Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Boycotting Superbowl is best way to let air out of alleged cheaters

If you have a spare 30 seconds, search Twitter for “boycott superbowl” or “boycottnfl.” 
Last week I tweeted a message pointing out that “deflategate” was sending a message to our children and grandchildren that cheating is OK. I was surprised that a few people retweeted it and several liked the message. 
Today I thought I would do a search and see if anyone else suggested boycotting Sunday’s game as a protest against what certainly looked like cheating in the game between the Patriots and the Colts. 
Amazingly, there are many people who have expressed a view similar to mine - boycott the Superbowl. Don’t watch it on TV, don’t listen to it (is it going to be on the radio?)
Why boycott? 
Normally, I am the last person to suggest a boycott. Most of the time I think they do not work. 
I have watched as people suggested boycotts against various companies for various reasons. Maybe they worked but I doubt it. 
So why protest “deflategate” by boycotting the Superbowl? 
It’s the strongest and best way to stand up to cheating in the National Football League. 
We could push for fines against the Patriots IF they are found guilty. But fines less than $1 million probably would be little more than a slap on the wrist. 
We could insist the Patriots be barred from the playoffs next year but that would only make them the underdog and lessen the value of next year’s Superbowl. 
No, we need to put a dent in the TV audience numbers for the Superbowl. 
Remember when the baseball players went on strike many years ago? No games, no TV coverage and it took professional baseball decades to regain its pre-strike stature — and I’m not sure the game ever regained its popularity. 
So, I don’t know what will be on TV Sunday night besides the Big Game but I am sure I will find out. I may even spend some of that time paying attention to my wife instead of the TV!

Frank Phillips is a reporter for The Brazil Times.