...when you see what is happening in Cairo and throughout Egypt.
Oh, I know what you are thinking: 'There goes Moretti spouting his holier-than-thou attitude. He's going to demean America's unofficial national holiday and then in a day or so tell us how much he loves sports. He's great when it comes to talking out of both sides of his mouth.'
My plan is not to criticize the Super Bowl, blast America's love of sports or in any way suggest that we shouldn't enjoy what is going to happen next Sunday.
Rather, I am interested in seeing that you place these events into context.
If you live in Pittsburgh or Green Bay (and most other American cities), I expect that you will be talking about the Super Bowl. Obviously, living in one of those cities, it is impossible for me to escape conversations about the game. And I don't try to duck those conversations or hide my feelings -- I want the Packers to win the game.
I could offer you a variety of reasons, but one should be enough -- I like the Packers far more than I like the Steelers.
And, yes, come next Sunday, I'll be watching the game.
But when you think about it, and I hope you do, whichever team wins will not affect you as the events in Egypt could and should. Let me put it a bit more bluntly -- the events in Egypt are more important than any football game.
If Egypt unravels, and there is the potential that it could, President Obama will need to immediately re-think America's political strategy toward that nation. No, that doesn't mean American troops will be sent there; I see no scenario under which that happens. However, the pressure to provide even more in aid -- humanitarian, financial and otherwise -- will increase, and that aid will have to come during an often nasty political conversation in the U.S. about spending and financial priorities.
Next, what the young people in Egypt are pushing for is something all Americans know well -- freedom. In this time of domestic unrest, Egyptians see America and the West as examples, however imperfect they are, of what they want their nation to be.
They don't want security forces -- often acting undercover -- knocking on doors in the dead of night and taking political opponents away. They don't want to equate their president with autocracy. They don't want sham elections.
They'd trade places with us in a second, however flawed our democracy is. At minimum, we should support what they are calling for. If we can do more, we should think about doing it.
Third, our connected, global humanity is under stress as the death toll rises in Egypt. It will seem trite to say, but I'll say it anyway -- the increasing number of people who lose their lives in Egypt should resonate with us more than whether one team in Pittsburgh or one in Green Bay hoists a football trophy.
Except for a fellow former graduate student who works at the American University in Cairo, I know no one who lives in Egypt. I don't see Egyptians on television each day. I can't recognize them as I can most of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL, and I certainly can't identify any of them by name. But their fight for freedom is more important to our core as people than any "fight" for a championship.
Next week's game brings to an end another football season. I think it's been a pretty good one, even though my favorite team was one of the NFL's worst. In a few months, a few new faces and many former ones will begin another campaign to finish with the Lombardi Trophy in their hands.
Some of us will relish how next week's game ends. Some of us will hate it. Some of us won't care. I hope an overwhelming majority of us enjoy it.
But remember that it is a game. It is not real life. Real life is taking place in Egypt.