Sunday’s ‘Debacle’ started with greed

By Mariann Main

February 4, 2014

I wanted the “old” guy to win. Peyton Manning, at age 37, isn’t so “aged” in normal life, just football. He is the one who was dumped by the Indianapolis Colts when neck injuries threatened his stellar pinpoint accuracy passing talents and who had endured 14 seasons of brutal hits when the Colts offensive line abandoned him. Manning was considered damaged goods, but Denver took a chance two years ago. How I hoped Indianapolis would regret their “business decision” of releasing him. However, Sunday, was not Manning’s “one shining moment” to prove Indianapolis wrong. It was ugly from the first seconds of the game and never auto-corrected to become anything close to the over-hyped expectation of a “Super Bowl.”

Oh excuse me. I am not supposed to use that term. The lawyers have it patented, copy-written, or whatever they collectively do to make life a little more miserable for all of us who did not attend law school. My “Super Bowl” excitement was squashed five days before Sunday’s embarrassment that few of us endured for the entirety, and long before Manning took the field. Fair warning, for any attorneys reading this column, you might want to stop now.

As most of you already are aware, I am a New York Times junkie. It is a daily ritual. A Tuesday, Jan. 28, article in that publication entitled “Scant Benefit Seen From a Game That Can’t Be Named,” degraded my upcoming “Super Bowl” experience, thanks to the hyper-vigilant attorneys for the National Football League. Pity the New Jersey merchants, expecting a windfall from the deep-pocketed fans who descended upon the metropolitan area to attend Sunday’s event, only to be chastised for using signage referring to the “Super Bowl.”

Since when is hanging a banner to “Welcome Super Bowl Fans” against the money-driven, NFL league lawyers who have a greater similarity to prison guards than giving benefit to football fan enjoyment? Per the New York Times article, “Officials from several New Jersey municipalities have complained that expected sponsorships or connections with official events have not materialized, and that, if anything, the NFL has obstructed business with its trademark restrictions.” Further stated NYT reporter Corey Kilgannon, “Like many businesses, Biggie’s restaurant near the stadium is calling the big game, “The Big Game,” in its promotional coupons, to avoid any trouble with the National Football League,” stated an unnamed manager of the restaurant.

Montclair, New Jersey’s councilor-at-large, Rich McMahon, said in last Tuesday’s story, “an effort to make souvenir footballs for local festivities lost some steam once word came down that the “Super Bowl” logo could not be used. Even the printing of the Roman numeral 48 was banned, per McMahon, and “things went downhill from there.”

As a counselor, annually it is required that classes are completed to remain credentialed, known as Continuing Education Units, (CEUs), an ongoing obligation for most licensed professionals. Recently, I finished a series of online subjects potentially orchestrated by bored corporate lawyers fearful that anything we possibly don’t know might be held against us.

A revelation occurred to me while in the midst of these mind-numbing, online studies, that we are expected to know too much which has no relevance to our true professions. One of the two-hour-long learning “segments” was titled “Environmental Safety in the Workplace.” It makes sense to tell me not to run my chair over the desk lamp cord, or avoid unplugging that same light by pulling on the cord versus the plug, or don’t touch the lamp with wet hands. Ok, those are relevant to my professional situation, in the office, at a desk, helping clients as a counselor. However, is it truly necessary that I know the definition of “grounding’ and that “it is a physical connection to the earth, which is at zero volts.” Or even better that “a milliampere equals 1/1,000th of an ampere.” Sorry, not necessary, minimal need. I don’t think as a counselor I will ever use that knowledge to electrocute myself or anyone else. Too much information assembled by corporate attorneys to distance us from those whom we are trained to serve.

Sorry lawyers. You are infringing upon innocent territory. Don’t ruin my profession as what has occurred with hospital nursing, other areas of medicine, or within the realm of teaching, where the time spent on paperwork far surpasses our interaction with clients, patients, or students. I did not major in electrical engineering, nor would I want to. Stop bothering us innocent bystanders. Go chase some ambulances or ruin next year’s “Super Bowl” for Phoenix merchants, as you did in New Jersey and New York. I can only hope that Manning is given the chance to redeem himself next year.

Mariann Main is a Licensed Counselor and a Delaware native. Her column appears weekly on Wednesdays. To submit a question and have Mariann answer it anonymously, send mail to the Delaware Gazette office, 40 N. Sandusky St., suite 203, Delaware, OH 43015.