Two super Sundays in a row |

Two super Sundays in a row

Less than 48 hours ago, Iraqis everywhere took one small step for themselves and one giant step for democracy. Occurring on a relatively small planet called the Middle East, they experienced their very own “Super Election I,” while less than five days from today the AFC champions will take on the NFC champions here in this world for our very own self-absorbed Super Bowl XXXIX.Rah-rah, sis-boom-bye,Here we play a gameWhile there they die.American football, a game where testosterone and steroid-filled males desperately attempt to hurt and maim one another while maneuvering a funny shaped chunk of faux-pigskin up and down a faux-grass field, is worshiped by millions who will gamble billions for the chance to make hundreds.You gotta love it.Well, you don’t have to exactly adore it, but you must admit that the weeklong hype surrounding the build-up to the game itself it at least more interesting and exciting than watching Eagle County commissioners patting themselves on the back for spending our tax money with the zealotry normally reserved for congressmen or reading quotes from the delusionites in Tipsline as they complain about airport fog being caused by local industry and bad service at a fast-food counter.Rah-rah, sis-boom-jiveHere we play a game to win,While there they playJust to stay alive.Either way, you still might make a few bucks on the game, and who could not endure the weight of a couple extra Benjamins along the backside while enjoying spicy brats washed down with a few frosty cold ones?Yes, yes, not everyone admits to capturing spiritual enjoyment from secular gambling, but come on, everyone does enjoy something for nothing, and “nothing” can become “something” pretty danged quick with a few greenbacks tossed down on the low side of a high-stakes sporting wager.Yep, Super Bowl Sunday is not just a profitable day for those who catch shrimp or sell booze for a living, as close to $100 million in wagers will be placed in Nevada alone with an additional estimated half billion (with a “B”) being anteed up (tax-free!) over the Internet.In addition, Super Bowl XXXIX is expected to boost sales of consumer electronics, sports gear, team-related merchandise, furniture, and food and beverages to the happy tune of $5.6 billion (that’s also with a “B”) before the final whistle on Sunday night.That’s a lot of Benjamins.In other words, with gambling, retail sales, plus the estimated $400 million injected into the Jacksonville economy, over $6.5 billion is pumped into the American economy all because of a single sporting event, with chances being very good that not one single person will die as an absolute direct result.In spite of liberal wolf-crying, this is a good thing.For comparison, two weeks ago Americans spent over $40 million for President Bush’s inaugural while this weekend they will spend over $50 million just on goofy little snacks for the game. Neither, by the way, is funded with tax dollars.Almost 55 million Americans will attend Super Bowl parties where they will consume 5,000 tons of guacamole, 14,500 tons of potato chips, 4,000 tons of tortilla chips, 4,000 tons of popcorn and immeasurable amounts of beer and Jack Daniels. This will rank as the No. 2 food consumption event of the year, second only to Thanksgiving. Rah-rah, sis-boom-bam,When promises of bloodshedTurned out to be a sham,Abu Musab al-ZarqawiBecame the true sacrificial lamb.While this year’s halftime artist, Paul McCartney, certainly might be a leading contender for winning the Ideology Olympics when it comes to political views, at least he has decades of beautiful songwriting and performing to justify his appearance. Besides, the ex-Beatle falling prey to a wardrobe malfunction would be as likely as Adam Aaron dancing on a snow bar during this season’s super-double-secret BB&B.Since Super Election Numero Uno went so well in Iraq, the least we can do is enjoy ourselves by celebrating Super Bowl XXXIX in one fashion or another. Even if you still don’t see the connection, just savor the mindless break while we have it, and celebrate the freedoms that allow us to spend so much time and cash for so little in return simply because we live in a democracy that allows us to do so. If we don’t, what’s the point?Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at

Support Local Journalism