Make English The Official Language Of The Super Bowl

Super Bowl 45 LogoPlanto English persona lingua of Eximius Scaphium.

That’s Latin for “Make English the official language of the Super Bowl.” This is Hog Heaven’s annual plea to bring some good, old fashioned American values to the American game by banning an even more old fashioned value from the Super Bowl.  

Roman numerals are the reason Latin is a dead language. Those old Romans needed four or more characters to express what we say with two or three. Just try to calculate the XI percent sales tax on a Super Bowl ticket (MMV Talents). No wonder the Barbarians sacked Rome.

They don’t even use Latin in Italy anymore.

I speak as a Catholic former altar boy of the old Latin Rite who flunked freshman Latin in high school. It was traumatic; an anchor on my grade point average that mocks me still. Hated it!

Super Bowl Ex-El-Vee? Can’t we just say Super Bowl 45? Or Super Bowl 2011? Or anything that makes sense?

Roman numerals haven’t made sense since the fall of the empire, much less since Super Bowl III. Does the NFL record scores in Roman Numerals? NO! NFL.com can’t fit “Saints XXXI, Colts XVII” in those little boxes in the box score.

And don’t even ask about stats. Did you know that in Super Bowl Ex-El-Eye-Vee Drew Brees was XXXII of XXXIX for CCLXXXVIII yards and II touchdowns?

Did EA Sports, who shapes so much of our modern view of football, introduce Madden XI? NO! They did Madden 11. You can’t sell Madden Ex-Eye to anybody. Surely, the NFL is as market savvy as EA Sports. Surely they can make their showcase game easier to understand than the CBA. If not, they should just cancel next season.

Oh. Wait….

This is America. We are Americans. We follow American football. Our numbering system is Arabic, but that’s not the point. Can we express the American title of the American football championship in numbers Americans can read? Can we do it sometime before Super Bowl L?

In the Age of Madden, planto English persona lingua of Eximius Scaphium.

 Um, Tracee, Washington Post columnist Tracee Hamilton story IT’S NOT ADDING UP picked up on the campaign to retire Roman Numerals as marks for Super Bowls in favor of Arabic that Americans can, you know, read and understand. We welcome her to the campaign. We got to wondering though, where she got the story idea? Could it have been from here.

Coincidence does happen. There’re no exclusives on original story ideas. But a symbiotic relationship between news writers and bloggers has existed since the creation of the blogosphere. Bloggers need journalists for their sources. Journalists (I’m convinced) mine blogs for story ideas.

In this case, I note Hamilton’s device of applying Roman Numerology to everyday use to illustrate how silly it is to continue the use for Super Bowl marketing. Coincidence? I’ll have to ask Tracee.

Early in blog days, writers were concerned that amateurs were lifting their texts without attribution. I tried not to. If I used something, I linked back to the source. That was only fair. If writers get a story idea from a blog, it seems only fair to offer a hat tip, if not a link-back to the original site. That’s only fair.

Validation is oft’ the only pay a blogger gets. 

I wrote Tracee about this and she was kind enough to reply, which is…

“Tony: I’m really sorry, I did not see your piece and in fact filed that column to my editor on Monday. My editor actually gave me the idea last week. So no, I didn’t see your piece — I guess that great minds think alike! 
Tracee”

 /Sigh/ I don’t know how the editor got the idea. I’ve written this theme, essentially the same post for for three season or so. Alas, the original sits as a corrupted file on my hard drive, a casualty of Redskins Hog Heaven migration to Bloguin from the old MVN.com.  

As Bart Simpson says, “Can’t prove anything.”

Look for the campaign to resume next year with a few tweaks and maybe a few more writers to carry the load. 

Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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