Yesterday's Super Bowl, like much of life, witnessed to a variety of Catholic truths often taken for granted in our social culture, which is overly inundated with popular moral and ethical judgments.
The game recap: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=330203025
Here are 5 examples:
1) In a society so eager to kick the elderly to the curb, always eager to worship at the altar of youth, yesterday's game came as a wake up call to the importance of 'experience.' The Baltimore Ravens won yesterday's game, primarily on the big game experience of their core leaders, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed, Matt Birk, Anquan Boldin, and Bryant McKinnie, who combined for over 74 years of playing experience! You would have to double the number of San Francisco 49er players to come to the same amount of experience.
Experience counts. And experience comes with time (age)! Respect your elders.
An elder reflects on his team's victory: http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2012/story/_/id/8912407/2013-super-bowl-ray-lewis-baltimore-ravens-ends-brilliant-career-championship
2) Our society, as reflected in many movie, music, and television diva's and stars, loves the wild and the crazy person. But there is strength and beauty in the composed and disciplined mind, heart and soul. Yesterday we witnessed the calm of Baltimore coach John Harbaugh (if we exclude his short rant after the lights went out!) versus his brother Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49er's, and his pugnacious and exuberant style. Both coaches teams exemplified their coaches in temperament, with the calm and disciplined Baltimore winning over the pugnacious and exuberant 49ers.
Composure and discipline, though not popular today, still work!
3) Leadership triumphs over leaderless group effort. Yesterday, we clearly saw two groups of men battle it out for a championship, where one group of men were clearly led by a small band of leaders experienced and wise in battle, while the other group, though extremely talented and driven, lacked a captain of the ship, or a bishop of a flock. The Ravens were led by battle tested veterans through the literal darkness of last nights battle; the 49ers, however, were unsure and groping in their darkness.
The final score testifies to this truth.
4) In a society so very selfish, the Baltimore Ravens witnessed to self-sacrifice for their brother. Abundantly clear in yesterday's game was the total effort of the Ravens to win at all costs for their departing (retiring) teammate Ray Lewis. It was so evident in seeing Raven Jacoby Jones doing the 'Ray Lewis Raven Dance' after scoring a 108 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Ravens were not only playing for themselves, but for a brother.
Selflessness still lives in our nation, even on the popular stage!
Watch the longest kickoff return in Super Bowl history: http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2012/story/_/id/8911913/super-bowl-2013-baltimore-ravens-jacoby-jones-sets-postseason-record-108-yard-kickoff-return
5) In the end, love is all that lasts. Though they battled for 60 minutes on the football field, and an eternity if you count the halftime superfluities and blackout delay, the Harbaugh brothers embraced at midfield after the game with brother John telling brother Jim, 'I love you.' This past Sunday in our Scripture readings, taken from within the Mass, St Paul reminded us that only faith, hope and Love survive, with Love being the greatest.
It was fitting that in conclusion of such a memorable Super Bowl the games coaches embraced at midfield with a message of Love.