Monday, October 19, 2009

Pro Football and Patriotic Perceptions

Looks like not everyone in the US is following President Obama's example of a more conciliatory tone toward the United Kingdom and the international community in general.
Next week, the New England Patriots of the National Football League will make a transatlantic trip to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London. Yet on Monday the morning crew on WROR-FM wondered how the Brits would react to a team named after the colonials who defeated the mother country in the American Revolution. (The team eagerly promotes this image, as witnessed by the "Minutemen" in colonial garb who fire their muskets at Gillette Stadium after the Pats score.)
As opposed to a friendly Obama giving an iPod to Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year, the Pats seem more emblematic of everything the international community loved to loathe about America during the George W. Bush presidency, especially its perceived arrogance. On Sunday, the Pats humiliated the Tennessee Titans, 59-0, tying an NFL record for the largest margin of victory in a game.
Let us hope that when the New England Patriots tour Old England, they will at least prove gracious guests and not make their hosts think too much about their team name. Then again, their opponent -- the Buccaneers -- derives its name from the pirates who once plundered English shipping. Whoever wins this game, it goes down as a defeat for international relations.

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