Sunday of Week 1. A time when American football fans are used to being asked the question “how ’bout them Cowboys?” but this year those who tuned in were treated to a heavy dose of “how ’bout them multiple, open-ended military occupations?”
For the first time since the multi-hour pregame show at Super Bowl XXXVI (which I am convinced continues on in some particularly grim circle of hell), the 9/11 references were so prevalent and indeed so heavy-handed that they rendered professional football virtually unwatchable.
While the games in New York and Washington might have been forgiven for cashing in a bit during halftime shows, the effort which announcers put in to bringing up 9/11 at any opportunity and during any game was simply overwhelming. Every play was spun as allegory for America’s post-9/11 reaction.
The Lions fumble the ball and recover their own fumble? Just like America recovered after the tragedy lo’ those many years ago. Player’s wife just gave birth to a child? That’s sad because all those people who were killed on 9/11, some of them had kids too you know.
The announcers during the Buccaneers-Lions game even took a break for a self-congratulatory moment, declaring that football had been instrumental in the “healing process” for America after 9/11.