Tag Archives: Super Bowl

SuperBowl, Commercials, #tweetstorms, and Freedom

Oh, my.

Sometimes, I know I should look the other way, not say anything, and go on with my life.  However, other times I feel like I just have to say something.  This is probably one  of those times that several readers will fall on either side of the fence and think that I should have done one or the other.  My guess is that we will all have opinions.

And that is the truth, isn’t it? We all have opinions.

To be clear: the SuperBowl is one of my favorite holidays.  I prefer it over Valentine’s Day and Halloween because at Super Bowl parties I get to eat good stuff (like chocolate fondue) and I don’t have to dress up like a clown.  I love how it can pull different groups of people together in a competitive spirit.  And I like watching people watch the game. I learn so much.

Of course, the commercials rarely disappoint.

I love what Doritos has done for the past several years with the “Crash the SuperBowl” contest.  All of the Doritos’ commercials shown during Super Bowl spots were originally part of a contest for amateurs to earn their way into a professional commercial spot. Viewers vote on their favorites, and the prizes are amazing.

Last year’s winner was super funny.  Click here to watch it again.

When I saw one of this year’s ads – the one where the dad ate Doritos during an ultrasound – I laughed out loud.  Seriously.  Super cute.  Did you read that? I said, “Super cute.”

All day yesterday, though, I read tweet after tweet and more tweets responding to those first tweets about how the commercial was controversial.

Excuse me? Is this the same commercial I saw?  I am completely baffled by all sides of the controversy.  This was an advertisement, people – a well-developed, entertaining advertisement.  The fact that the wife/mom was annoyed at the crunching sound of Doritos during an ultrasound was hysterical – and almost any woman I know would love for the baby to have that kind of motivation to prompt a quick delivery.

Tomorrow is my son’s 19th birthday (I can’t believe he is that old!).  I found out that I was pregnant with him well into my pregnancy and had to have an ultrasound to determine when he was due.  A year before, I had an ultrasound to check on his sweet older sister.

When I have an ultrasound of an organ, the tech is looking at that organ, right?

When I have an ultrasound of what is growing inside of my uterus, the tech is looking at a baby…albeit one that is not ready to live outside of me at 20 weeks gestation.  This does not have to be a loaded term, and I am so confused as to why it became a #tweetstorm.

I drove for several hours yesterday and watched this play out on Twitter at my various stops along the way.  The only thing that makes any sense to me at all is that agreeing that “the thing on the ultrasound screen” is a baby gives name to “the thing” that some want to be able end its growth – abortion.

Here is the thing: we get upset when we are pushed into a corner.  Right now, all sides of all debates in the political, social, religious, intellectual, etc., arenas are pushing each other into corners because no one is listening to each other.  So – we get upset, we get used to being upset, and then we just start conversations already upset.

And we are not listening…

You say “cells” – I say “baby” – “cells” – “baby” – “cells” – “baby”!

“We’ve got spirit, yes, we do – we’ve got spirit, how about you?”

…we are at a pep rally, and we don’t even like the sport!

Seriously, none of us want to be wrong.  None of us want to drop the ball or be the quarterback who gets sacked.  And we certainly don’t want to lose the game and then have to sit through a press conference just to have the world pick that apart later.  Come on – give the guy a break…he lost a Super Bowl game, and you want him to do a press conference?

I digressed…sorry – that is another post.  The truth is that often our rhetoric comes from a position of being cornered.

None of us wants to be faced with the decision of a pregnancy that puts us in an impossible situation.

None of us wants to be the parents of the girl who has an abortion because she thought we would be angry – or the parents of the boy whose girlfriend has an abortion because he thought we would be angry.

We don’t want these things, yet we play the game as if it were our game to play.  We go out on the field, we line up on the line of scrimmage, and we hope that the other team fumbles so that we can grab the ball, make the play, and dance the victory dance.

All the while, there are real people living real life, making real decisions, and struggling through it all.

