During his New Rules segment of his HBO program Real Time, Bill Maher used the Super Bowl to call out right wing hypocrites who hate President Obama for socialism, but love the most socialistic enterprise in America, the National Football League, “So you kind of have to laugh that the same angry white males who hate Obama because he is redistributing wealth, just love football, a sport that succeeds because it does just that. It’s no surprise that some 100 million Americans will watch the Super Bowl next week… 85 million more than watch the last game of the World Series, and in that is an economic lesson for America, because football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity, and baseball is built on a model where the rich always win, and the poor usually have no chance.”
Maher continued, “Or to put it another way, football is more like the Democratic philosophy. Democrats don’t want to eliminate capitalism or competition, but they would like it if some kids didn’t have to go to a crummy school in a rotten neighborhood, while others get to go to a great school and their dad gets them into Harvard because when that happens achieving the American Dream becomes. It is easy for some and just a fantasy for others. That’s why the NFL literally shares the wealth. TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put it all in a big commie pot and split it 32 ways, because they don’t want anyone falling too far behind. That’s why the team that wins the Super Bowl in the next draft picks last, or what the Republicans would call punishing success.”
He then explained why baseball exemplifies the Republican philosophy, “Baseball, baseball on the other hand is exactly like the Republicans, and I don’t just mean it’s incredibly boring. I mean their economic theory is every man for himself. The small market Pittsburgh Steelers go to the Super Bowl more than anybody, but the Pittsburgh Pirates? Levi Johnston has sperm that will not grow up and live long enough to see the Pirates in a World Series. Their payroll is $40 million. The Yankees is $206 million. The Pirates have about as much chance of getting to the playoffs, as a poor black teenager from Newark has of becoming the CEO of Haliburton. That’s why people stop going to Pirate games in May, because if you’re not in the game, you become indifferent to the fate of the game, and maybe even get bitter, that’s what’s happening to the middle class in America.”
As you watch the Super Bowl next Sunday, ask yourself, if the NFL can succeed with a system that creates opportunity for all, why can’t America? After all, isn’t opportunity for all what the American Dream is supposed to be about?