Monday, September 25, 2006

A Weary Nation Plays Football

Oh, man - I'm not ready for this.When the going gets tough, a wobbly country can always look to sports to better the atmosphere and help it gain back a positive national outlook. We've got so much going against us right now as a nation, we need a little diversionary pick-me-up. And what better way to do that than to symbolically reopen the City of New Orleans for business with a giant spectacle of a football game?

Of course, if you're the Atlanta Falcons, you naturally want to kick the crap out of the rival Saints for sole possession of top spot in the NFC South. But if you do, you will have ruined the glow of the FeelGood Healingfest that will be tonight's game on ESPN. The Falcons are in a tough spot, and Bono, Green Day, George HW Bush and all the other dignitaries on hand tonight might urge them to go easy on the put-upon Saints, just so this thing can have a made-for-TV storybook finish. "Let the healing begin, Falcons - please don't beat the Saints."

And I'm guessing that TV will be out in all its self-congratulatory glory tonight. Expect special heartwarming spots from the advertisers, like "Budweiser salutes the City of New Orleans," and "Capital One has been helping Louisiana residents get huge lines of credit so they can rebuild their homes and help keep Louisiana a great place to stay and play."

And if Biloxi had a pro team, the NFL would've made sure they played the Saints tonight. "Battle of the Embattled - for Bragging Rights of the Devastated Gulf Coast. Everyone's a Winner Tonight!"

It's going to be a giant and overly sappy lovefest wrapped around a brutal and punishing game. I guess I'm cynical, but while I wish all the best to the struggling city, I will be rooting for the Falcons.

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