We vote for the politician who claims to support our stance on the issue, and then we realize that the Supreme Court holds the cards anyway.  We protest, picket, and plead – each “team” chanting their cheers, slogans, and angles.

Rarely do we listen to each other.  Rarely do we listen to the people who have made decisions in the past about issues or who are faced with them today.

I live in America where opinions are allowed, tolerated, and encouraged. I get to stand on my side of the field, and you get to stand on your side of the field – regardless of whether that side is the same side as mine or not.  Tolerance means that I let you think your way even when I strongly disagree.

Sometimes, our freedom gets away from us, and we get a little carried away. If only there were a flag on the freedom field for taunting…

It is time to start listening.

Several years ago, I taught a high school speech class.  When it came time for students to present persuasion speeches, abortion came up very often.  As I listened to the speeches, I was stunned at the anger with which high school students could already have toward someone who disagreed with them.  I asked them all to take some deep breaths and to reconsider their rhetoric.  Consider what it might be like to have an abortion.  Consider what it might be like to believe that abortion is murder.

For high school students, the answers seemed easy until they had to consider the other side – not the argument but rather the shoes which the person on the other side of the argument wore.  I’m not saying that abortion is a grey issue – what I’m saying is that we become less angry about difficult issues when we start to listen to people who disagree with us.

When we listen to those who disagree with us, we win the game.  We can have firm convictions, attempt to influence legislation, and help to alleviate the suffering of those around us while listening to those who disagree with us.  We might even be able to work together.

Consider what seems to be an odd pairing of pro-life Catholics with Atheists for Life.  They have some fundamental differences; however, they both want to end abortion.  Rather than focusing on that which divides them, they work together on what they hold in common.  My guess is that this required some listening to each other.

As I wrote this post, I watched the “controversial” commercial again a couple of times.  I still do not see it – neither of the possible “its” that the #tweetstorms suggested.

What I did see was that ultrasounds have gotten a whole lot better than they were 19 years ago when I looked at my son for the first time and found out that he would arrive only six months later.

It kind of makes me want to have another baby just to see that cuteness on the screen in this new way.

Hold on.  Strike that.

I’ll wait – some day, maybe I will get to see a grandchild’s ultrasound in color.

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Super Bowl Mom

Of all of the people involved in the Super Bowl yesterday, the one that I would have enjoyed being near the most would have been Mrs. Harbaugh – the mother of both teams’ coaches.  Anyone who watched the game last night already knows that the family drama involved in the game itself, so I will not re-hash that.  Anyone who did not watch the game would not care.

But – care about this!

While football may not be everyone’s thing, caring about the future generations should be.  After hearing and reading about the Harbaughs, their attitude toward the game, and their forward thinking about which son should be their focus after the game, I am so impressed.  Good parenting more often than not leads to good outcomes. 

If the Harbaugh brothers would take the developmental asset inventory from Search Institute, I am guessing that they would score pretty high.  If the Harbaugh family would take the family asset inventory from Search Institute, I am guessing that they would score pretty high.

It does not take a family having loads of money to give their kids an edge.

Families need to invest in their kids, bring other caring adults in to encourage their kids, and provide an environment of high expectations with lots of support.  Failures needs to be seen as opportunities to improve.  And mistakes need to be corrected.  All of this needs to be done in ways that empower children and teens to be better than what they think they can be while helping them to see reality.

As I watched the game last night, I commented that I want to be an NFL kicker.

That is not realistic!  I am nearly 39 years old, a woman, not quite five feet tall, and about as un-athletic as they come.  This dream needs to be tempered with reality.  However, had I wanted to do something big and dreamy like that, I am sure that my parents would have cleared the path for me by making me play football with the boys, making me play soccer, and the like.

The Harbaugh parents did something to clear the path for their boys and have stayed with them as supporters all the way to the Super Bowl.

It is clear by the reports of how Jim and John interacted with each other and what their parents did after the Super Bowl ended (consoling the losing coach rather than living in the glory with the winning one) that this family is filled with assets.

