The Super Bowl? Not without Seattle | City Lights

By Al Hooper, former Beacon editor | Feb 04, 2016

By now you may have heard. Super Bowl 50 occurs on Sunday. Nothing wrong with that except for the teams involved.

You know and I know that neither of this year’s Super Bowl pretenders belongs.

Everybody loves Peyton Manning, but let’s tell it like it is.

The Denver Broncos got past New England in the run-up to the Bowl because the Patriots declined to kick a sitting-duck field goal in the late minutes of their conference final.

As for the Carolina Panthers, they reached the Super Bowl by way of a standard NFL ruse. The schedule-makers cannily arranged to have their conference final played at 10 a.m. Pacific time. It’s a practice they employ back east to make sure a West Coast team doesn’t arrive in town feeling too feisty.

Which meant the Seattle Seahawks’ biological clock was not yet ticking when the game started. Of course they stumbled out of the gate. Fell back 31-0 by halftime.

Even so, if the game had gone five minutes longer, the Seahawks would have won.

And if they had won, we’d have been spared the sight of Carolina QB Cam Newton performing an infantile victory dance to the benign approval of the grunts who function as commentators for these events.

Question:

When did sportsmanship go out of sports?

Gloating after every play, let alone after every touchdown, is now an accepted way of mocking your opponent. Some of us remember when sports found time to teach athletes to respect their opponents.

The subtext is character building. So let’s be clear on that point. It’s not about cultural differences. It’s about character differences.

Care for some contrast? Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is not just a credit to the game and the team. He’s a credit to the human race.

Nobody competes harder than our man Russell. His skills are exemplary. And if he happens to score a touchdown, he acts like he’s been there before. He hands over the ball and prepares for his next offensive series.

Our man is a pro in the best sense. A grownup who respects his opponents and everyone else. His hospital visits to sick kids are a weekly staple of his life. In season and out.

Russell Wilson belongs in Seattle. Just as the Seahawks belong in the Super Bowl.

I know, I know. Lose gracefully. Builds character.

Go, Peyton!

Al Hooper, a former editor of the Beacon, contributes periodic columns. On clear days, he writes novels. His latest two, “Flynn’s Last Stand” and “Cole’s Last Chance,” are available at Amazon.com. Hooper’s website is at http://e-hooper.com.

 

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