The VigilanceVoice

Super Bowl Sunday... February 3, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 145

Patriots vs. The Terrorists
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City--Super Bowl Sunday!   The Clash of the Titans.  Good versus Bad.   Right over Wrong.  Hero versus Villain.  Patriot versus Terrorist.
            Today's football game, viewed by billions around the world, is civilized combat.   It pits one's favorite team against one's enemy, the black versus white, the good guy versus the bad guy.
          Instead of guns, bullets, bombs, anthrax, jetliners shooting toward the Pentagon, Twin Towers and White House, a pigskin missile is used.   Crack Special Forces Teams in combat football gear launch hand-to-hand combat against one another on a playing field a hundred and twenty (120) yards long (including two ten yard end zones), and a hundred and sixty(160) feet wide.
          The weapon--the bomb, the bullet, the missile--weighs only 14-15 ounces (392g-420g).  It measures 11-11 1/4 inches on its long axis, and 28-28 1/2 inches from tip to tip.  It is the Warriors Of The Gridiron's ultimate purpose--to drive, plunge, batter and obliterate the competition until the ball rests finally in the end zone - and do it again.
         I thought about the battle about to be fought today.   In one game, the final outcome would be known to the world--there would be a "winner" and a "loser."   The war of gladiators would be complete at the end of the fourth quarter, or, if necessary, overtime.    People would come to the game, or curl up in front of their televisions, or go to a sports bar with other fans, and cheer and hope and rant and rave as their counterparts did thousands of years ago in Rome at the Coliseum, rooting for the good guys, or the underdogs.   They boo and hiss the team they despise, or wish ill upon.   They would lean forward to hear the crunch of the Titans, and some even hoping to hear the snapping of bones or get a close up of blood so the scent of the kill could inspire them for more "controlled violence," more proof of the victorious nature of sports to pit the finest warriors on a field of battle.
       Like the war against the Terrorists, each man on the opposing team had a portfolio of his adversary's weakness and strengths.   The scouts would have done their job, seeking intelligence against the other team's offensive and defensive strategies, and each team would target those soft spots and try and smash their human tanks into them, opening holes through which their offense could advance.    It would be the Spartans of Vigilance versus the Spartans of Vigilance, each team claiming their rights to be the victor according to their own standards of competitive righteousness.
       In our war against Terrorism, we forget the "other team" has the same passion of "righteousness" to attack us, as we have to obliterate them.    While under civilized rules of war, the unprovoked attack against innocent civilians is considered an atrocity, to the enemy all civilians are the enemy.   Blinded by the pre-historic drive to kill all the competition, the Terrorists operate outside the rules of civilized combat, destroying women, children, the helpless, the weak.   Their victory is more psychological than physical, pitting one world of thought against another, hiding behind the jihad of righteousness to their actions.
         I thought about Osama bin Laden's warriors being invited to a football field.   The Al Queda versus the Patriots.   Each team would dress up in football combat gear after being body searched for weapons.   Then they would be unleashed on a football field, coached on the American side by George Bush, the Patriot's quarterback, versus bin Laden, the Terrorists commander-in-chief-of-the-pigskin.
       The Terrorists would have helmets shaped like turbans.  America's helmets would be adorned by eagles.   They would play with a football filled with the blood of all the dead on both sides, symbolic of the price of war. 
      In the stands would sit the families of all the victims of the war--the mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins of all the dead and wounded from both sides.  On the American side.  The stadium would be teeming with more than 100,000 human beings, all suffering the losses of loved ones, relatives.
      It would be a solemn game after the anger, resentment and pain passed of watching the crowd's reaction.   After the hate passed, and the throats of the fans of each side grew raw from cheering on their team, the gravity of human violence against one another would settle in.
      By half-time the families of the two teams would have met at the hot dog stand, or in the bathrooms.   The children of the victims would have met and found few differences between themselves, except perhaps the color of their skin, or the garb they wore.
      But the suffering would be the same.  The common thread of pain between the victims' families, the children, the parents, the grandparents, brothers and sisters, would know no righteousness.   Each would be filled with lead of war, the uselessness of violence, the waste of human life, the emptiness of a mother, father, brother, sister, cousin lost in a battle over ideology.
      If all went well, toward the Two Minute Warning of the fourth quarter, the stands would be integrated with families speaking the universal language of suffering, wailing and mourning their common Voices to stop the violence.
     The Sentinels of Vigilance from both sides of the world, the umpires and referees of the game, would hear the din of the fans crying for an end to the violence.   The roar would grow to a deafening level, stopping the game.  The fans would start booing and hissing at both teams until the violence was stopped.  They would rush out onto the field and rip open the football, and spread the blood of both sides on the field, letting it soak down into the earth, a symbol of the unity of the spirits of those who had died, and hope that no more would--that children and parents and relatives would return to their homelands, and stop the hate and rage and bitter conflict--seeking more civilized, more safe ways of resolving differences than the bombing and crushing of each others lands.
       As I watch the Super Bowl today, I will look for the Sentinels of Vigilance in the crowds and on the playing fields.
      I will think about the blood inside the football, and how one cannot distinguish one drop of it representing "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong," "Terrorist" versus "Patriot."   I will know that it is all the same color--the color of grief, of loss, of pain, of suffering.
       I might cry during the game, wishing there was no victor.   I might even turn it off, and pray for peace.

Go To Diary--Feb. 2--The Patriotic Mud Truck



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