The world outside of Super Bowl 2011
February 3, 2011
There is a game Sunday. An important one. One for all the marbles. One that we’ve been told, “The whole world will be watching.” In years past that may have been true. Not this year. This year the world will be focused on a different arena; the Egyptian political arena.
As our football-crazed society debates whether Aaron can finally step out of Brett’s shadow and pull the curtains on this real life soap opera, Egyptians are demanding freedom. They are tired of faux democracy and they are changing our world whether we care to take notice or not. What happens in Egypt does not stay in Egypt. It will affect every one of us. Bold predictions are being made about what could happen if secular interests such as the Muslim Brotherhood take power. I do not know enough about the Brotherhood to make a statement one way or the other but I do know that whoever controls Egypt controls the Suez Canal and lots and lots of Middle East oil. If Egypt ends up in the hands of those who aren’t, shall we say, Western friendly, could $4.00 for unleaded sound cheap? You bet it could. Will that happen? I hope not.
I don’t like alarmists any more than you do but just because the Packers are in the Super Bowl does not mean the whole world revolves around Wisconsin, even though we may wish it did. Universities can become dead-zones where the outside world is shunned. We cannot let that happen this time.
As I write this the morning of February 1, the headlines from FOX, CNN and MSNBC all read the same: “Chaos in Egypt,” “Egyptians turning on each other,” “Clashes in Cairo.” When this is printed the news will hopefully be singing a different tune.
Regardless of the outcome Sunday, there will be a Super Bowl next year (unless they try to play it in the Metrodome, or the NFL really screws up its labor negotiations). There will not, in all likelihood, be a revolution in one of the world’s most ancient societies. So when you belly up to the flat screen on Sunday alongside me, please remember that just because we’re watching, doesn’t mean the whole world is able to.