Well that’s one way to get people to talk about a game whose result everyone not living in Philly believes in a foregone conclusion.

“Freedom of speech works both ways,” he said. “We respect the rights of those who choose to protest, as these rights are precisely what our members have fought — and in many cases died — for.

“But imposing corporate censorship to deny that same right to those veterans who have secured it for us all is reprehensible and totally beyond the pale.”

The NFL had this to say

In a statement, NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said the Super Bowl game program “is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl. It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.”

Which is ironic as at the same time they were refusing the AMVETS on NFL.com you can find this anouncement:

As part of its ongoing work to support its players, the NFL today announced a joint player and ownership commitment focused on social justice. The campaign, Let’s Listen Together, launches today and includes a multi-layered roll-out including digital content and brand spots highlighting the player-led work on social and racial equality. The platform will also include social media support, as well as individual letters from players and owners sharing their stories and personal reasons for making social justice a priority.

The program is called “let’s listen together” whose purpose is to advance so called “social justice” which is apparently to be defined by the Kaepernick wing of the NFL, because “social justice” and “listening” and the NFL’s so called commitment to “free speech” doesn’t include listening to American Vets justice for American vets or free speech for groups like the AM vets.

BTW here is the ad that they considered so divisive that they didn’t want it in a program.

Oddly enough the NBA and the NHL didn’t think the ad was all that controversial

AMVETS officials said the same #PleaseStand ad was accepted by the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball for inclusion in their all-star games’ programs. The organization sees the advertisement as an extension of their role as a “nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families.”

The NFL is a private corporation and has the right to accept or reject any advertisement on TV or elsewhere. But the rejection of the AMVET ad highlights the paralyzing fear felt by the NFL over the anthem protests that has dramatically affected its popularity.

and here are is the AMVETS answer

Glenn Reynolds nails it:

Pete Rozelle is pretty much doing non-stop 360s in his grave at this point.

Two closing thoughts:

Thought 1:  Except for the year the Superbowl was held in the cold, it is generally a place to be for celebs to show how important they are.  I wonder how many of those woke celebs will make it a point to sit or kneel for the national anthem?  After all it’s very important to look “woke”, particularly on national TV

Thought 2:  As it is a given that this President will take advantage of this faux pas to bring back this issue how will red state Democrats answer this question without alienating either their base or the general election voters.

I can’t wait till election day.

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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

I’ll have a much longer piece on one of the greatest football games I’ve ever seen but if you really want to know what happened yesterday and why let me explain Why the Patriots won and Seattle Lost in two sentences.

After 59 minutes, both before and after the Malcolm Butler interception, the Seattle Seahawks played as if the outcome of the game was already decided.

After 59 minutes both before and after the Malcolm Butler interception the New England Patriots played as if the outcome of the game was in doubt.

That’s pretty much it.

 

 

When you find yourself in distinguishable from Barack Obama when it comes to truth, that’s bad.

Incidentally we’re still going to win.

Sarris: Do you think I’m a fool? That the commander does not know every bolt, every weld in his ship?

Galaxy Quest  1999

You may not appreciated the necessity for uniformity , gentlemen, unless you make use of your imagination. A single document may well be accepted, but you must think of a series. After receiving, let us say, six genuine documents, someone receives one spurious one. The recipient naturally lays them together in the course of the routine of his office. If one is markedly different from all the others –even if one is different in only a small degree–attention is clamorously called to it. Hine illac lachrymae. And if that document has a content somewhat unusual–even though in other circumstances it might have passed-then the fact is in the fire and Bow Street is called in. Et Ego in arcadia vixi, gentlemen.

C. S. Forester Hornblower during the Crisis 1967

 

 

On the radio yesterday the only thing anybody wanted to talk about was the Patriots and under-inflated footballs.

I’ve been hearing all the excuses:  “Everybody does it”, “They won by 30+ points”,and “how many of the Patriots actually knew?”, or “how much difference can you tell between ball inflation?” etc etc etc.

All of that is simply rubbish.

Consider coach Belichick.  He runs an incredibly tight ship, with a strong system, the word “methodical” is too light a description for how he builds a team.

There is no question that the success of his teams comes from the hard methodical work but does anyone believe that someone that methodical leaves any such thing to chance?

Additionally these guys aren’t avg guys.  They handle footballs for a living all week every day, they know a ball that is regulation or not because unlike us they live eat and breathe football, they are the elite of football in the world.

