Grasshopper Soup: Is there life after football? | SierraSun.com
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Grasshopper Soup: Is there life after football?

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; Super Bowl XLVI is over. Now what are we going to do?

Obviously, thousands of so-called 99 percenters had plenty of extra dough lying around the house to cough up to cover the high cost of a ticket to the game. The seats in Lucas Oil Stadium certainly were not strictly reserved for the one percenters.

How many unemployed poor people could afford the hyper-inflated price of a ticket? The profitable mark up by the NFL was either fair or discriminatory, or both. Who the heck knows whatand#8217;s fair anymore? One manand#8217;s economic inequality is another manand#8217;s high-priced vacation, a new snowmobile with truck and loading ramp, or a second home in Tahoe.

If the ticket price means anything, apparently the Super Bowl isnand#8217;t just another game, no matter how much the players have to psyche themselves up, or down, into thinking it is. According to the reports I heard, the ticket price was jacked up more than 1,000 percent compared to regular season games. Hotel costs also skyrocketed, in true capitalist fashion.

The NFL also charged football fans a $25 entrance fee for the whatever-they-called-it football fun house, which opened for business several days before the game. If I had kids, and they wanted to go, I would have sent them on their merry little pigskin way with someone much younger than I to keep watch over them. I would have stayed home, or watched the game on TV in my hotel room, just to get my moneyand#8217;s worth.

But the Super Bowl has a lot more labor and overhead than a regular season game. Whether or not that justifies the high cost, I donand#8217;t know. The halftime light show alone was highly imaginative (although Madonna canand#8217;t spell Love), and at least appeared to be incredibly expensive. But I bet the NFL, and Indianapolis, used as many volunteers as possible for the multi-faceted, multi-day sports spectacular.

Maybe we should call it a coliseum, not a stadium. After all, they use roman numerals to count Super Bowls. They canand#8217;t use swords, spears and lions to entertain us anymore, so we make football as brutal and as violent as is legally and humanely possible.

Football isnand#8217;t the only sport in which we celebrate, worship and idolize the ultimate sacrifice of life and limb. In fact, football is one of the safer sports. Iand#8217;ll let the Tahoe locals figure out what sports are even more deadly than football. Iand#8217;m not knocking any of them. We all have to go one way or the other. You might as well go doing what you love. But itand#8217;s better to end it all in soft, deep snow. Maybe next winter!

I hope no marriages, or other socially adhesive relationships, suffered financially, or emotionally, due to the high cost of the Super Bowl, and Super Bowl paraphernalia. Fortunately itand#8217;s only once a year. Still, I bet more than one family saw their kidand#8217;s college fund depleted by several thousand dollars or more last week, without the wife knowing.

You could have paid me a million dollars to go and I still would have stayed home to watch the game. I love a good football game. I would have been much more enthusiastic about Americaand#8217;s national religious display last Sunday if the 49ers had been playing, but, you still couldnand#8217;t have paid me enough to make the trip, stand in line and deal with the crowds, even if you bought me a VIP lounge fully catered by Victoriaand#8217;s Secret models.

Well, OK, maybe, in that case, I would have given it some serious consideration.

If you like being titillated and fanatical about violence and impending doom there is one thing you can do now that thereand#8217;s no more football. You can watch the new TV show that premiered last night called Doomsday Preppers, on the National Geographic channel.

If it were up to me, I would make the major TV networks eliminate political coverage and broadcast all national and international ski events locally for free during prime time.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for almost 30 years.


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