I usually take Sunday evening to reflect on the events from the week before or those from the past that just happen to come to mind. I don’t mind sharing memories and it’s fun to run into many of you as you recollect similar experiences from your past.

In fact, until Sunday evening, things had been on an upbeat and positive note. I had the privilege to attend the American Cancer Society’s Imagination Ball on Friday evening. There I got to speak with a number of you, observe the festivities and enjoy the wonderful event for such a great cause. Besides raising money to fight this terrible disease, it was wonderful to meet so many of the survivors that were in attendance, as well as many of the wonderful volunteers that helped make the fundraiser such a success. 

I hold those survivors in a special place, for cancer took my dad at only 45 years of age, my mother at 66, and two years ago this coming July, my brother at 62. All three were fighters to the very end and I take solace in knowing that today they are in a better place.

Congratulations to the Marco Island branch of the American Cancer Society, their many volunteers and Senior Director of Major Events for the Southeast, Lisa Honig.

On Saturday evening we attended the Island Club’s Valentine Dinner Dance. The event was a wonderful production by the Island Club, starting from the time we parked our cars and made our way around to the outside venue, where we were met by Bid Bakkar and his staff. Once seated we had the opportunity to connect with some old friends and meet several new couples who were absolutely a delight to spend time with and get to know.

Once again, the Island Club knocked it out of the park, from the delightful personal service to the magnificent food and a great band (which saw even a guy like me with two left feet enjoying his time and doing his best not to step on his partners toes!).

Sunday started out on a high note. I shared breakfast with some friends from a long time ago, then headed to the office to put the final touches on the articles for this week’s edition before settling in for Super Bowl LVI (56). 

Super Bowl half time performances have not been devoid of controversy. Who can forget Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s lame excuse for a “wardrobe malfunction,” which exposed her breast on national TV, complete with a “nipple-shield” for about a half second to approximate 150 million viewers? It was a fiasco to say the least.

Unfortunately, instead of allowing folks to concentrate of the exceptional play of two great teams, much of the after-game discussion has focused on the half-time show. This is because one of the performers has become rich utilizing lyrics that call for the death of police officers and other sordid acts. His choice also took away from the legitimacy of Hip-Hop and Rap, which should have been a focus of the discussion regarding its generational impact.

Given the fact that we live in a time when we have had an overindulgence in being “socially responsible,” by tearing down statues, reinventing food labels and painting bullseyes on the backs of those that take the streets every day to protect us, I shudder at the fact that we would provide a platform for one of the most egregious offenders of common decency during the half-time show. 

Why do we celebrate a person who has multiple arrests for gun charges and drugs and who publicly degrades women in his lyrics? Why do we accept this as legitimate entertainment, when today we call for the confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens and spend billions to deter drug abuse? We seek to end domestic violence, yet it is glorified in rap performances on an everyday basis. 

The NFL and those cities that host this great event each year open their doors to a cash windfall. It is estimated that the host cities benefit to the tune of $30 to $130 million in revenue to those communities. A quick check of ticket sales for packages for the big event range from $5,900 to $21,250. In 2021, CBS sold $545 million in ads which added to their bottom line. 

Maybe some of those similar windfalls in revenue could trickle down to the thousands of homeless folks living on the streets in and around L.A. who we see on the nightly news each day. It seems there is a huge need for a little help, and of course let’s not forget Pepsi who sponsored the half-time show this year and the good those monies could have gone to helping those in need.

Towards the end of January this year, Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora were brutally killed on duty while responding to a domestic violence call in New York City. Both officers grew up in the city and chose to enter their professions to make a difference before they were gunned down in a cramped hallway.

This great sport has suffered a number of black eyes through the actions and misdeeds of a few. It is time that the owners of the NFL teams find new leadership. Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has served in the position since 2006, needs to retire and restore a sense of legitimacy and honor to the operation of the NFL which many find fault in today. 


 

Author

Steve Stefanides, is an experienced award-winning reporter of local civic and public interest news. Contact him by email at Stef@coastalbreezenews.com.

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