February 7th, 2005



I'm a football fan. I'm not a fan of any particular team, and I am not a fanatic who knows the stats for every player, or even the names of all the players on a particular team. But I enjoy watching this sport played well.

I didn't enjoy this SuperBowl.

The play was very sloppy, neither quarterback was on his game, neither defense was particularly quick or forceful, and neither team looked like they were playing for all the marbles until the last 43 seconds.

There were some highlights - T.O. made some good catches, but never scored. And he never went long. It was amazing he was there at all, but he was only about 50%, despite the post-game hype. Tedy Bruski showed some great defensive moves, and it was sad to see him clocked toward the end. The last-minute Eagle score and drive would have been more exciting if any of it had been well executed on either side.

But enough about the game.

The commercials mostly sucked too. Too many animals. Too much bad computer gen. Too little humor. Way too little original thought.

One spot was outstanding. And I say this even though I am one of the left wing's biggest anti-warriors. The scene is an airport passenger waiting area. A small group of soldiers in desert camouflage, carrying duffels and packs comes down the aisle. A couple of waiting passengers stand and applaud. Then a few more, and a few more, and as we follow the group down the aisle everyone is standing and applauding. They pass by, and as the camera shows their back, the words "Thank You" center on the screen. It brought tears to my eyes. And it did again as I wrote this.

I don't support the war. I don't support the troops. This is an all-volunteer army, and anyone over there in uniform is there by choice. And they have done a miserable job. Not just Abu Ghraib, but the number of soldiers who drive into ambushes, the number of Iraqi police they have not been able to train, equip and protect. The inability to rebuild the infrastructure which was bombed out. And so on.

But I would be one of those applauding as they got off the plane, because they were coming home.