Security at this years annual Super Bowl games around the Levi Stadium in California will resemble a war zone.
Patrolling F-15 warplanes, tanker planes, police sharpshooters, bomb-sniffing dogs, metal detectors, helicopters, and a no-fly zone imposed in San Fransisco are just a handful of measures authorities are taking to prevent a terrorist attack from taking place.
Anyone who’s watched football games, especially NFL ones the way they’re played today, close to the action, understands their extreme violence, what television doesn’t show – or discuss longterm physical damage to many players.
Some end up with permanent disabling injuries. Traumatic head ones caused by concussions and powerful bodies smashing into each other disrupt normal brain functioning, affecting learning, thinking and other cognitive abilities.
Affected players are at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, devastating their lives, shortening them.
Short-term high pay is poor compensation for spending later years dependent on others for care – a deplorable state. Anyone experiencing it knows how awful.
On January 15, 1967, Super Bowl I was played, this year its 50th contest scheduled for February 7. Annual games are America’s most watched television programs, attracting over 100 million US viewers alone.
Security this year will make wide areas around Santa Clara, CA’s Levi Stadium, including the San Francisco Bay Area, resemble a war zone.
It includes patrolling F-15 warplanes, refueling tanker planes, police sharpshooters, bomb-sniffing dogs, helicopters overhead able to evacuate players and staff in case of trouble, metal detectors and routine bag searches, as well as high-tech cameras and sensor equipment able to monitor public transportation.
An FAA-no-fly zone will be implemented throughout much of the bay area, enforced by Pentagon and California Air National Guard pilots manning warplanes.
Major General Joe Vazquez heads the US Air Force’s Civil Air Patrol (CAP). “The opportunity to ensure safe skies around Levi’s Stadium is a mission CAP takes very seriously,” he said.
“Our aircrews are trained to simulate either threats or duress flights that inadvertently or purposely enter into restricted airspace.”
On game day, extensive flight restrictions will be implemented over a wide area around the stadium, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
All this for a football game. The cost of security, including months of preparations, training, and thousands of personnel involved isn’t publicly known.
It’s likely hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe billions – federal, state and local taxpayers assessed, at the expense of vital public needs gone begging.
America has unlimited resources for endless imperial wars, homeland ones against its most disadvantaged citizens, the world’s largest domestic gulag by far – and public funding of security for sports extravaganzas.
What matters most is ignored – peace, stability, equity and justice.