A shame that politics, polemics diminish big game

Even polls conducted by professional pollsters have a margin of error, so un-scientific reader polls like those in Minot Daily News are certainly not an accurate gauge of overall public sentiment. Instead, they are a snapshot of a small group of readers who are motivated enough by a question to go to the effort of responding. It can be interesting, but is not real data.

Still, the mixed feelings expressed by readers this weekend about watching this evening’s Super Bowl are a bit of a surprise, with those planning to watch barely ahead of those not planning to (as of this writing). One can’t help but wonder if this is anywhere close to an accurate reflection of the community. One also can’t help but wonder if viewer numbers are less than anticipated, if it will be politics that turned the big game into the big lame.

The ugliness of politics pushed its way into professional football this last season, just as it has penetrated virtually every other aspect of American life. Once an escape from the reality of our everyday lives, professional football has become just another vehicle for division, another tool for one side of the political spectrum to demean the other. Already a televised experience defined in recent years by commercials and half-time shows, this year one can probably add another distraction from the actual game: some kind of political agenda being advanced.

What a shame.

Let political debates rage where they should. The place isn’t the gridiron.

Will you skip the game even if you’re a fan who traditionally wouldn’t miss it? Will you watch anyway? If politics interferes with the actual game, will you return next year.

No poll could probably address these questions accurately just yet. It’s sad, though, that these questions have to be pondered at all.