The Search Institute’s asset-building approach easily works with just about any parenting style and belief system.  When I see the results of asset-building parenting live in the midst of a football game, I get a bit giddy.  Whether we are parents or those “other caring adults” in a child’s life, we have a huge impact.

Who in your life helped you to get to where you are today? What did that person do?

What are we doing today to help them realize their dreams and go to the Super Bowl?

And who knows, maybe someday someone will teach me how to kick for a field goal!

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Pray Today

The Super Bowl is a big day…for football, food, and sex.

Do a Google seach of “trafficking” and “Super Bowl.” Read the stats about thhe thousands of people in demand for sexual acts over this weekend.

Then pray.

Yes – enjoy the game. We will. Our entire church is invited to watch with us.

But pray.

Reference article: Marilyn Gardner’s post from yesterday about human trafficking and the Super Bowl (this woman has been one step ahead of me all week with topics. I think we are soul family members; we already are good friends though we have not seen each other in over ten years.)

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Ain’t Easy Going Green


As I mentioned in Monday’s post, my huz preached an awesome sermon on Sunday (check out the blog that followed). In the midst of the sermon, he made a statement about how difficult it is to preach a sermon when it does not change behavior.

Just the day before, I had purchased all of the paper/plastic products for the Super Bowl party coming up.  All of these items were completely and totally disposable.  Watch the trash pile increase from our football-watching fun!  As he preached about creation care and made this statement, I texted him (because he encourages texting during the sermon – about the sermon) and asked if we should use real plates instead of the paper ones.

That led to a discussion later in the day and some decisions were made.  By the end of the day on Sunday, things had changed in the way that we saw our hosting of the Super Bowl party.

The first item: cups.  The huz’s idea was to call Chili’s and ask them to donate the cups.

I called Chili’s in Plymouth, MN, and made a bold request: would they supply us with 100 of their kids cups?  I explained that we were hosting a large group of people from our church for the SuperBowl.  I also explained that we were trying to be smarter about resources and keeping trash out of the landfill.

The manager said yes. I was so shocked! Cups – check.  I pick them up on Saturday!

The next consideration for us was plates.  100 plates…ones that would not break…this was not going to be a cheap endeavor.  My initial thought was to scavenge at all of the thrift and goodwill stores.  My next thought was Wal-Mart or Target.  I mentioned this all to a co-worker who also works with me. She suggested the Target thrift store – an overstock center of sorts.

On Tuesday, I tried to find the Target thrift store. Turns out, it is not a thrift store. It is the office furniture contractor, and sometimes they have leftovers that they sell to the public.

Next stops: the Salvation Army Thrift store and a Goodwill store.  It became quite clear that the thrift store idea was going to be super time-consuming, frustrating, and difficult.  AND – I would end up spending a fortune burning a bunch of gasoline while driving around looking for the 100 plates.  That doesn’t seem very green to me!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner: Target.  The plates pictured at the top of this post are one dollar each.  That is not a bad price considering that we host the Super Bowl party annually and host many other functions in our home throughout the year.  I would guess that we might even see a cost savings in the first year.  And this never was about the money!

Time to back up and talk a bit about being a girl:  We doubt ourselves.  I bought 100 plates at two different Target stores (one store did not have enough – I have bought out two stores in the endeavor).  However, I still made stops (yes – all of these stops were part of my route) at Bed-Bath-and Beyond, Menards, Sam’s Club, Cub Foods, and BigLots.  Even worse than that, I actually bought another set of plates at BigLots so that I could show the huz the two different styles.

What is that?  Where does that come from?  My mother raised an independent thinker.  She put me on airplanes at a very young age, allowed me to drive from North Dakota to Rhode Island when I was 19 years old, and did not bat an eye (or at least did not show it) when I married at 21.  That is not the profile of a woman who cannot choose plastic plates for a Super Bowl party!

Oy vey!  By the way – I returned the plates to BigLots, and I adore the ones from Target.

Question of the day: What one small decision can you make in your family to change the way our environment suffers from our use?

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