In Trump’s America
Who Should Be Watching the Super Bowl?
A white dog?
A trendy cat?
“Is that even a question?” Cat said. “Of course. We’re Americans. American Animals. Everybody will be watching. I’ll be in majority for once, a trendy cat. Go Pats.”
“Maybe you should reconsider,” I said. “For one thing, to understate the case, not everyone likes the New England Patriots. And what’s more, did you see that NBC/Wall Street Journal poll about football?”
“No, I’m a fun-loving, all-American cat. Cats who have fun don’t watch the polls, they watch football,” he said.
“Maybe you ought to take a look at this one, though,” I said. “It found that the percentage of people who “closely follow” the National Football League is dropping. This year only 49 percent said: ‘Yup, I’m following the NFL closely.' But in 2014 – five January’s ago – 58 percent said they were. That’s a 9 point drop.”
“But Phoebe, that’s still nearly half of the United States of America,” Cat said, “more than enough to get Trump elected. Go Pats!”
“Plus, in a divided country, at least the one thing Americans can agree on is that football is our sport, the national pastime, the sport of us all, the top dog of sports, if you will.”
“FLAG ON THAT on that play, Trendy One,” I said. “Remember, this is Donald Trump’s America. Everything is different. Let’s go back to the tape, or at least to the poll I was talking about.”
“The analysts – every game has them – dug deeper and asked how the races are viewing football."
"Fewer white people, 47 percent now, compared to 59 percent in 2014, are following closely, down 12 points. African Americans? Up 1 point. Hispanics, up 2,” I said.
“This tells me nothing,” Cat said.
“Try this gender analysis: our poll-cats scratched deeper, and came up with this stunner,” I said.
“ So, you are a white dog, Phoebe; I’m a brown and gray striped cat, who is, I’m told, somewhat on the handsome side,” said Cat. "What's that have to do with anything?"
“Actually, you are totally off-sides, Concussion Cat,” I said. “Let’s look at some previous footage. We’re going back, back, back, way back in the Way Back Machine to 2016.”
“Which was a long time ago,” Cat agreed.
I TOLD HIM that was the year when San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting mistreatment of blacks, eventually kneeling during the pre-game National Anthem, leading to similar protests this year by other players.
Of course, Trump strapped on his sharpest bigotry cleats and jumped into the game, seizing the chance to demonstrate presidential leadership.
At a rally in Alabama, he raged:
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!"
Trump went so far as to urge a boycott of the NFL, tweeting:
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!
And he alluded to the issue in his state of the union talk.
“So where does that leave us?” Cat asked, perplexed and downcast. “I suppose it means that we can’t watch the Super Bowl.”
“To the contrary,” I said. “Let’s get back to the poll. It also broke down interest in football in crude political terms. Turns out that Republican obsession with football is down 15 points, compared to a drop of 8 points for Democrats and 4 for Independents."
“Our Super Bowl decisions should track Superman’s values: ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way.’ It’s our duty to WATCH the Super Bowl.”
“I’m even more confused,” Cat groused.
“Don’t be,” I said. “Trump wants us not to watch. Therefore, we must.”
“Understood,” Cat said.
“There’s always the commercials,” I said. “Everyone loves to pick the winners and losers.”
“What’s your favorite?” Cat asked.
“Beer commercials can be pretty wild,” I said. “I particularly like one with the slogan:"
It’s Mueller Time.
“Go Eagles,” Cat said.