9/11/11, the 10 year anniversary of a horrific terrorist attack on this country, should have been a lot of things. It was a day to mourn not only the innocents that perished in the World Trade Center, but also the brave men and women who gave their lives trying to save others. Even starting a few days ago, scribes wrote, talking heads talked, flags flew, memorials were held, and Amercians from Maine to Hawaii reflected on what had transpired. The events of the original 9/11 brought people together in this country, if only for a short while, until the politicians bastardized it to their own advantages, probably unlike anything since Pearl Harbor. Forget everything else -- we were Americans, dammit, and we were mad as hell. Anything anti-American was going to be swept aside in our patriotic zeal. As it turned out, in a cruel ironic twist, that involved a few of our own civil rights (see politicians above), but perhaps that's a narrative best left to others.
Nevertheless, this is a sports blog, and what could be better than the Dallas Cowboys. the self-anointed America's team, visiting the NY Jets on Sunday night? NBC said this was being broadcast from New York, NY. Not quite. Actually the Jets play their home games across the Hudson river in New Jersey. Yes, it's not far from Ground Zero, but it certainly doesn't qualify as NY, NY.
OK, that was hype and I can overlook it. Al Michaels was going to give the play-by-play. He's best remembered for uttering those immortal words, "Do you believe in miracles?", as time was expiring during the Olympic hockey semi-final in 1980, where a bunch of our college kids had just taken down the mighty Soviet Red Army team. As you know, that clip has been shown thousands of times since then, and old Al doesn't seem to mind one bit. He likes being wrapped in the stars and stripes, probably not to mention the royalties. Ahem.
In the studio booth sat Dan Patrick. He's got a radio show, a TV gig, and writes for Sports Illustrated. The dude's got bucks. Next to him was Tony Dunge. He used to play in the NFL, is best known as the former coach of the Indianapolis Colts, and when he's not on camera, he travels around preaching morals and the American way. He's got big bucks too. Neither one of them needs to do this sort of thing. I think the third guy was a former basketball player. What he's doing analyzing a pro-football game in a mystery to me but, then again, Bob Costas, who always seems to find his way onto high profile NBC sports broadcasts, likely assumes most fans think his hair is real.
We had the Cowboys and the Jets, an all-American play-by-play guy, and it was going down on the first Sunday of the season pretty close to Ground Zero on the 10th anniversay of 9/11. On top of that, it's the National Football League, and last time I looked, unlike MLB, the NBA, or the NHL, every single NFL franchise is based in the good ole US of A. What could possibly go wrong?
WHAM. This broadcast is being brought to you by Hyundai, a South Korean auto-maker. The signs were everywhere. On desks where the talking heads sat. In the background. Everywhere. Dan Patrick puckered up and smooched his way into a Hyundai commercial.
Any other day would be bad enough, but considering this day was an anniversary of a terrorist attack on our country, how dare the NFL and NBC allow this to happen. Both entities are multi-billion dollar enterprises. Do they really need to whore themselves this way? Have they no shame?
I was mad as hell, clicked it off, and called a friend to vent. I found out later that it got worse. The half time show was brought to those still watching by Toyota. Then Nissan jumped in later in the game.
I might catch a lot of flak for this, but I don't really give a damn. When the National Football League and a major US TV network are sucking up to Korean and Jap car companies for sponsorship on a day we're supposed to swell with pride for being Americans, something is horribly wrong. Let's not forget, thousands of our soldiers gave their lives and limbs to save the South Koreans from the Communist menace in the early 1950's. We protect them to this day. Toyota and Nissan would probably like nothing better than to see American car companies go under forever. These are the same friendly folks who brought you Pearl Harbor. While they're dumping their cars over here, they slap a big fat tariff on anything we want to ship over there. And guess what? We protect them to this day too.
I'm a hard core football fan, but more importantly I'm an American, and that was just about enough to piss me off.
I'll check out who won tomorrow, but no way was I going to watch that broadcast.
A few suggestions.
Dan and Tony. Be more selective before you go on camera. A little class never hurts.
Al. If you want us to keep believing in miracles, then turn down anything that's sponsored by a foreign entity. You can afford it.
The NFL. If you want to call yourself national, then ACT national.
NBC. Wake up. There's probably several reasons for your ratings, but this sort of nonsense isn't helping.