Sunday, February 01, 2015

My Super Bowl Feeling

It is somehow fitting, at least to the sort of person that thinks along these lines, that the NFL's liturgical year should end with today's Super Bowl being played at something called the University of Phoenix Stadium.  

Unlike, neighboring schools like, for instance, the University of Arizona or Arizona State, the University of Phoenix does not participate in intercollegiate athletics.  Indeed, some might say that it doesn't participate in academics.  

It primarily exists as an online alternative to traditional colleges and caters what the education industry refers to as "non-traditional" students.  The cynics among us might also refer to UP as a mercenary diploma mill which, along with its other equally aggressively marketed "for profit" competitors, issues phony credentials to those few students that actually finish a prescribed course of study in whatever "degree" path they elect to follow.  

Go ahead.  Google "University of Phoenix." You will read tales of woe on various consumer sites from former students.  No respect for a diploma earned there. Credits earned there that are not transferable to the average community college.  Accumulation of student loan debt that would choke a mule enforced by predatory collection practices.  

But what do they expect?  Everybody is accepted.  Student loans are pretty much the way that every student's tuition is paid.  

Now are some of these posters merely disgruntled hacks?  Sure.  Are some of these stories anecdotal?  No doubt.  Are some of them planted by competitors? Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.  

By the same token you are unlikely to find someone complain about their experience at Columbia University in "The Ripoff Report."

But today's post is ostensibly about the Super Bowl which will bring down the curtain on Roger Goodell and the NFL's annus horribilis in which you had a player cold-cock his wife, a botched and insensitive investigation of same, and a star running back spank his 4 year old with a tree limb along with the usual garden variety failed drugs tests and car wrecks.  

There has been some speculation as to whether this clown car of unusual travesty will cost Goodell his job.  Nah.  Not likely.  The Commissioner's job is to make the owners money and to bust the NFL Players Association.  On the former he is succeeding wildly.  On the latter, well, he is not doing them any favors.  

The NFL is all about product.  The game is almost irrelevant, dwarfed as it is by the endless commercials and a halftime show that Baz Luhrmann would find lurid. 

But of course I am going to watch.  Not that I particularly care about the outcome.  Actually, I don't care at all.  The Super Bowl provides me with an excuse to eat chili and to spend the day with somebody I like. Overly high-minded about these things I am not.  I walk as closely with hypocrisy as the next man. 

And so I find that it is right and proper that a phony baloney academic institution like the University of Phoenix should play a prominent role in today's extravaganza. It's all about money, honey.

Speaking of which, the line in this morning's paper calls the game even.  From what I can tell, most of the sports books in Vegas have the Patriots by one or two over the Seahawks.  

This means that the pros in the sports investment industry are predicting a close game.  Which also means that the first half might be a great warm up act for Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz. 


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