdain selfie hedonism and offer greater hope to unify our much divided country.

Perhaps the future of scoreboards will evolve into more artistic forms of creative expression. Would you recognize this recently discarded sculpture as post- home run fireworks gadgetry at Marlins Park.

So in spite of my reticence to change scoreboard tradition, I too have become “hooked” on the much needed, positive energy of “big board”digital glitz.

Perhaps then the magic mania of scoreboards will help the Miami Dolphins to finally win one this Sunday.

 

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