Super Bowl: American Priorities Gone Wild
Gear Up: get your chips, dips, wing dings and friends; it's the greatest sports event of the year. So great it's titled "Super Sunday." Every year people prepare to watch the National Football League's best two teams play each other to win the Lombardi Trophy and be crowned champion. It's an event that attracts everyone: men, women and children of all ages, religious affiliations, races and walks of life. There are very few events in the world that gain such an even cross section of peoples' attention. For example: 46% of all viewers of the Super Bowl are women (Luntz: Fox News). This event is a media market frenzy. Ridiculous amounts of money are spent not just on player salaries, ticket sales and accommodations but advertising reaches new heights at this time. Commercials on TV seem to fetch as much attention as the game itself. To write that lots of money is spent on the Super Bowl is a gross understatement. Lets allow the mere numbers demonstrate this point: an average American will spend $63.87 each on the event; this is the #2 eating day of the year behind only Thanksgiving (i.e. $123 billion chicken wings will be eaten); and $11 BILLION will be spent on this game in total. This years estimates are that Super Bowl XLVII will break all viewing and spending records because of the brother vs. brother coaching match-up. Let's put this kind of "super" spending into perspective. The National K-12 Education budget for 2013 is $59.9 billion. This budget is being cut to $41.6 billion by 2017. Therefore, in the United States, by the year 2017, Americans will spend in one day one quarter of the entire yearly K-12 Education Budget on a football game (US Federal Government Spending Estimates). Okay - that's enough to get anyone to choke on their chicken wing. Can it get worse? Countless numbers of people will attend, view and listen to the Super Bowl. Last year 111.3 million people watched it. Due to these numbers typical daily events will be changed or even altered to make way for "Super Sunday." While attending Mass the evening prior with my family Monsignor announced, with visible reluctance, that Sunday evening services were canceled due to the football game. Is God watching the game too? Eh America - how important is this "game" is to us? A little background: I'm a former grade school, high school and college football player. I'm the director of a NFL Fantasy Football League. I'm a High School Football coach of 17+ years. I'm one of those NFL fans that's addicted to the game. I'm also sickened by our priorities and I'm part of America's problem. I don't have the solution. What I do know that this isn't what America's priorities should be. When we spend enough money in one day to supplement one hundred days of K-12 Educational Spending and eliminate honoring our God for an evening something very wrong is happening. If we can spend billions of dollars in a day on a football game we can certainly spend a dollar more a day on each child's education. If we can prioritize a football game to the point church service is canceled we can certainly play the game on a different evening and leave the Sabbath to its rightful owner. Let's send the correct message to our children and priortize their education and their God ahead of "our" past time enjoyment. Sources: Super Bowl XLVII By the Numbers. USA Today. 2 February 2013. The Big, Big Business of Super Bowl XLVI. The Fiscal Times. 5 February 2012. USGovernmentSpending.com Luntz Interview. Fox News. 3 February 2013. Children in Poverty: Shame of a Nation. USCCb Blog. 7 January 2013.
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