my Super two cents

“Ms. S, please keep a close eye on Daniel, he suffered a concussion in last week’s game. His assignments will need to be modified and if he starts to act strange, call me.”

“Ms. S, just letting you know Aaron will be a few minutes late for class. He tore his ACL in last week’s game.”

Calls like these, from school nurses, became more prevalent as my teaching years progressed. School athletes are being pushed to the limits.

From my (last) classroom second floor window, I had a view of the stadium where the fifty-seventh Superbowl will be played. More than once I remember looking out that window and thinking about all the money and interest that flows into and through professional football. Just down the road, our classes were packed and overworked teachers were breaking their backs. Just down the road, a house was built for physically elite kings. I just wanted simple things, like notecards and books. Just down many roads, teachers can be found fighting for their students. For needed supplies. For smaller classes. For more pay. While kings are paid millions to play. At their own risk. Just down the cash-lined road kings will battle for a highly prized ring.

These were my experiences and thoughts that dulled my appreciation for a sport I once blew my instrument and shook my pom poms for.

In four days, the Valley of the Sun will be hosting the fifty-seventh Superbowl. American football, for those who do not know. Today will be the start of many pregame events. As if that is not enough to attract tourists to the Grand Canyon State, the Phoenix Open starts today. Professional golfing for those who do not know. Over one million people are expected to visit downtown Phoenix this week. The Valley will be a buzz of people and activities, expected to give the region a one-billion-dollar boost. Wonderful news for the economy and fans. I wonder how many dollars will trickle to classrooms. 🤔

A toss of the coin and the game will begin. 🏈

These are my two cents.

To ease already congested streets, people are being encouraged to travel via the Valley Metro Light Rail. A mode of transportation that will probably not be used by the many arriving by private jet over the next few days. 🤑

To learn more about Arizona, the state selected for this year’s Superbowl, visit my post, “Feeling the Squeeze.”🍋

I appreciate your comments and your patience with my response. Writer Workshop starts soon.

Thanks for visiting and reading! Be well. 💗 Michele

Photo 1: by Melinda Nagy Photo 2: by Joseph Sohm Photo 3: my image (Feb 7)

© 2023 MyInspiredLife

85 thoughts on “my Super two cents

  1. American football is a mystery to me. I do not really understand the game and my husband has tried to explain it to me but the truth is I don’t really care. So I will not be watching the Super Bowl or any other Bowl. I hear you about teachers needing more of all sorts of practical things. It is the same in Canada even though we don’t have any big Bowls super or otherwise. We have the Grey Cup but it is not such a big deal are the US Bowls.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I share in your sentiment. I understand the objective, of course, but I fail to understand many of the rules. I knew just enough when I was a cheerleader, long ago. I have many fond memories of watching football as both a youngster and a teacher, but the commercialization aspect of sports is a turn off. Superbowl tickets are going for almost ten grand! I am sure that price will escalate as Sunday approaches. Yes, the plight of public schools is an issue, not isolated to the U.S. Thanks a million for contributing your thoughts, Anne. 🙏🏻

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Bless your father! No doubt you have learned many valuable lessons from him, about teaching and otherwise. “Same weary battles” – yes. 😞 I appreciate you sharing a personal connection to my post. Thank you, Samantha. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. haha Poke bowls are super, yes. 😆 Delicious and easier on the wallet. 😋 I would rather do than spectate, but soccer matches are fun to watch, yes! Poke bowl, soccer, and cheerleaders… you are a Super fan! 🙌🏻 It can be. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed sports and even spent the early part of my teaching career coaching sport alongside teaching science. However, the dangers never concerned me until I was removed from a rugby game with a concussion. Two hours later I was ‘normal’ but I have no recollection of the game. We need to consider carefully the damage that can be done in physical contact sports. In the UK we now have former players taking action after it became clear that frequent physical contact could easily lead to early dementia.
    Comparing how society views teachers, nurses, first responders, firemen and others to celebrities in sports is something that is often done. In Turkey right now there are many who have been glad to see the face of an emergency worker, during covid we were glad to see doctors and nurses risking their lives for us.
    When a soccer player can get up to $500,000 per game but a nurse may only get around $30,000 a year then I wonder how we are measuring the value of any individual.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You present excellent and relevant points. Thank you, David. Seems slow forthcoming, especially by those who have the most to lose, but research is yielding more information about the seriousness of head trauma. There seems to be a celebrity component to professional sports, and it is clear that the masses appreciate celebrities. A cycle of promotion and consumption.