Furthermore I’m the type of guy who still believes when George Brett was initially called out for using an illegal bat in the pine tar game it was the right call.  The rules are what they are  and  I think, while the Pats  have no doubt earned their place in the superbowl by their performance this is a case of breaking the rules pure and simple.

All those involved should suffer the full measures of the penalties specified for such offenses superbowl or no.

Period

 

This week will be full of debate on who has the advantage in this week’s Superbowl.  The relative strengths and weakness of the teams involved.  The defensive and offensive matchups, the coaching styles, the various player comments etc etc etc.

While all of these things are very debatable matters there is a question that I want answered.

Why Superbowl XLIX?  Why not Superbowl IL?

The Roman numeral standard is pretty straightforward  I = 1  V=5 X=10 L=50 C=100 D=500 and M= 1000  Thus 8 – XIII  (5 + 1 + 1 + 1)  When the values are in descending order the number are all added.

When you have a letter that is of a lower value preceding a higher one that number is subtracted, Thus XLIX = Ten (X) subtracted from fifty (L) =  40  plus 1 (I) subtracted from Ten (X)9 for Forty Nine.

But hold on if you can subtract the first letter from the second why not use the following system IL instead since IL = one (I) subtracted from fifty (L) thus…49.

You save two whole letters considering that the Roman system can get kind of messy for example 1988 is MCMLXXXVIII why not use that method to save some carving in your marble when you can?  Why wasn’t the year 1999 MIM (1000+ 1 subtracted from 1000) instead of MCMIX  (1000 + 100 subtracted from 1000 plus 1 subtracted from ten)?

Yea this is slightly less important that the scourge of “manspreading” but if the City of New York can invest actual tax dollars into combating that dreaded scourge someone can tell me why I can’t get a Superbowl IL shirt if I wanted one.

Not that I actually want one, after all, it’s not like it’s something actually important…

…like baseball.

Back in the 80’s the comic book and baseball card market changed.

Until that time kids & teens were the primary market they bought the latest comics because they liked a character (say Green Lantern, or the X-Men) a writer Denny O’Neil or Chris Claremont , an Artist (Jim Aparo John Byrne) or maybe an up & comer who did both Frank Miller Jim Starlin ).

With baseball cards the kids had a favorite player Dale Murphy or Cal Ripken or loved a team like Orioles or Braves or baseball fans who simply loved the game or might get an autograph of a favorite player.

And since the primary market were kids and teens who played with them (I was a champion baseball card flipper as a kid, give me a baseball card & I can still hit what I aim at) and read. Most were thrown away so the older fellows who wanted the Stan Lee or Gardner Fox story or the Jack Kirby or Murphy Anderson art of their youth or was a fan of Dick Raditz or Roger Maris had to pay a reasonable premium for them.

And if you were a serious collector who had to have his Mary Marvel #4, Spiderman #11 or Ted Williams 1957 or Mickey Mantle 1966 in perfect shape the supply was so limited that prices soared through the roof.

But in the 80’s two things combined to change the math. the baby boomers who never really bothered to grow up were of wage earning age and at the same time people noticed that there was a resale market for comics & cards, particularly for rookie cards (a player’s first card) & first issues of a comic series.

Suddenly to the delight of DC, Marvel, Topps, Fleer & Don Russ people started buying cards & comics in anticipation of value. Suddenly there were all kinds of special cards, high quality cards out there, Upper Deck came out with baseball cards of incredible qualify and if you wanted every Kirby Puckett card in 1988 you had a lot to buy. Baseball card shows were all over and older players who missed the age of free agency could make a buck doing shows & selling autographs. (I still remember meeting Brooks Robinson in Leominster & Rico Petrocelli in Gardner)

On the comic book side the mini-series was created (more first issues to sell) Suddenly hot artists & writers commanded better money and were in a position to put out their own work, independent companies sprang up publishing some great stuff (Groo, Usagi Yojimbo, Dreadstar, Starslayer & Jon Sable freelance) and some absolute crap (samurai penguin) and some things that became cultural icons (Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles).

But once these things were collected not because they were loved but because they had “value” things changed. The companies produced larger print runs (until they figured out like Marvin Miller that limited runs kept demand high). People bought multiple issues of comics and put them away with backing boards and mylar bags to keep them in pristine condition figuring it would just take a few years for them to triple or double in value and if a comic you bought for $2 was selling for $4 in three years, if you got $3 each for 100 you had a 50% return on your investment in three years!

