Super Bowl Schools America

The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII. The event was for the private entertainment of the audience, but even the lowest-scoring Super Bowl can also be educational. Nobody has to watch the vaunted NFL championship, and that demonstrates freedom of choice. The Super Bowl is a private event, so it betokens free enterprise. The game raked in a lot of money, but so did the Rose Bowl. The difference here is that in the Super Bowl the players get paid.

Each member of the winning team gets $124,000 and the losing side $62,000 per man, and this comes on top of their salaries. In college, players run the risk of risk of injury but get no money at all, forbidden even to sell autographs or conduct any personal marketing. College players are paid in kind, not in money. Audiences don’t pay to see NCAA bosses and college presidents, but those fat cats grab millions from the television rights, gate receipts, and marketing of sports products. So for the NFL players, the Super Bowl bonus they earned, like their salaries, is a form of delayed gratification.

Every player on the Rams and Patriots is there on pure merit and proven performance. Nobody starts at quarterback in the Super Bowl because his daddy or mommy owns the team, works for the league, or graduated from Harvard or Yale. The league shows no racial or ethnic preference, and team positions and playing time are not based on seniority. It’s all about whether you can play and help the team win.

In the Super Bowl, the rules are the same for both sides, and the playing field is perfectly level. Fans may think it’s a certain team’s “turn” to win, but the players, not the league office, decide the outcome on the field. Fans will note that the winning and losing sides shake hands. Most players know how to lose graciously, something of a lost art in these days. Rams coach Sean McVay said he had been “outcoached,” and there may be something to that. But even if your team loses, or you choose not to watch, the Super Bowl can be a win-win situation for everybody.

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at American Greatness.
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