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  3. Timothy Price

    ¡No me gusta el futbol americano! Football equals money. Whereas teachers and students are treated like burdens on the fiscal pocketbooks. When UNM had to cut sports programs, they cut one of the best soccer and one of the best ski programs in the country but kept one of the worst football programs in the country. Economists showed how much more the soccer and ski programs benefited the state in overall economic development trying to save the soccer and ski programs. Their analysis fell on deaf ears. American football is so 20th-century to me. It’s time to move on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Football seems a status symbol and a tradition that many local school leaders, parents, and communities at large would not consider going without. That’s not necessarily a negative decision, but it’s a shame when it is at the expense of other things that matter, including the wellbeing of student athletes. A shame to learn about the cutting of a quality soccer and ski program. What a disappointment for those involved in those programs. Thanks for sharing, Timothy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Timothy Price

        I don’t know what the skiers did. I know some them from other countries who were here on ski scholarships lost those scholarships. They might have had to go home if they couldn’t find other universities to take them. The soccer players formed a professional soccer team called United New Mexico. They have done very well from what I’ve heard.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Danielle

    This is so well said! The simple things that teachers fight really hard to get, and oftentimes fail to get. “While kings are paid millions to play.” It seems backwards right? Those that are educating our children, caring for them 5 days a week receive minimal pay in comparison to those in professional sports. I used to be a big fan of professional football but then it seems I grew out of it and realized what a backwards world we live in. Professional athletes paid an unbelievable amount while your needed occupations are paid minimal wages in comparison. Have you seen Stranger Things? Sometimes it feels as if we live in the “Upside Down” 🙃. On a positive note I guess while they fly into town in their private jets I imagine it will stimulate the economy some!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have seen Stranger Things. A great show and yes, an appropriate “Upside Down” comparison. Teachers don’t expect to make millions, but they deserve to make more than the fast-food worker, just down the road. Too many teachers work multiple jobs to pay for their school loans. A troubling trend that needs to end! I value your comments. Thank you, Danielle. 🌻

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  5. So very well said, Michele. Something wrong when it takes 4 hours to play 60 minutes and because it usually runs late, disrupts television shows the rest of us would like to see. We finally get a few months break after the stupor bowl.

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    1. Thanks, Pat. I appreciate your note. That’s another thing! While the Superbowl may feature memorable commercials, I’d rather not watch three hours of commercials. The halftime show might be my favorite part. 😆 Stupor bowl – haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We paid our dues and our dollars. It wasn’t just the money spent, but the time spent buying basic things. I recently learned that one of my former students now teaches where I taught. That’s special! 😊 He was an excellent student.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Well said and totally agree. Same for Australian schools. In some places the teachers are buying supplies out of their own pocket so they can teach……disgusting.Governments and those with excess money should be contributing to the community especially those who need education.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, yes, I spent plenty a penny on classroom supplies. It’s the reality for many teachers, to varying degrees. No one expects to get rich from teaching, but teaching salaries are not keeping up, which is keeping quality people away from the valuable profession. Thank you for contributing to this important topic.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Michelle how we change as we grow, what was fine in our younger days, isn’t fine later in. The world is ridiculously unfair, toooo rich and no spare, too poor to even get a chance.

