Without fail, twice a year, I have a fond thought for a man I never had the pleasure of meeting. Those times: National Football League opening day and during the frenzy leading up to an American holiday called the Super Bowl.
This week we fans will stroll the streets, swap our favorite Seahawks superstitions, and snap "Twelfies." We'll nod and slap high-fives with neighbors; we'll chat stats as if we actually understand the cool language of numbers.
Seems a little odd, no?
Forty percent of the public says football is their favorite sport to watch, making it roughly four times more popular than any other sport. Even so, the dominance of football in American culture should not be taken for granted.
The course of ardent love needs to involve pain, and sometimes even agony or tragedy, doesn't it? That's the formula in theater, if not always in life.
One topic is the main ethical debate around professional football's "Deflategate" and whether quarterback Tom Brady and/or other New England Patriots are cheating and lying. The second topic is a constant: the morality of supporting football.
The best part of any sports movie is the inspirational speech right before The Big Game. Whether it's the Super Bowl or Little League, there's nothing a good, old-fashioned motivational speech can't fix!
Marijuana is now the nation's fastest-growing industry. The legal marijuana industry brought in $2.4 billion last year, so it's certainly no longer any sort of laughing matter. That figure represents an increase of a whopping 74 percent in one year's time, and it is estimated that the total legal market could be worth $11 billion as soon as 2019.
Even though fans cry foul and sponsors chastise the league, people keep watching and corporate dollars still flow into the NFL coffers. So why should the NFL change? After all, even the unwilling have to watch the Super Bowl.
They say that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That certainly appears to be true with the NFL. Over the past year it has been rocked by a series of brand-damaging events that have been magnified by media coverage.
It started long before "Deflate-gate", but that episode of alleged cheating by the New England Patriots -- reportedly playing with under-inflated footballs during the AFC Championship game to give the quarterback better grip -- only magnifies the hate.
There is no place any longer, either in the NFL or the nation at large, for the injustices and hypocrisies of prohibitionist marijuana policies. It's time for the NFL to be a leader and create a rational and science-based marijuana policy.
As anyone who has been alive in America over the past week knows, the New England Patriots have been accused of deflating the footballs they used in the first half of their crushing triumph over the Indianapolis Colts.
The New England Patriots' postgame celebration started to deflate shortly after the AFC Championship Game concluded. This sudden release of tension occurred due to questions related to the Patriots' adherence to the NFL's game rules and ethical standards.
Most social scientists who study the psychology of sports fans would say that it has to do with the NFL fan identifying with the team so strongly that the outcome of the game has emotional and even physiological consequences for the fan.
Are National Football League referees, in addition to their duties policing a chaotic game of borderline violence, also supposed to serve as grade school hall monitors?