Calling it inexplicable would be kind. Calling it the worst decision in Super Bowl history would about fit.
I revere football because it provides an opportunity in pop culture to wrestle with the complexity of identity. It is often through football, for instance, that TV's Glee confronts gender, sexuality, and marginality.
When you sit down to enjoy the Super Bowl, enjoy a healthy side of irony with your wings. In much of Europe, soccer embraces a rapacious form of capitalism that would make Mitt Romney blush, whereas in the U.S., the NFL eschews the blue and white heat of high finance for a philosophy that is tinged with more than a touch of red.
I'm not sure when females liking football became some rare disease that afflicts only remote sections of our population, but I've actually lost count of how many men, and yes women, are mystified by me. I'm talking about my sincere love for the game of football.
The muck in question isn't even Democratic muck. It's purely conservative and Republican mudslinging, at a person who used to be put on a pretty tall pedestal in Republicanland: Sarah Palin.
As another Super Bowl comes and goes, this time amidst a clamor over deflated footballs, I have to say I am happy to be living and working in a major metropolitan area that is still, for the moment, an NFL-Free Zone.
What if football were more like modern medicine? Perhaps the only way to advance down the field would be to renounce all progress to date and start again each time at the 20-yard line. You never get to build on your prior gains. That seems a dubious game to me.
It's a given that all athletes are concerned about their speed, strength and endurance while playing in the Super Bowl, but all of them are very much aware that having their heads on straight that day will make or break them.
The outpouring support for Marshawn Lynch over the last few weeks stands in stark contrast to the way he was viewed earlier in his career as a Buffalo Bill. Then, and even following his trade to the Seattle Seahawks, Lynch was considered something of a pariah, unable to keep it together on and off the field.
In building a profile of someone likely to cheat, you might start by imagining an individual full of hubris who is driven to succeed by any means possible. Would this description fit anyone within the New England Patriots organization?
Of course Americans will watch the game. But who will we root for? Who are we supposed to cheer for when it is Lex Luthor going against the Joker? Maybe football needs a villain, but not two of them.
Half-baked in Boston...
The Washington team's inappropriate response is unfortunately consistent with the "playbook" that the Washington team and NFL continues to use to defend the offensive and harmful team name and logo of the Washington team.
Sadly, the world paid more attention to the pounds of pressure in a football rather than the much more important stories resulting from alleged acts of terrorism and murder.
The NFL missed the mark in many, many ways. But that doesn't mean they can't rectify those mistakes as they gear up for a new season. Moreover, the NFL inadvertently launched a national dialogue around domestic violence -- a dialogue that we all need to continue.
The Super Bowl is only days away, yet if you open the sports pages, there's not much real football being written about. The rancor surrounding the game sounds more like a scripted build-up to a WWE WrestleMania than the biggest game in legitimate American sports.