Monday, February 6, 2017

Did Richard Nixon cause this Football Mania?

Every year at Super Bowl time I'm reminded of my childhood, before Richard Nixon and his PR machine made Football on TV into a dominant part of American life. This was number Super Bowl 51 and I'm 68 so- I remember how it happened:
Nixon was So Unpopular it was driving him crazy. Much like our current president, he was distracted by so many Americans hating him. So Nixon hired a PR guy (it might have been Roger Ailes, who ended up later running the startup of Fox News, have to check that).
The PR guy decided one of the few things ordinary man Nixon did that the public could relate to was watch football on TV. So Roger Ailes, or whoever, cooked up this media campaign saying the President of the United States could not get through a Sunday without watching football on TV. Every Sunday afternoon the President stopped everything he was doing in world affairs to watch football, according to White House press releases.
And somehow from then on, watching football on TV on Sunday became a national pastime. Followed by the Super Bowls
None of it ever got to me. I had a real smart dad who hollered that it was all a stunt, just to make Nixon look human when he wasn’t really like any other human. It was that very oddness that made Nixon so unpopular, even in the photos released, he looked awkward sitting in front of the TV watching football, it was all an act. Maybe it was my mom or sister, somehow, around our family we knew that tricky dick was just being a politician, that he didn't really like football, and in our house, we did not watch football on Sunday. But almost everyone else did. That PR guy working for Nixon was that good.
Hmm TV may be another clue to what went wrong with the whole USA and how. Back in the 1970s or so television became much more dominant than it had been previously. However, for several years my family held out and only turned the set on for a few hours at night. A lot of my friends’ families were starting to keep their TV sets on all day, but we didn't, not for several years. In fact into the 1990s my mom stayed in the living room with a book while my dad watched in the den, at which she sniffed and scowled and rolled her eyes, bk to her everything on TV was brainless and banal.
Just one of many things that makes me so peerless in my own nation. I never watched Sunday football.

Posted by Kay Ebeling
who hopes city of angels will find her

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