Why not the "WikiLeaks Bowl" game for American football? by ambassador mo

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“Papa John Pizza Bowl” game is no longer around but don’t worry: American college football has now added the “Little Caesars Pizza Bowl” game. The names have generally little to do with the game but reflect the current commercial obsession or just brand name that wants to imprint itself upon the American psyche. A few of the other notable associations:

* “Chick-fil A Bowl” - (named for a chicken only fast food chain)
* “Outback Steakhouse Bowl” – (for an Australian themed steak house chain)
* “Beef-o-Brady Bowl” – (more beef)
* “Capital One Bowl” - (a credit card/bank)
* “Advo-Care Bowl” – (nutrition and skin care – good bet the targeted audience is less about smooth skin!)
* “Hyundai Sun Bowl” – (moving on to another of our favorite American indulgences – cars – except this is a Korean brand)
* “Valero Alamo Bowl” –(need gasoline?)
* “Meineke Car Care Bowl” – (mufflers and stuff - appropriately this bowl game chronologically before the “MAACO [my car crashed and needs repair] Bowl”
* “Allstate Sugar Bowl” or “Progressive Insurance Bowl” should come before stops at MAACO or Meineke, but…
* “Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl” – (Car need tires? This one has a long history though of alternate brands – “Culligan Holiday Bowl, ” [something to do with house appliances], “Thrifty Car Rental Holiday Bowl,” “Plymouth Holiday Bowl” –[not certain where the name came from], “Pacific Life Holiday Bowl” {I always think of life insurance when watching football – don’t you?], and finally the name that one could at least associate with fun vacations – “Sea World Holiday Bowl.”)
* “R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl” – (a freight carrier if your car will not do for the job, coincidentally replacing “Roady’s Truck Stop Bowl”)

Think you get the point. Of course Europe is not immune to this junction of sport and advertising. A lot of European soccer teams carry on their jerseys the exact web address for where you can bet on them, or maybe against them – giving more inspiration to your booing. The chemistry of sport and commercial brand is not so recent a development, but it is indicative of trends both in product and the collective vision. This year has two bowl games, “Military Bowl” and the “Armed Forces Bowl” sponsored by major defense manufacturers, respectively Northrop Grumman and Bell Helicopter. Lest you think it is all about martial, there is the “Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl” and the “uDrove Humanitarian Bowl,” although not as prominent as Barcelona’s (soccer) past association with UNICEF.

.Com & “Bowl Caste System”

The more telling trend had been the quick rise of bowl games associated with anything “.com” – remember the “GalleryFurniture.com Bowl” or the other less memorable: “Crucial.com”, “EVI.net”, “MagicJack”, or MPC Computers – and then the as rapid eradication of such “brands.” GoDaddy.com though is still going strong while “Blockbuster” has been swept from the scene by a more recent newcomer hooked more than ever to the Internet, “NetFlix.”

The biggest of the US football bowl games has by no means avoided the commercial association. They are part of the “chicken house” bargain, but only demanding a much bigger payday in what amounts to as the one-night stand with the advertiser. They just like to project themselves as exclusive, to the point that most of America’s college football teams have no real chance to compete for the “national championship” by the rules of this house called the “BCS” or “Bowl Championship Series.” Now, the BCS claims to be an equal opportunity system, but operates more like a caste system – only way for advancement is marriage into the higher rated conferences. It does not matter that some of the conferences claiming royal bloodlines have shown the infirmities of inbreeding in their competitiveness. A few US sport and political leaders have denounced the BCS as un-American, but the haves withstand behind closed doors and so far effectively have blocked any effort at allowing a more performance-based means of crowing a National Champion for US college football. The current system is most inconsistent with a meritocracy and what is presumably American. Some have labeled the BCS as the “BS” system, but let me introduce a label more befitting an international audience – “Bowl Caste System”

OK, so you’ve noticed that Diplomatically Incorrect is also supported by commercial ads. Yes, we’re part of the new openness that can be complementary and at odds with the established methodology. What is important is that dynamics allow for the best to rise and be recognized as the winners. (I must admit also that when I played football at Tulane, now three decades earlier, the University had played in well heeled games as the Rose Bowl [now “Vizio”], the Sugar Bowl, [now the “Allstate”], the Liberty Bowl, [now the “AutoZone], and we were very highly ranked but by reason of this current “caste” system, would now be excluded – and this pisses me off).

So What Does this have to do with WikiLeaks?

It’s a bit of a stretch and mainly a way to tell a story. It's about the US reputation favoring transparency and embracing the underdog. On transparency, it is unfortunately that we Americans are more inclined to want to see and read and what largely already confirms our preconceived stands, even prejudices. More ominously, we are inclined to accept the notion that transparency should be determined by the government institutions to be subjected to it while, on the other hand, government intrusions into our life are acceptable on the assumption that authorities will only invade our privacy with cause.

American football presumably has become the US’s favorite sport because it combines power and grace, aggression and strategy. Many Americans also cling to the notion that sport and in particular football can give opportunity to the deserving underdog. It is part of our American self-authored narrative. After all, most Americans came to this continent escaping the status of perpetual underdog suffering frequently due to inherent privileges bestowed upon another.

WikiLeaks has a bit of that narrative in its current grind, a combination of daring and ingenuity, even if it may prove to pose real dangers to the current manifestation of US leadership and even security.

It is also appropriate though to tweak this presumed American love affair with the underdog: Americans do respect the underdog, when he wins. We Americans may give sympathy to the defeated, but we love and respect the winner. This trait has been part of our collective failure for many years in addressing the grievances of African American slaves and Native Americans who had to face overwhelming odds to self preservation and freedom and ultimately recognition of their still many unrecognized grievances. (It is noteworthy that bettors on sports including American football still tend to bet their money by a much higher percentage on the favorite rather than the underdog - according to Las Vegas bookies – and this is most telling if we presume that the best indicator of sentiment is the all American currency of cash). Even the BCS bowl system indicates an unfortunate inclination that creeps into any society of favoring the inherently dominant.

WikiLeaks: All-American as Football!

It has been my personal and professional experience that the best policy is not to be framed as a victim, even if one. Sympathy may be forthcoming but it will be short-lived and could be at the cost of real empowerment. Respect and a place at the table are won. If WikiLeaks is to ultimately be subjugated, then we will quickly move on to the next challenger, but if it prevails and continues to inflict upon the establishment, then no telling, it may become the establishment – the “WikiLeak Bowl.” I’m certainly counting on the “DiplomaticallyIncorrect.org Bowl Game” played co-ed! And, I must admit to watching more of these Football Game Bowls than most, including my favorite the "Franklin American Mortgage Company, Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl" and the "Insight Bowl" which could be a natural co-host with WikiLeaks.

By, ”mo”

See “US Apologize to Native Americans” diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/movie/us-apologize-to-native-americans/22264

Other Parodies: www.undiplomatictv.com

WikiLeaks previous post: “Will Fear Prevail” - diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/wikileaks-biggest-fear-will-fear-prevail-un-human-rights-commissionerconcerns-by-ambassador-mo/17129

“OK to Spy at UN – WikiLeaks” diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/ok-to-spy-at-un-by-mo-spying-or-intimidationblackmail/16892

About the author


"Voice of the Global Citizen"- Diplomatically Incorrect (diplomaticallyincorrect.org) provide film and written reports on issues reflecting diplomatic discourse and the global citizen. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey (@MuhamedSacirbey) is former Foreign Minister Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the United Nations. "Mo" is also signatory of the Rome Conference/Treaty establishing the International…

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