Wednesday, May 21, 2008

indana someplace: indy gets the super bowl

the super bowl's coming to indy in 2012!

WRTV's norm cox writes:

The universal reaction to Indianapolis getting the Super Bowl has been one of pure ecstasy.

apparently cox hasn't been reading the right-wing blogs, where the reaction has ranged from insisting it's not that great to minimizing the contributions of former mayor bart peterson. but cox is an old tv newshound, and at least he's trying to be a good blogger, so perhaps he can be forgiven for, you know... not reading blogs.

the essence of norm's post is that only fatcats get to attend the super bowl in person, so who cares? to wit:

Yes, the Super Bowl will bring lots of money to the city. And the hotels, restaurants, and bars who will gather most of it in should be ecstatic. So should their employees who will enjoy a tip bonanza. But for you and me, I ask again, why exactly should we be celebrating?

what norm neglects to mention in his lament is that some of the major recipients of that money will be media and television companies, such as the one that employs him—though to be sure, more of that money will go to the local NBC affiliate than to WRTV 6. and, as a minor local celebrity who works for one of those media outlets, norm has far better chances of scoring tickets (and being invited to VIP parties) than those of us who aren't on television regularly.

but let's take his question at face value. why should the average hoosier, who won't get to attend the big game in person and doesn't sling drinks or fluff pillows downtown, care about indy getting the super bowl?

perhaps some people are pleased about the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue the game will bring, even if they won't see any of it personally. maybe others are psyched about the plans for a huge new facility at tech high school that will benefit tens of thousands of kids over the years.

or maybe we're just pleased that the hometown many of us grew up calling "indiana noplace" has come so far. sure, getting around downtown will be a pain for a couple weeks in january/february 2012. but some of us remember a time when there was no reason to go downtown, unless you worked at a tv station or a law firm—it was a ghost town, a cultural dead zone. now, downtown is one of the most vibrant, exciting neighborhoods in the metro area, and i'd want to live there if there were better supermarkets. (someday...)

when i was young, we used to joke that indianapolis was nothing but a racetrack in the middle of a cornfield—not because we felt that way, but to mock out of towners who had no conception that indianapolis was a real city. indianapolis had the size and population, but what it didn't have back then was a real cultural identity... it was just a nondescript, sleepy little burg in the bible belt. things have changed vastly since those days, and getting the super bowl is symbolic of that. so yay, go us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indianapolis wasn't always a cultural backwater. Back in the day, we were on the national scene for more than just sports. We had some true jazz stars and at least 4 bright literary lights on the national cultural radar in the late 1800s and early 1900's.

But the westward expansion wasn't very kind to Indiana, and we also lost our economic base and our educational edge, which made Naptown the hicksville it is today.