With money value also came dishonesty, I would hear kids brag about cheating their friends out of items of value, theft & break-ins were common since you could turn over the product at any flea market and to police comics & cards were not a priority (little comfort to the small store owner)

They became in effect penny bearer bonds.

But then the reality of supply & demand took over. When 5% of your market are people who actually want the product for what it is vs 95% who want it strictly to resell, prices crumble.

Suddenly people discovered they had cases of perfectly preserved miniature photos of baseball players that nobody actually wanted and that those comic books kept hermetically sealed were basically drawing and stories who only had value to people who liked the stories and/or art.

Go into any comic book or baseball card store today and you’ll find a vast array of comics 80’s & 90’s that the owners still can’t sell even at a quarter or a penny.

and THAT brings us to Superbowl 48 (or XLVIII) and this story:

On Friday, nine days before the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks meet at MetLife Stadium, the cheapest ticket to buy for the Super Bowl was $1,779 on NFL Ticket Exchange, the league’s official resale site. That’s $409 cheaper than it was on the site with this many days left last year and $809 cheaper than the year before.

How low is it going? this low:

On Friday, Kimmel said he got an offer to buy a man’s tickets for face value, something he said he never expected to hear.

What has happened, the decision to play the game in an non-domed stadium outside of the sun belt has revealed the Superbowl for what it has become, pretty much a gigantic marketing phenomenon that happens to include a football game as part of it.

Consider unlike every other major American professional sport instead of a seven series for a title a single winner take all game meaning a champion is determined on only one day and there is a single change to see it.

Additionally it is the only professional championship that is not scheduled to take place in the stadium one of the two championship teams (it can happen by chance, but it never has).

The price for the lowest ticket offered is $1779 the median income in the US in 2013 is about $50,000.

That means for a pair of the cheapest nosebleed seats the average person needs to squirrel away a month pay for the tickets alone not counting travel, hotel, and expenses or put themselves in debt.

Not a lot of that in the Obama economy.

And even if you are a fan who manages to do that most of the time the game isn’t worth it. While we had a run of really good games in the last 10 years before then more than half the game were won by two touchdowns or more. Only 16 of the 47 super bowls to date barely over a 1/3 have been decided by one touchdown or less. Tom Brady for example has no interest in the game and I suspect it’s not just because his teams not in it.

The reality is the Superbowl is 1 part game & 8 parts spectacle/concert. All during the game the cameras pan the crowd to find the rich the famous in the stands. They are not there because they are devotees of football, because they like a perfectly executed End Around or a blitz perfectly timed, they are there because it is an event, an EXCLUSIVE event. They are there to be seen as there.

But take that exclusive event, and put it outside in cold weather where they will have to sit outside on a bench for several hours. That’s a different story. It might be comfortable in the owners box but the camera likely won’t catch you. It’s absurd, you can’t expect a Katie Perry, a Justin Beiber, a Cate Blanchette or a Meryl Strep to do sit outside in the cold and the wind just to be seen on camera for a few moments don’t you know who they are?

That’s something to be left to the Hoi Polloi.

Add to that two teams from small market cities 2000 miles from the city where the game is to be played and suddenly your grand spectacle is taking place in a stadium full of people who will be comped.

Rest assured that this will be the last Superbowl played in a cold weather stadium without a dome.  the NFL’s entire marketing plan is to create an event that has to be experienced by anyone who is anyone.  If people think the beautiful people aren’t really interested and the only people actually interested are actual football fans then they’ll leave it for the next happening thing.

And that can’t be allowed.

*********************************************************************************

Olimometer 2.52

It’s a brand new week and month. The days of wine and roses and having the mortgage paid a full week before it’s due is over.

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So once again we have a $345 weekly goal to secure the cost of the mortgage and the payday for DaMagnificent Seven.

That means I need 17 of you to kick in $20 this week to get our monthly goals started on the right track.

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As the latest edition of the Superbowl gets ready to begin I marvel at the marketing wisdom of the NFL.

When it comes down to it football has a lot going against it.

1. Unlike Baseball, Basketball or Hockey It is a “team” sport with two separate components (offense, defense) and even special teams an independent unit from these. They are distinct and tends to direct credit or blame away from “team” and toward that unit.

