Thursday, January 22, 2009

Are You Ready to Get Angry?

Posted by Mike Florio on January 23, 2009, 1:54 p.m.

A little while ago, we suggested a potential solution to the Color Guard conundrum. Since all players in the league (even those not playing in the game) have the ability to buy two tickets each, we called on enough of them to pony up their seats so that the Color Guard could stick around after playing their very important role during the playing of the National Anthem.

We even offered to pay for one of the tickets.

Thanks to the NFL, we can spend our $800 instead at one of the finer scrip clubs dining establishments in Tampa.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells us that, after conferring with the league’s military liaison, the 12-member Color Guard will be permitted to remain in the stadium and watch the game.

The amazing part of this story is that the initial complaints arose from the mistaken belief that the league used to allow the Color Guard to stay, and that all of a sudden the procedure changed. Instead, the pre-existing procedure was that the Color Guard watched the game with the rest of the 2,000 extras who take part in pre-game and halftime festivities.

Though the other 1,988 extras will have to settle for big screen televisions and free Yoo-hoo and Lucky Charms, we can’t think of 12 of the 2,000 who deserve to be inside the building more than the members of the Color Guard.

Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of Multi-National Force–Iraq, recently issued an expanded waiver to the policy issued earlier allowing beer to be served for troop stationed in Baghdad last week, according to military officials the expanded waiver allows all units in Iraq to serve two beers per servicemember during the big game.

I'm referring to the Super Bowl of course.

What a change from years past, when only near beer was allowed. But … and there is always a but, not everything is coming up roses for military units in all things Super Bowl related

Since 9/11/01 it has become quite the event to have military color guards present the colors and be present during the singing of the National Anthem at sporting events of all kinds, and at Super Bowl XLIII this will also take place. So to say I was surprised when I received this email from a distraught Marine Mom would be an understatement:

My youngest Marine called me this morning. In the course of the conversation he made mention of being part of the Color Guard for the ceremonies at the Super Bowl. He has been part of other Color Guards at other games and has been able to enjoy the entire game after presenting the Colors. HOWEVER, this will not be the case this time. The 12 man/women color guard will be presenting the Colors and then will be escorted out of the stadium and therefore not allowed to see the game. Steven and the 11 others are quite upset about this and have asked that I see if I could contact someone and have that changed.

What? The Super Bowl won’t let the military color guard stay and watch the big game? Yes you read that right.

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