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Wednesday, 4 February 2004
pigskin propaganda: the super bowl conspiracy
Now Playing: The Pounding System with Clay (wfmu.org)

Something went down during the Super Bowl championship game that doesn?t sit right with me?and it ain?t the halftime peep show.

Yet another Patriots win. In fact, their 15th straight win this past season. Not only that, but their 2nd Super Bowl win in three years. Not like I?m hating on a winning team ? obviously they did their thing. But how many people are paying attention to the years in which their championship victories land? Quit peepin? the right breast replay and check this scenario...

Flash back to September 11, 2001: the day in which our world changes forever. Tough talk immediately begins to emanate from key players in the White House. Heads on some ?America or else? steez flood the streets and call all who say otherwise ?traitors.? Civil liberties come under fire with the implementation of the Patriot Act. Along with all the flag-waving and spontaneous choruses of Neil Greenwood?s ?God Bless The USA,? America begins the process of ?getting back to normal,? living our lives as we once did, but could never recapture completely. And as always, we gotta show out, so much pomp and circumstance surrounded the first post-9/11 Super Bowl. Who won that Super Bowl, folks?

The New England Patriots. Think about that: THE PATRIOTS WON. How much more of a morale booster does America need than that? But it struck me as more than a coincidence. It was like when the numbers 9-1-1 ended up being chosen in the daily lottery number drawing in New York?just not as freaky, of course. I always found something symbolic about the Patriots winning that particular game. It just seemed too perfect, too Hollywood, too ?freedom fries,? if you will.

Now fast forward to February 2004. It?s a possible re-election year for the Bush administration and there has talk of retooling the Patriot Act, making a new and improved version. Who better to win the Super Bowl than New England? Particularly in such a nail-biting fashion, right down to the last four seconds of the game? Those are the types of wins America eats up. Couple that with the fact that we really like to hear about how great we are as a country (especially considering the number of countries that don?t share the same view of us) and the possibilities for a little pigskin propaganda at just the right time are endless.

But here?s the problem with that scenario: no one wins all the time. Not even the Patriots. And that?s the whole reason why I wanted a team ? ANY TEAM ? to knock them out of the playoffs. If nothing else, a message needs to be sent to the American public?sometimes patriots lose. Nothing profound, just a fact of life. Sometimes we blow it. Humans are prone to do that from time to time. You know how much the USA likes to win? We?ve just come to grips within the last decade over losing the Vietnam War. To this day, it?s still a sore spot. It?s as if we didn?t believe it until we spent the better part of the 1990s romanticizing the ?60s or until Oliver Stone and Stanley Kubrick had to visualize it for us on the silver screen. Meanwhile, we?ve lost more soldiers during our current war?s aftermath than in the actual war. An upbeat State of the Union address doesn?t change the fact that even if we win, we still lose. Better for us to admit that to ourselves now than another 30 years down the road.

Man, I really didn?t mean for this to turn serious. I wanted this to be silly, but it didn?t end up that way. For the record, I think the New England Patriots won because they were the best, period. Fifteen straight wins don?t lie. It?s the connection between the championships they?ve won and the particular years in which they?ve won them that I find a little strange. Not expecting anyone to agree, all I?m saying is think about it.

While we?re talking about football, anybody ever watch NFL on FOX with James Brown, Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw, and Jimmy Johnson? Let?s focus on my man Jimmy for a minute. Get an image of Jimmy in your mind runnin? down his opinion on a particular team or player. Now close your eyes, hear his voice, and replace Jimmy Johnson with Cotton, Hank Hill?s father on the animated TV series King of the Hill. I swear those two were separated at birth. I can?t tell you how many times I?ve listened to him talk and heard Cotton saying, ?Hello, Hank. Hello, Hank?s wife.?

Now, that?s silly.

Posted by macedonia at 3:27 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 February 2004 4:37 PM EST
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