    American football , – I just about get English soccer. Sports is an interesting phenomenon world over!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right you are! Becoming aware of the reality of things sometimes kills the fun of things. It is good to be informed and aware though. ✨ An interesting phenomenon, yes. Foundationally, sports can be healthy, exciting, rewarding, a fantastic pastime for fans, and a way for many to be lifted out of disadvantaged situations, but things seem to get very muddy when greed is added in. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. 🙏🏻

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    1. Can you believe these people? Who let them in? 😆 Good one! It’s clear, based on money and attention, what the greater priorities are. I acknowledge that football players take great risks with their lives, but sadly, so do teachers and students. That’s another messed up situation! Thanks for your comment, Brad.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with Anne Leueen’s comments, I have never been interested in football, not sure if it’s me or because I’m in Canada. Now the golf I will probably watch if it’s televised. It has always baffled me the salaries that some (most?) of these athletes get. That money could go a long way in other areas or towards people in other careers, i.e. doctors, scientists… the list goes on….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not grow up in a football family – that can certainly influence a deep passion for the game. My dad enjoyed fishing and golfing. He taught us how to fish. He did not have the patience (or desire) to take us golfing. 😆 I am grateful for your contribution to this thread. Thank you.

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  9. Michele my Belle, I truly understand where you are coming from because like you, I played in the band, well I was a majorette during marching season, but we had to play an instrument even for that. But to answer your question, I don’t believe none of the millions of dollars made will be filtered back to the classroom or in the community where help is needed. I liked sports in high school and college because many of my guy friends were so into it. So it was our social media at the time. Many of the players contribute and participate in community outreach, but no girl, those other high rollers aren’t as generous as one would hope.

    It seems like sports nowadays is not the same as sports played in the past. 🏈⚽⚾🏀⛳ It’s a good spectator sport, but it’s ridiculously expensive to attend the games, get a hotel, eat, and buy team paraphernalia. It’s unreal! 😫 Be safe my friend as everyone bombards your turf!!! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Band geeks! 😄 I wanted to just be in concert band, but that wasn’t an option. I had to be in marching band too. I am glad for the experience. Many wonderful memories, yes and yes, so much has changed. As for the money, as much as I don’t want you to be, I know you’re right. It is a complicated formula, but a boost to the local economy does not equate to a classroom boost. 😞 It does seem sad that sporting events are out of reach for many families, working hard to put food on the table. Let’s have a tailgating party on that turf! 😎 Thanks Kymmy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my dear teacher, I understand. What is precious in our sight for investing into the future is clearly different on the corporate forefront. Thus, we know what we know, so we continue to do what we do, with what we have, and make magic happen. 🧙🏻‍♀️✨🧙🏽‍♀️ That’s our mission my Dancing Butterfly! 🦋💖🥰🌺🦋

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    2. Sorry to agree about the money, so many ready pockets, so the “small” pockets easily to be forgotten. Was a sport “idiot” myself, be part active more than watching. 🙂 Played handball on high level from about five year until middle of the 20s. End of studies more less end the high of that story – had to use my studies too as well as family. That could be a sport too. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is a sorry sad truth. Being an athlete is not being an “idiot” – it is a wonderful thing that can bring many blessings into one’s life. A very small percentage makes it to the million-dollar bracket. Some of them pay dearly for it! haha Yes, taking care of a family requires great discipline and sacrifice too! Thanks for your comment, LDN!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Michelle, I am not a fan of most sports. Football is so violent, and repeated concussions destroy lives and families. Some injuries make athletes old before their time. After all the hype and adulation, life must be an anticlimax, especially for those who were “given their grades.” I could go on and on, but you get my drift!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I get your drift, and I am sure you and I could carry on with this discussion. I considered adding the element of grades to this post, but that is a whole other discussion! You get my drift. Thank you for being here, Cheryl.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I was the head Pom Pom girl that wave my arms for 5”6 years in the wrong direction mostly. While I loved dance.. not so much football and I still get razzed for sleeping during “The Catch” while at the game. I’m the only one here though that’s not a fan and while I agree with you on money and priorities. I have to say my 8th grade science teacher as are the other 3 kids, huge fans and love the entertainment and the sport. What can I say, my husband “ruined” them .. lol.
    ❤️😱

