All sports television executives have the same white whale and it's named Airing the Super Bowl. This is Fox's time to enjoy the riches. Along with the game comes scores of hours of ancillary coverage, including a 5.5-hour pregame show today from Miami. Filling 330 minutes can be a challenge, even in 2020. Earlier this week, a bigwig at the network offered a preview of what to expect.
There's little unsurprising about that quote. It's been a long, long time since football has been allowed to stand anywhere without heavy-handed patriotism tagging along like a remora on a shark. And, you know, it's fine to go that route. If you're serving the nation a meal, you may as well dole out the red meat and worry about the vegetarians later.
Those wondering about the promise and how it would hold up to a much-anticipated interview between Sean Hannity and President Trump to run this afternoon had that question answered as Fox released the first clip of the sitdown.
Even Hannity, who is unmatched in his ability to talk to the president for hours without ever breaking news, realizes this is an idiotic gambit. And yet, here we are. This is what millions tuning into the interview will see.
The Bloomberg camp has responded, saying there's no basis for the claim which Fox will air unchallenged on its airways. Again, no surprise here, even though some serious political pundits remarkably haven't figured out how all this works.
The answer to this lament? Fox execs, the NFL, and ad sponsors will do absolutely nothing. They hope to receive the best possible yield on their investments. Just how long haven't these people been paying attention?
There's naivety and then there's thinking this whole thing wasn't decided a long time ago. Fox was always going to air a conversation between Trump and his close personal friend that was both an embarrassment journalistically and a success in the ratings department. With an election looming, and Fox News booming, it would be a tremendous risk to upset the apple cart.
So back to the stated mission. One could look at this segment and wonder how it celebrates football or how it celebrates America. If you'd like to know the terrifying truth instead of watching Patrick Mahomes sling some touchdowns, brace yourself.
This is a celebration of America in its current state. It's not a celebration of its ideal state -- at least the one accepted for hundreds of years. But try telling 35-40 percent of country that isn't as good as it gets, a shining example of why it's so great here.
The freedom to belittle and have untruths go unchecked is real and will continue to be for the forseeable future. Yet the greatest freedom is the opportunity to troll, to tick off the right people. There is truly no greater happiness than seeing an enemy upset.
Enjoy the football. Try to enjoy America. This is what passes as a celebration these days.