It's Super Bowl Sunday! Still not sure how the Falcons let the opportunity to play today slip away, but I digress.
Baseball may be America's pastime, but football is America's game. When we are not watching football, we are planning our next chance to watch football. Doesn't matter whether it is Pop Warner, high school, college or the pros, if two teams are chasing a football around a field, someone wants to watch them do it.
Have you ever wondered why?
Perhaps it is because the game allows us to vicariously indulge our violent tendencies. Be honest, how many times have you watched the YouTube video of Jadevon Clowney's hit on Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl?
Maybe it is because football has as a goal the acquisition of new land in enemy territory. Isn't that how the American West was won?
Or it could be that football is America's game because, as Jesse Jackson said, "the playing field is even, the rules are public, and the goals are clear."
None of us has a problem with a fair fight, in any arena. Football is the ultimate expression of a fair fight. You put 11 guys on the field, I will put 11 guys on the field. Your team will protect your goal. My team will protect my goal. The team that reaches the other's goal the most time wins.
That's about as simple as it gets.
Wouldn't it be great if other aspects of life were that simple?
Imagine a tax code where "the playing field is even, the rules are public, and the goals are clear." I make $10,000. You make $100,000. I pay 10% in taxes on all my income. You pay 10% in taxes on all your income. The government uses all tax revenue to the benefit the taxpayers.
How about a legal system that was clear and simple? I committed a DUI. You committed a DUI. I do 10 days in jail. You do 10 days in jail. Our criminal records are the same.
Or perhaps a job market that had a simple certainty and uniformity? I earned a B.A. in business from Georgia. You earned a B.A. in business from Georgia. I went to work for ABC company in 1990. You went to work for ABC company in 1990. I earn $100,000. You earn $100,000.
Clearly, all of those examples are grossly oversimplified. But the point is still valid. Every one of us enjoys the game, any game, much more when we know the rules, the goals are clear and the playing field is even. The Super Bowl is the ultimate example of that fact. If we truly want more citizens to become productive members of society, we all must strive to apply these tenets to every public pursuit.
Karl Douglass, Columbus native and resident, is a frequent commenter on local, state and federal politics. Follow him on Twitter@KarlDouglass or facebook.com/karldouglass.