2. It doesn’t have the flow of Hockey or Basketball where play only stops for a foul, infraction or a time out. By its nature it is interrupted.

3. It has a short season, compared to other sports, only 16 games.

4. It is extremely violent and dangerous sport, yet with rules to protect some players while leaving others vulnerable. It doesn’t even have the interesting twist of Hockey that actually allows fights to go on.

5. And worst of all, the players most key to victory get very little credit. The one thing you can’t do without in a football team is a solid offensive line. You win or lose based on them, but because they don’t tackle, don’t catch and don’t run they get none of the credit while taking heavy punishment on every single play.

However Football for all it’s failings (it can’t hold a candle to Baseball but then again what can?) has the single biggest annual sporting event in the world, a game that captivates tens of millions. Why?

One very simple thing: A single winner take all game.

Baseball, Hockey and Basketball all have best of seven series for their titles. This allows for a lot more games. in the days before TV it meant a minimum of two home games for winner and loser to profit from and perhaps as many as 4. A best of seven tends to reward the best team and makes it less likely for a Cinderella to arise.

The Superbowl however as a single game, is different. Every great play and every mistake is magnified astronomically. While the best team will usually win because a single twist can change everything it gives the game more mystique.

Add to that excellent marketing, a Sunday game that most people have off and you have the ingredients for one of the greatest sports spectacles there is.

Update: Two superbowl comments.

1. The Patriots would not have had the chance for that final drive if Eli Manning took a knee twice and used up most of the clock.

2. There is something fundamentally wrong with a sport where there is a disincentive for a team to attempt to score. This is why football will always be inferior to any other major sport.

…that I didn’t blog about Bill O’Reilly blunt statement that the Saints didn’t have a chance. It had reminded me of the episode of “The Capital Gang” with Steve Sabol who predicted that the Pats had “no chance” against the Rams.

There is a reason why you actually play the games.

I had the post written in my head and never bothered to write it. Just goes to show he who hesitates is lost.

…Robert Stacy continues to find news.

Stacy determines that the “follow the money rule” doesn’t just apply to pols:

An Associated Press analysis of campaign finance reports shows the Christian Coalition of Alabama received more than $12,000 from in-state gambling interests last year. Race PAC gave $8,000 to the Christian Coalition after receiving donations directly from gambling interests and from other PACs funded mostly by gambling interests. A sister group, Watch PAC, reported $4,500 in contributions to the Christian Coalition last year after receiving contributions from gambling interests.

So the Christian Coalition of Alabama is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing, right? Not so fast.

Another interest group, Citizens for a Better Alabama, has been flooding the television airwaves with an ad featuring Riley — flanked by the state and national flags and referring to his solemn oath to uphold the law — promoting his antigambling task force’s efforts to shut down bingo halls throughout the state.

Once again, to the casual observer it may appear to be overkill for the governor to send hundreds of state troopers to raid and shut down parlors where little old ladies and veterans in wheelchairs fill their bingo cards in hopes of cashing in. But to Riley and a whole lot of other people — especially out-of-state gambling interests — the tens of thousands of electronic bingo machines throughout the state look an awful lot like illegal slot machines. They generate millions of dollars for their owners.

As Robert spends some time with Ali (whose Jay Leno class chin can’t be appreciated in the photo) and cover’s Rick Barber who I’ve already endorsed to replace Richard Shelby in the Senate, Camp of the Saints tracks his movements as best he can.

Although my own prospects of CPAC attendance are dimming, American Freedom likely can’t wait to hear Stacy rejoinder to the victory of her Saints.

Update: Robert Stacy preempts Barbara by eating crow early, at least that means If I miss CPAC I won’t miss the dance of ultimate shame.

…getting hit on a regular basis by muscular 250lb + men may be hazardous to your health:

“They’ll tell you I’m one of the worst ones that comes in there,” said Harrison, now retired and living in Woodbridge, Va., where he also deals with high blood pressure, diabetes and slew of aches from injuries to his back, knees, hip and shoulder. “Sometimes I don’t even remember my name.”

8 concussions will do that to you. He may be a Superbowl Hero and remembered by Steelers fans everywhere but there is a price to be paid and Reggie Harrison is paying it.

Give me Baseball any day. (only a couple of months to go!)