Don't get me wrong, I like football. But if I were an anthropologist studying America at the turn of the 21st century, I might conclude that Football is more important than just about anything else to the people of this society. Talk about education, or war, or (god forbid) poverty and people start arguing, but we're all presumed to love and follow our football team.
Evidence noted yesterday:
1. When the Broncos-Raiders game was temporarily suspended yesterday due to a thunderstorm, and the local news came on, that was the headline, the #1: Broncos game halted because of lightning, blah, blah, blah.
2. When Dwight Hixson of the Broncos received the kickoff of the second half, the announcers were falling all over themselves with praise for his "incredible" "extraordinary" (fill in the superlative adjectives) sympathy toward Everett--the tight end who ran into him. Not to take anything away from Hixson, but how was his reaction extraordinary?
3. Everett the tight end, whose (football-related) injury dominated the media for days.
4. Accolade rained upon defensive player for Raiders (big guy who intercepted ball), who not only is a great football player but (here's the most important thing of all--the thing that makes him really special): HE LOVES THE GAME OF FOOTBALL (accolades given by announcer Rich Gannon).
5. Sunday night game half-time: Al Michaels lobs softball questions at Pats owner Robert Kraft who says all the right things about the cheating scandal.
Bottom line: neither NBC, nor the owners, nor the NFL office is going to let the game be tarnished in any way.
6. Sports broadcaster (ESPN?) calls Robert Goodell (NFL commissioner) a great man. His importance is obviously greater than the President of the United States.
7. Obsessive and extensive media coverage of all things football related.
8. It's usually pretty safe to talk about the Broncos (or your regional team) in mixed company, anywhere in your community.
I'm sure other examples could be noted. The question is, what are our priorities?