Undeflatable Football

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Just when it appeared that professional football's annus horribilus would close on a better note than it began, we bring you "deflate-gate" and more about football PSIs than you ever wanted to know. As the season began, off-the-field scandals involving domestic abuse, drugs and alcohol and terrifying revelations regarding traumatic brain damage seemed to hit the headlines almost daily. By comparison, this "scandal" is almost a welcome distraction; valid questions about honesty and fair-play, but not stories of switches and bruises on children and spouses.

So here we are, in our 24/7 media bath before the latest and biggest Big Game. Why are we so loyal to a pursuit that challenges so many of our core values? I believe the answer lies in two of our biggest and most persistent national love affairs: television and real estate.

That TV and football were made for each other is neither a novel thought nor is it debatable. Never has a sport been so well suited to the timing of commercial advertising. Indeed, Super Bowl Monday is spent analyzing the creativity and success of The Game's ads as much as it's coaching and quarterback play. The broadcast, rather than the game, is now the main event.

That football, like our country, has real estate lust in its DNA is less discussed, but just as fascinating. As a nation, we treat real estate as a tradable, fungible asset more than any other country. Fans of "Flip This House" know what I am talking about. Now, listen to any football broadcast: the precise measuring and recording of ground gained, the value of possession in certain parts of the field and the importance of having a punter that can pin an opponent deep in his own "territory," and one could be describing a game of Monopoly as much as Patriots vs Seahawks.

Certainly this year, the sport's management, coaches and players have done much to challenge our love of the game. But next time you hear an announcer gush about a goal-line stand, you'll have to admit that football, we just can't quit you.
With a Perspective, this is David Staley.


David Staley is a father, financial services executive and 49er fan.