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    1. You go, head Pom Pom girl! 🙌🏻😁 Fun times! Football games, live or in front of the tv can bring friends and family together. No one is ruined by that! Thank you for sharing your two cents haha Teasing you! I appreciate you sharing! 🤗 Enjoy the game and remember to shake your poms poms, in any direction. 😂

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  12. Michele, you make a very good point. Teachers are underpaid and undervalued here also, leading to many taking strike action last week. Criminal negligence on the part of the government, in my opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ingrid. I am glad you found my post meaningful. Underpaid and undervalued teachers – another global pandemic! I am sorry to learn about your region’s academic challenges. I participated in teacher strikes a few years ago. Thousands of teachers set up camp, inundated political meetings, and marched around the state capitol. Interesting times. Some positive changes came out of it, but more work to be done. I hope the teachers in your area fair well and that the students benefit. 🙏🏻

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  13. Football is boring to me, and I am grateful that my husband is not a dedicated fan who spends hours watching it. He usually bets on the Superbowl and makes a little money. It’s interesting listening to him talk to his brother and his co-workers on the phone about their teams. But football is so overrated! The players are over-paid, it’s a dangerous sport, and it takes hours to make a few moves. It’s too political now. It’s all about $$$$$$$$$. In colleges, football players get a pass while other students are required to work their butts off. Stay safe this weekend, Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand. I’ve never been one to sit and watch for hours or get excited about a Superbowl party, however, I used to enjoy the background sound of a football game, but that has lost its appeal for me. It’s good that your husband makes a little money! 🙌🏻 FB certainly has a way of bringing people together. That’s a good thing! I’d rather go off and do my own thing. 😆 Even at the HS level, there is pressure to coddle athletes. On the flip side I taught many talented athletes who took their studies seriously. Perhaps they were more the exception than the rule. It is a lot for young people to manage, especially if they are taking advanced courses and have to pay their own way too. 😔 I appreciate your comments and connection here. Thank you, Dawn. Safety first! 🙏🏻

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  14. jackeverly

    It’s always a pleasure to read someone who thinks against the grain. The way we live often tramples people at the margins underfoot(ball), and your piece hinted at that, whether you meant it to or not. I’ve written football pieces before. I love the sport but I’m the first person to admit that the game and, more importantly, the institution, has A LOT of flaws, from destructive patriarchal tendencies to toxic masculinity to the overvaluing of material objects to the reduction of women to the status of, gulp, cheerleaders. Also-football feeds off the system that neglects and rejects knowledge, wisdom, and the connection between adults and adults-to-be, something your piece showed very well. Congrats. 2 thumbs up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a pleasure to be read. 😁 Mostly I connect with poets and other artists in this space, so I am part of the tapestry, but I do understand what you mean about going against the grain, and I appreciate your comment about marginalized people being underfoot. Although I have never been a passionate fan of the game, or had a clear understanding of the many rules, there are many things I appreciate(d) about attending a game. Details that are most appreciated in person at the HS level, like the many sounds, the smell of the grass, the grit, the athleticism, the underdog, the excited parents, and other things. Those details will never lose their appeal. It is the professional level that has lost its luster for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and acknowledging the failings of a protected institution, which certainly includes the outrageous treatment of cheerleaders, from the meager pay to the rigid expectations. Much gratitude!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I enjoyed reading your thoughts, Michele, and sadly, I have a feeling not much will go to the classrooms. We like watching college basketball and football because those games aren’t about the money. My husband played football in high school (many moons ago) and he used to watch pro football, but for the reason you mention, he doesn’t anymore. The game has changed in many ways, so we both have lost interest. Of course, since we live in the Bay area, we rooted for the SF 49ers, but such is life. We will watch the game from the comfort of our home with snacks and wine, and we won’t have to deal with crowds or parking issues or huge ticket prices. 🙂 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed my post. Thank you, Lauren, and thanks for sharing your and your husband’s connection to and evolution with the popular sport. It’s been a while since I have attended a college game, but they can be fun in person. I spend more time watching people than the game! 😆 Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday! Sounds fun and relaxing. 🥂🏈

