The Super Bowl - it's all about the "Sympathy" Vote
I guess I'm rooting a little bit for the Saints as the underdog partly just because when I think of what's happened in New Orleans over the last several years and how much that team means to them. You know, I'm pretty sympathetic.
President Obama to Diane Sawyer when asked, "So serious question, Colts/Saints?"
A question before we get into it - where was this ideology of sympathy for the Saints in the '06 NFC Championship game? Oh, that's right, it was against the Bears and his sentiments are on the record -
After a lot of thought and a good deal of soul-searching, I would like to announce to my hometown of Chicago and all of America that I'm ready ... For the Bears to go all the way!
Homer! Well, at least Obama was spiritual about it and is consistent with his inconsistency. But why quibble?
Shiftiness notwithstanding, I think President Obama's answer is simpatico with this generation's elevation of "victimology" and symbology above all else. Rather than focusing on the teams playing the game the rooting has been transferred to the more "deserving" team by proxy of their suffering fans. The Saints represent their fans which represent New Orleans which represents Katrina which represents victims of a storm event... which happened five years ago. See, the choice should be easy.
What happened to the days of pulling for organizations, teams, and players whom best demonstrate the virtues of team work and heart and will power? Who overcome the challenges of a determined opponent on the level playing field of competition? Of blood, sweat, and tears? I guess in our coddled, emasculated, socialist society any overt demonstration or celebration of these qualities is offensive, too Darwinian, too Randian, too capitalistic.
There's nothing wrong with having a sentimental favorite, of pulling for the underdog. Who doesn't sometimes pull for the David - the guy or team that's not the BMOC (Big man on campus)? I do, when they earn it, when they overcome by the honest "capitalist" traits listed above. When did the Spock philosophy overtake the game? "The hopes of the many outweigh the hopes of the few."
As Obama expressed, socialists and bleeding hearts have warped even sports and rooting into a meritocracy based on sympathy that often has nothing to do with the teams themselves but what they represent externally to the game. Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts don't have a serious sympathy card to play. Sure, they can try to play up the angle of their rookie wide receiver and Haitian native Pierre Garçon as a "beacon for Haitians" but the Saints trump this with an entire city of victims. Advantage Saints.
Even leaving aside the issue of the NFL and Roger Goodell's discriminatory treatment of Rush Limbaugh while a convicted felon is allowed a back-up QB position on the Philadelphia Eagles, among many other issues, I'm still not sure if I'll be able to stomach the telecast of the Super Bowl. There's an old saying - "I can't hear what you're saying ‘cause your actions are speaking too loudly." I'm afraid the game day will be a matter of "I can't see what you're playing ‘cause your words are speaking too loudly." Super Bowl Sunday, including the lead-up to the game itself, is going to be one long "donate till it hurts for Haiti and New Orleans" text fest interrupted by random player and game commentary by announcers... when they're not shilling for Haiti and New Orleans.
If I do watch I just might have to pull for the master-of-his-craft tall white guy QB and the Colts. How capitalistic of me, how unsympathetic, how un-Barryish. I'm ashamed... not!