Sunday, February 05, 2012

Obligatory Super Bowl post: rooting for Giants' clothes

I'm not properly fired up about the big game this year. My resurgent 49ers should have made it, but they weren't quite ready for the big time. Maybe next year they'll find some more receivers somewhere.

When your team comes close but doesn't make the finals, it's easier to recognize what a trivial game these addictive rivalries are. This, from Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature seems exactly right:

Loyalty to groups in competition, such as sports teams or political parties, encourages us to play out our instinct for dominance vicariously. Jerry Seinfeld once remarked that today's athletes churn through the rosters of sports teams so rapidly that a fan can no longer support a group of players. He is reduced to rooting for their team logo and uniforms. "You are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city." But stand and cheer we do: the mood of a sports fan rises and falls with the fortunes of his team.

So this Super Bowl Sunday, I'm throwing down for the New York Giants' clothes.
***
It's easier to support both sets of gladiators in Indianapolis knowing that their union pushed back against the state of Indiana's new law aimed at crippling unions.

WASHINGTON—As NFL players, we know our success on the field comes from working together as a team. We’re not just a team of football players—we’re also the fans at games and at home, the employees who work the concession stands and the kids who wear the jerseys of our favorite football heroes. NFL players know what it means to fight for workers’ rights, better pensions and health and safety in the workplace.

To win, we have to work together and look out for one another. Today, even as the city of Indianapolis is exemplifying that teamwork in preparing to host the Super Bowl, politicians are looking to destroy it trying to ram through so-called “right-to-work” legislation. {Republicans did.]

“Right-to-work” is a political ploy designed to destroy basic workers’ rights. It’s not about jobs or rights, and it’s the wrong priority for Indiana.

The facts are clear—according to a January 2012 Economic Policy Institute briefing report (“Working Hard to Make Indiana Look Bad”), “right-to-work” will lower wages for a worker in Indiana by $1,500 a year because it weakens the ability of working families to work together, and it will make it less likely that working people will get health care and pensions.

NFL Players Association

Even sports millionaires know which side they belong on.

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