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    1. Thank you beautiful Thattamma! American football is incredibly popular and the Superbowl is expected to be watched by over 100 million viewers. Minus me. haha I know what it is but not enough to explain it. 😆 Enjoy your weekend! 🌇💖

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      1. So beautiful explanations and thankfully you dear friend 🌹🙏👍🏻😊
        My children and grandchildren so much love football , I only so
        Scared to see ☺️they seeing I will pray , all the players want safely
        Here 1:30 pm I messaging and dear you nicely sleeping I think 🛌
        Sweet dreams and grace wishes 🌹🙏💕🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Living in KC, I am excited for the Chiefs to win and we get a parade and the kids get out of school, but I do wish we could have some parades for teachers and put more money into academics as well, with as you say, more school supplies, etc. My husband really enjoys yelling at the TV 😄 but he was raised in PA where it’s sooo much more like a religion, watching those Steelers. Great thoughts in this piece and I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well stated, Tricia! A balanced attitude and understanding of the topics I’ve presented. I completely understand about the Steelers and other teams that are deeply rooted in the soil and souls of where they come from. Traditions connect generations. Just give teachers a deserved raise! 😓 It’s not up to professional sports to do that, just noticing contrasts in our society. Thanks so much for reading and contributing to this dynamic thread! Enjoy your Sunday!

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  17. There’s so much money tied up in these sports events. In Bruges, the main football -or soccer- club (who plays internationally as well) is fighting with local citizens over expansion plans. There always seems to be money for these vanity project stadiums. The economy, the economy! That’s always the defense. To the detriment of the local people, who never see a penny, but have their peace and quiet disrupted.

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    1. Perceptively articulated! I am most appreciative of your insightful comment, Conny. These teams bring in money which justifies some of their spending, but teachers are preparing minds for the future betterment. Those rewards are not instantaneous though, sometimes taking decades to notice.

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  18. Sports are such a huge part of American Culture. In fact, during my anthropology class last semester, I learned that Americans consume more avocados on Super Bowl Sunday than they do combined year round . . . It is crazy to realize that so much in terms of food, gatherings, identities revolve around football especially and where American culture prioritizes spending money. ❤

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  19. This is a wonderful statement of the facts! Our society does get its priorities screwed up for sure! I experienced the same thing when I was teaching. There is no drama in teaching, unless a teacher does something to a child in a moment of desperation to do his/her job! Very sad. Thanks for sharing your two cents!

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    1. You understand where my head was and the extremes that exist in our society. I hope that teachers get raises for their benefit and to attract more into the profession. I hope everyone has a great time tomorrow and no one is injured, on the field or in the stands. I will be doing something else. 😁 Thanks for reading, Dwight! Are you a Steelers fan, being from PA?

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  20. This hits hard for me. My son goes to a high school where sports are the MAIN THING. If you don’t play a sport, the staff doesn’t seem to care about you (with a few exceptions). Two years ago my son was hit by a car and suffered a very bad concussion, along with a lot of other terrible life-changing injuries. The school has done NOTHING to help us, yet they just completed work on a new stadium that will be easier on the players in the heat. The teachers had to have a PAPER DRIVE, but there never seems to be a shortage of funds for sports. The worst part, if a football players gets a head injury we hear about it constantly (there were LITERALLY yellow ribbons tied on trees for one kid), but my skater kid gets hit by a car and they could care less and won’t even make accommodations. Sorry to go off…its a very touchy subject for our family. All this to say, yes, I agree with you.

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    1. I am so sorry to read about your son’s injury. That is awful! I hope he has fully recovered. You have addressed many issues that seem universal. It is disheartening. God bless the teachers who continue to keep student learning and welfare the main focus and the hands-on parents who continue to support. 🙏🏻 Thank you, Bridgette.

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